How to Replace the Capacitor of an Air Conditioner

How to Replace the Capacitor of an Air Conditioner

If not functioning as per specifications, the capacitor of an air conditioner could lead to serious issues. In fact, this electrical component is invariably the cause of a motor or a fan malfunction. This is precisely the reason why knowing how to replace an AC capacitor could save considerable money and time. The actual procedure for maintenance is quite easy to perform but needs good manual skills and careful attention.

The following are the steps involved in the AC capacitor replacement process:

Local Regulations

One should get fairly acquainted with the local safety and health regulations pertaining to the maintenance and repair of electrical devices. Working with electricity is no child’s play and can be life-threatening. If one is not confident or does not really understand the whole process, then it’s wise to hire a professional.


The protective gear must be on before trying to find the conditioner’s condenser. The condenser must be switched off, and a voltage tester must be used to check if there is any power.

Access Panel

The condenser’s access panel should then be located and opened by loosening the screws. For easy identification, the panel would usually have an electrical warning label attached.

New Capacitor Purchase

The capacitor is usually can-shaped with a sticker on it. Prior to purchasing a new capacitor, the technical data must be noted down, such as its load voltage, tolerance, capacitance, etc. The new capacitor purchased should have the same characteristics. It is not a problem if the new equipment is slightly different in size or shape – this would not have any negative impact on the conditioner’s operations. The thing that needs to be consistent is the actual performance.

Old Capacitor

If the old capacitor is studied closely, the wire connection patterns will become clear. These must be memorized or noted down as the new capacitor should go in the same way. People with a background in electricity can make use of the connection diagram available on the panel’s inner side.

New Capacitor Connection

All the wires leading to the old capacitor should be disconnected and attached to the same areas on the new one. For better execution and efficacy, the process should be carried out one wire at a time. In other words, one must go ahead with the other wire only when the first wire is disconnected from the old capacitor and attached to the new one. Once the wire connection is all properly done, the new capacitor can be mounted in its place. If the positioning is not stable, a metal mounting strap can be used to fix the position.

Testing Connections

Before setting things into place and going ahead with regular usage, the wires should be double-checked for proper placement. To check for loose wires, each wire must be slightly pulled. If necessary, the wires can be tightened up.

Checking Condenser

The condenser’s operations can be checked by switching the thermostat on. If there isn’t any problem, the condenser’s cover should be screwed back into its place. Once all set and done, the conditioner is ready to be used once again.

Scott Meidinger

Scott is a certified HVAC technician who graduated from Ohio University. He feels his expertise in the HVAC industry provides a unique opportunity to engage the public through real-life stories as well as over a decade of experience and knowledge.

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