I had my AC checked and was told that the FAV cap was reading at 3.6 and should be changed because it should read at 4.6 and that the charge was low. Also that the outside cap was low at 4. and should read at 5. He changed both and charged $300.00. I looked up parts on ebay and saw that they run for $5-13. a piece...does labor cost that much, or was i just taken advantage of?
If the charge was low then you have a leak. If that was not addressed, it will happen again. Next time use a different service company. Capacitors cost roughly $10-20 for good ones, which I highly doubt have been used. Poor quality capacitors guarantee another service call in few years.
figure $100 just to show up, that's average.. $200 maybe to replace some refrigerant, which is probably not R22, since those units are very old, and 2 cheap capacitors, which he just happened to have a capacitance tester for, is the part you got ripped for.. those can be +10, -5%
Replacing the capacitors is a utter scam by the a/c companies out there.
Not that replacing the caps is unnecessary. With age, they do become less effective and if they crap out at the wrong time, they could take your a/c with them. But charging you hundreds of bucks to do so should be against the law...
I had a local a/c joint out on a $99 inspection special and they wanted to charge me $800 to replace the start/run cap on the outdoor unit and add a hard start kit. I told them to get out of town.
Went to a local refer dealer and got the caps, both of them for $18 and change. Installed them myself. Done.
There are 2 wires on the hard start kit and 3 on the start/run cap I had to change. 4 screws to get the access door off and 1 screw per cap to hold it in place.
Yeah, I agree, you got screwed. As far as asking "does labor cost that much", did they not show how much the labor was on the invoice? Did you not know what their labor charges were before they collected? If so, part of the blame for being screwed is on you. -- Apple Creek Vineyard and Winery
The first time we had an AC cap fail the guy came out, charged $200 for the call and $55 for the cap. A year later the replacement failed and I was pissed so I swapped it myself which was $12 but the funny part was it was the exact same make and model of capacitor, so obviously the guy made an extra $43 on the part.
I'd like to know where some people are claiming you can get "good" caps for under $20 because I looked and they were around $70 for good FILM caps. Nothing with electrolyte should be considered good as that type is are all prone to pressure buildup.
About your AC "checked". Did you have a reason to believe it wasn't working correctly? Never call and have your AC "checked" because you are then inviting them to replace something. Have them clean it if they offer a special and you don't know how, or have them come if it don't turn on or won't cool as much as it should.
If the cap drops too low it can damage the motor but by that point you'd hear the motor fail to run when the system turned on. It's not the kind of problem that needs to be caught ahead of time and you could replace both the motor and the cap yourself for less than $300, BUT see if there is a supply house nearby if anyone in the home has poor health and couldn't survive high or low temperatures for a day or two.
You can find standard multimeters costing about $16 and up that have a capacitance test range that would cover the single to low double digit uF range of motor caps found in residential A/C systems. Any tech would have a multimeter so it only makes sense that it be able to do capacitance too. Call it a job requirement as cap failure is quite common after the first few years.