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Question DetailsAsked on 2/19/2018

can a bad capacitor cause other ac parts to fail?

ac man said the capacitor failed and that caused a variety of other parts to fail and therefore needed to be repl

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1 Answer


Depends on what parts he meant - a bad capacitor can cause very hard starting, or even start stalling, of the motor it is mounted on. This can burn out the motor - which with many modern A/C's (unless talking about cooling fan motor) is sealed in a canister with the compressor so they are replaced as a unit for $500-1000 range typically.

Cooling fan capacitor could cause similar fam motor failure for typically probably about $300-500 replacement, but liek compressor motor problems can also cause overheating of the system.

Hot running can cause scorching and crudding up of the oil in the refrigerant lines (the lubricating oil moves around with the refrigerant flow), which can clog up the filter/dryer (usually a replaceable canister) and also gum up the TXV (control valve) and gum up the lines and coils so they need to be flushed out, which in some cases means removing them to be able to effectively clean them. So - best case, just replacing a capacitor or hard start kit may run a couple to few hundred $, worst case if the comppressor or motor are damaged it can run over $1000-2000, so that brings up the issue of possibly replacing the entire system rather than putting that kind of money into repairing a possibly older system which might not have much of its probably about 15 year (co0mmonly 10-20 year) life left.

You can find a fair number of previous quesstions with answers about repairing versus replacing, and the economics (in addition to whether you even afford to repair or replace it at thins time) of it, in the Home > HVAC link, under Browse Projects, at lower left.

As to WHAT parts he says failed as a result, with a list can't commont on the specifics - comes down to largely whether you think he is on the level (maybe get a more detailed explanation of what failed and WHY), or spend probably $100-150 for another HVAC tech to give you his opinion.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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