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When do I Need to Discharge my AC Capacitor?

If your AC capacitor has failed, it’s time to discharge and replace it. Before diving into capacitor repairs, you’ll want to take extreme precautions when discharging the capacitor. If you’re unfamiliar with this process, it’s best to contact an HVAC professional to help you avoid a shock.

Since the AC capacitor is what distributes energy to the motor that activates the system, it’s important to know when the capacitor has blown out and stops working in order for you to discharge it and replace it.

Save Yourself from Shock

AC capacitors can be very dangerous to deal with on your own. Before discharging the capacitor, you need to turn off the power of your AC unit at the disconnect or breaker panel (and make sure to double check!). Once you’ve completed this step, it’s time to locate your capacitor, which is most likely round or oval, silver, with wire connections at the top.

It’s important to understand that while your AC system may be off, your capacitor could still have a stored electrical charge. In turn, there’s a high chance you could be electrocuted if you don’t handle your capacitor carefully.

Reclaim Capacitor Power

Once you’ve carefully discharged your burned-out capacitor, it’s time for a replacement. Now that you’re through the dangerous part, choosing a new capacitor is an easy task — and the sooner it’s done, the sooner you can restore the power your AC system has been missing.

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