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Old 08-10-2012, 05:55 AM   #1
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Default AC is out and its been in the 100s

The AC failed this evening. Sucks. Hope its not expensive.
I setup the portable AC in the bedroom to try and keep the wife and baby and I cool but after only an hour the portable AC's compressor overheated.
I sent the wife and baby to her parents house (10min away).
I'm camping out with the dog in the tiny home office where I have a small window AC unit. Drinking bourbon until I'm sleepy enough to sleep.

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Old 08-10-2012, 05:57 AM   #2
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I think possibly it is only just the outside fan. The Fan wasn't spinning, but it sounded like the compressor was still running. I got the AC system turned off ASAP as soon as I realized it.

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Old 08-10-2012, 06:02 AM   #3
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Swamp cooler yourself. Keep the temp around 65-70*, and remember sanitation is essential. You don't want an infection.

I'm not witty, bad joke.

It was 109 here today and 80* house temp never felt so good. Smart move on the wife and child.

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Old 08-10-2012, 06:05 AM   #4
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Yeah, trying to cram the wife and child and dog and myself into the home office would have been a bit rough...

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Old 08-10-2012, 09:36 AM   #5
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That has happened to me a couple of times. Both times it was the motor run capacitor - cost me about $15 or $20 for the part. Take off the cover on the compressor unit (after turning off the power, of course) and find the capacitor. Look to see if the case is bulged at the top. Any odd looking bulge probably means it is bad. On my unit, there are two capacitors in the same case - one for the compressor and one for the fan, with three wires connecting to it, labeled C (common), FAN, and HERM (compressor). If you unhook it, be sure to note which wires go to which terminal. Get the microfarad values and the voltage rating, for example, mines says 60+5 MFD (or may say uF), 440 volts. Replace with the same uF and equal or higher voltage rating.

I think this is a very common failure these days, and I've heard it is because they had to change the way they make the capacitors (elimination of PCB's ?). My old A/C lasted 25 years and the capacitor never failed. My new one is only about 7 years old and the cap has already failed twice.

EDIT: I just noticed that you are in Dallas. I got my capacitors from Johnstone Supply on Miller Rd. in Garland. I have a friend with an account there and he called it in - don't know if they sell to the public or not, but worth a try.

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Old 08-10-2012, 01:53 PM   #6
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+1 to DeafSmith, that's the most detailed description of a common problem with modern AC units that I've read. I've replaced the capacitors in both of my central units before. It's very obvious when the capacitor is bulged, another clue is a motor not running but humming loudly.

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Old 08-10-2012, 01:55 PM   #7
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I got a window AC I could lend you... but you got to come get it... HA

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Old 08-10-2012, 02:28 PM   #8
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I opened it up and the capacitor looks to be fine. No obvious defects I can see. I have a HVAC service tech coming in a few hours to diagnose it.

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Old 08-10-2012, 02:35 PM   #9
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oops just kidding
I looked up pictures of capacitors and its supposed to be completely flat on top... its not, its just evenly bowed out all over the top. NOt sure I'm too confident in doing electrical though. Capacitors tend to hold a long charge.

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Old 08-10-2012, 02:49 PM   #10
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Brown Service Co sells caps too.

I've changed mine and nothing bad happened. I was also concerned about it holding a charge, so I was careful to not touch any two posts together. Maybe unnecessarily cautious, but hey.

We used OC Service for an A/C repair last year. They're a little pricey, but they were Johnny on the spot and got it all fixed in one shot.

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Exactly. And Zuljin was correct.
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