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Failure in Progress #124212
09/04/06 07:14 AM
09/04/06 07:14 AM
electure  Offline
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,279
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:


[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Tools for Electricians:
Re: Failure in Progress #124213
09/04/06 07:20 AM
09/04/06 07:20 AM
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
Nothing wrong here, that is just supplemental heating. [Linked Image]

Great picture Adam thanks for sending it. [Linked Image]

I assume you had your PPE on? [Linked Image]

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Re: Failure in Progress #124214
09/04/06 08:55 AM
09/04/06 08:55 AM
mamills  Offline
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 745
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)

Re: Failure in Progress #124215
09/04/06 09:18 AM
09/04/06 09:18 AM
steve ancient apprentice  Offline
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 169
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,

Re: Failure in Progress #124216
09/04/06 11:07 AM
09/04/06 11:07 AM
Rewired  Offline
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 558
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 [Linked Image]

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! [Linked Image]


Re: Failure in Progress #124217
09/04/06 05:03 PM
09/04/06 05:03 PM
Wizzie Electric  Offline
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 69
Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, Can...
I uh ya (speechless)

Re: Failure in Progress #124218
09/04/06 10:46 PM
09/04/06 10:46 PM
NORCAL  Offline
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 882
It have that Canadian favorite, (FPE) AKA Federal-Pioneer "protecting" it?

Re: Failure in Progress #124219
09/05/06 12:37 AM
09/05/06 12:37 AM
RODALCO  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 857
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.
Re: Failure in Progress #124220
09/05/06 03:29 AM
09/05/06 03:29 AM
Luketrician  Offline
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 272
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.

Re: Failure in Progress #124221
09/05/06 11:48 PM
09/05/06 11:48 PM
napervillesoundtech  Offline
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 144
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

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