The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#124212 - 09/04/06 05:14 AM Failure in Progress
electure Offline


Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4226
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
From Rewired

This happened the other night while sitting on the couch at the girlfriends place... A loud buzzing sound started eminating from the A/C, ( loud enough the tenants below us heard it) and this was followed by a burning smell. Pulled the plug out of the wall and FINALLY got around to bringing it home and taking it apart today...

Figured "why not" and plugged it in just to see what the problem was exactly , with camera in hand of course, and this is what I found:


Tools for Electricians:
#124213 - 09/04/06 05:20 AM Re: Failure in Progress
iwire Offline

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
Nothing wrong here, that is just supplemental heating.

Great picture Adam thanks for sending it.

I assume you had your PPE on?
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

#124214 - 09/04/06 06:55 AM Re: Failure in Progress
mamills Offline

Registered: 11/30/01
Posts: 739
Loc: Wharton, Texas, USA
That's a great picture! Thanks for sharing it. Investigating something like this in a somewhat safer, more controlled environment can be fun, especially when you can power up from a distance. How much time had elapsed from when you turned it on until that cap blew?

Looks like a really old A/C.

Mike (mamills)

#124215 - 09/04/06 07:18 AM Re: Failure in Progress
steve ancient apprentice Offline

Registered: 03/04/05
Posts: 170
Loc: west springfield,mass
Glad you were there when this was happenning. Could have been much worse than just replaceing a ac unit. Very interesting picture. Thanks for posting it,

#124216 - 09/04/06 09:07 AM Re: Failure in Progress
Rewired Offline

Registered: 01/01/06
Posts: 567
Loc: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
I thought you would all like that picture!

Mike: Originally when it failed it was running for the entire day.. I unplugged it seconds after it started shorting out.. In those pictures though it started to arc as soon as I turned the unit on and probably went for 15-20 seconds before fizzling out, and would do no more than emit smoke whenever the compressor O/L reset itself.
It is older too I am assuming its about 15-20 years old (Kenmore) but still works not bad when its not spewing smoke and fire

Yes it could have been a lot worse but we were lucky there... Didn't have to replace the unit though... Had spare caps of the correct rating lying around. The old heap runs again!


#124217 - 09/04/06 03:03 PM Re: Failure in Progress
Wizzie Electric Offline

Registered: 01/16/06
Posts: 59
Loc: Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, Can...
I uh ya (speechless)

#124218 - 09/04/06 08:46 PM Re: Failure in Progress
NORCAL Offline

Registered: 09/25/02
Posts: 805
It have that Canadian favorite, (FPE) AKA Federal-Pioneer "protecting" it?

#124219 - 09/04/06 10:37 PM Re: Failure in Progress

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 862
Loc: Titirangi, Akld, New Zealand
Superb shots of that burning capacitor !

Many thanks for sharing it with us.
The product of rotation, excitation and flux produces electricty.

#124220 - 09/05/06 01:29 AM Re: Failure in Progress
Luketrician Offline

Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 273
Loc: Sale Creek, TN USA
Hmm I wonder if that "ol' heap" will resurface again here on ECN??? Maybe not a question of if, but when. Cool pic, btw.
Luke Clarke
Electrical Planner for TVA.

#124221 - 09/05/06 09:48 PM Re: Failure in Progress
napervillesoundtech Offline

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 144
Loc: Naperville, IL, USA
I'm glad you reapaired it instead of just throwing it out and getting a new one. Resourcefulness is good. Great pics, BTW

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals