Keeping Cool How to discharge Air Condition Capacitors by Kung Fu Maintenance


Though I have written this book and made this
video for you readers and viewers. Your safety is still up to you. The hazards of the tasks
involved mean that eventually some people will get hurt. Your safety is still up to
you. OK. Today I am going to show you how to discharge
an air conditioner capacitor. This is my circuit alert device and it is showing that we have
power here. An air conditioner capacitor holds a charge in the capacitor even after the power
is disconnected. What we are going to do is we are going to
come over here and we are going to pull the disconnect switch. Which is right here. It’s
got a couple fuses in here. Now that the power is disconnected what we are going to do is
take our screwdriver and we are going to hold only the insulated portion of the screwdriver.
Making sure we are not touching the metal at all and we are going to bridge the leads
on the capacitor. That will discharge any charge that is held in the capacitor so that
we can safely work on the system. Now that the power is discharged we can check
it with our circuit alert device. Make sure we have no more current running through the
system. OK. Now we can safely work on
the system.

16 thoughts on “Keeping Cool How to discharge Air Condition Capacitors by Kung Fu Maintenance

  1. Hi thanks for your help ,with A/C motel window unit 14.000 BTU workin goon but the low presure line do not get cold or sweat but the high line get good hot wath is this thanks

  2. Your welcome, it sounds like it's low on freon. In addition to removing heat from the air the freon also acts to remove heat from the compressor. If it runs low on freon for to long eventually the compressor will overheat and trip it's built in thermal switch. This will reset once it cools, or is cooled down. You most likely have a tiny leak somewhere. Micro leak repair additives work good for this and unit can be charged with refrigerant. If larger leak it must be located and repaired first.

  3. Hi ,I am changin fan motor with 3 cables orange black brown ,orange and brown go to capasitor black volts,the other motor has own small capacitor on in ,and tree wires 2 blacks 1 grenn please can you tell me how can I make this conection thanks

  4. Could you possibly take a video of the set up that needs to be changed and what you are changing it with and put it as a video response to this video or my video "How To Change An AC Condensor Fan Motor" perhaps with a cell phone camera. I think I understand what you are asking but would like to be sure and pictures or video would help. I should say you want to make sure the motor you are replacing with has same rpm and profile as these are engineered to work properly under specific conditions.

  5. On another youtube site, you mention a "deadmen's stick". Same as non contact voltage detector? In this video (this page), you're using a "circuit alert device" to check for voltage in the capacitors. Do you recommend the brand you're using? If so, what is it, and is it a non-contact type – couldn't tell from the video if you were actually touching touching those terminals or not. Thx much.

  6. On another youtube site, you mention a "deadmen's stick". Same as non contact voltage detector? In this video (this page), you're using a "circuit alert device" to check for voltage in the capacitors. Do you recommend the brand you're using? If so, what is it, and is it a non-contact type – couldn't tell from the video if you were actually touching touching those terminals or not. Thx much. Edit: I just discovered Circuit Alert online – sorry – I should have googled it before asking the Q.

  7. Discharging capacitor with screwdriver is not safe. There can occur big spark which can damage leads and the worst thing, capacitor can be damaged internally (what can cause failure after some time) because of high discharge current. Correct way to do that is connecting resistor to capacitor leads so it discharges in a couple of seconds safely.

  8. That is partly true for more sensitive equipment, stereos, televisions, etc, for larger appliances such as used in heating and air conditioning however it is OK and is common practice.You will rarely if ever see a spark or hear anything when discharging caps for air conditioners.

  9. And abut non contact alert device. Using it to check if capacitor is charged is total nonsense. Those testers can be used only to detect mains voltage. It won't work at all if device is disconnected from mains. With such checking you may think that circuit is safe while it's not. Charge on capacitor can be tested with multimeter.

  10. Common practice means only that some people don't understand what they are doing. Moreover doing that on high power devices is much more dangerous than on some low power equipment.

  11. Common practice as I used the term here means major majority of AC service companies do it this way without damage to equipment or personnel. Danger is an element to any work involving electricity and especially air conditioning where moisture is also often present.

  12. The "deadmen's stick" or non contact voltage detector is just a final precaution that current is not currently flowing through the circuit. The discharge takes place at the cancellation of the screwdriver bridging both sides of the cap. It's a good final check before working on AC circuits especially on roofs with multiple condensors as some places conduit lines can be tricky determining which disconnect goes to which unit. The NCV is just another valuable precautionary step. It's a lifesaver.

  13. Hi KungFuMaintenance, I have  question. If the capacitor is out, can the fan and compressor both still work? My A/C unit works but then over heats and shuts off. The guy said it was because the coils need flushing. but he also said the capacitor needs to be replaced, and I suspect that part isn't true. but I dont know for sure. 
    Thank you for your time.

  14. I put a new motor on my A/C and it worked great at first then quit spinning again after a few minutes. Could this be a bad capacitor as well? Can the motor burn up if it doesn't spin for a long time after it's powered up? Also: I just used my smartphone to take a picture of the wiring instead of drawing out a diagram. One wire, a black one, went to a black module next to the capacitor then a brown and violet wire went to the capacitor. The green ground wire went to the body of the unit. Thanks for the helpful video!!🖒

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