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Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC/Replaced Dual Capacitor in AC unit

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Question
Hi.  I had an AC technician come out to service my York AC system because I heard a dripping sound when it shut off. I had never used this company before. The cost for him to come out was $115.  He said the dripping was caused by the drainage line being blocked and he blew it out. While he was cleaning and servicing our outdoor York unit, I went inside the house, and when I came back he showed me an old rusty looking dual capacitor that he said he took out of my unit, and that it was not working at 100% and was about to quit working. He recommended that I replace it and that if I didnít, it could cause damage to my AC unit.  The cost to replace it $252, on top of the $115, bringing the total to $367.  Against my better judgment, I told him to replace it. While he is replacing it, I notice that the new one is a 45+5UF, while the old one was a 40+5UF.  I point this out to him and he says it doesnít matter, and in fact itís better to replace it with a 45+5UF.  After he leaves, all of this starts to bother me, so I go online and read that you shouldnít replace a 40+5UF with a 45+5 UF.  I also see that the dual capacitor sells for around $20, not $250.  And I read that itís a common scam for some unscrupulous AC techs to carry an old capacitor in their truck which they say they took out of your AC unit, and then they replace it with the one that was actually in there.

In your opinion, was I scammed and/or ripped off, and is it safe to replace a 40+5UF with a 45+5UF dual capacitor?

Thanks,
Lee

Answer
Unfortunately there are bad apples out there that do scam people. It happens in all of the service trades, not just HVAC.   Some places pay commissions.  So, it is in their favor to sell parts and work, though you may not be scammed when that happens.  If I had to guess, most simple calls run around $250.  It is an expensive trade to run so service calls are not cheap.  

It is however, very important the correct size run cap be used!  Using the wrong size, in all likelihood,  will result an early failure of the motor.  Higher or lower does not matter.  If it calls for a 40, then a 40 MUST BE USED!  The manufactures spend hours and money to determine the correct run cap for every motor.  It sounds like you will be making a call to the company's service manager.

Craig  

Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC

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Craig HVAC Expert

Expertise

I have been in the HVAC field for the past 18 years. I can help with most HVAC questions. I work on commerical buildings for the most part, and have yet to find anything I could not troubleshoot and repair, when repairable. I work on small 1 ton units to a 2500 ton chiller. Troubleshoot air flow, elect, and control problems. I attend regular classes to keep up with the latest and greatest.

Experience

I work on commerical sites, hospitals, gov't buildings. I can troubleshoot just about anything in the HVAC business.

Education/Credentials
5 years trade school, VFD training classes, Liebert factory training, some York and Trane factory training.

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