Always check the capacitance of any replacement capacitor with a capacitor tester or the capacitance scale on a digital multi-meter before using the capacitor. It may have already died of old age before you install it! A capacitor is a pretty simple device, basically, it is a couple of rolled up sheets of aluminum foil or metalized film with paper or plastic between them. Although a capacitor is a simple device, it is an extremely important part on most air conditioning systems. A bad capacitor can kill a system’s compressor. To protect your reputation and your customer’s equipment, only use capacitors that can pass the EIA-456 Highly Accelerated Life Test. The HALT test subjects a set of capacitors to 125 percent of their rated voltage and 10˚C above their rated temperature for 2,000 hours. For example, a capacitor that is rated at 5uf/440 vac, with an operating temperature of 70˚C, is tested at 550 vac and 80˚C for 2,000 hours.
Determining which capacitors to stock on your truck is another problem. There are so many sizes of dual capacitors that it is nearly impossible to have all the necessary sizes. American Radionic, AMRAD, has a solution – a multiple capacitor with enough sizes to cover nearly any application. Better yet, they will send instructors sample capacitors to use in your lab. These are great for demonstrating the effect of connecting capacitors in series and parallel. Their web site is AMRAD