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Why does a motor or compressor need a capacitor to run properly? What actually does a capacitor do?

AC parts

Hi!
Thanks for your interest in our web site! Great question! I know there are many technical variations in explaining how capacitors work. This is the way my HVAC instruction explained to us about how a run capacitor works. This is an easy understandable explanation. On alternating current (AC) the current alternates on the voltage from zero to 110 or from zero to 220 volts 60 cycles per second. The run capacitor throws a stored charge in when the voltage reaches the zero point and keeps the voltage steady instead of all the up and down voltage drops. This makes the motor or compressor run smooth and more efficient. This is easily seen on an old oscilloscope where you can see the AC current going up and down. 60 cycles per second is pretty durn fast! It is amazing! I hope this answers your question. If you have any other questions please email us anytime: support@arnoldservice.com. I hope you have a blessed day!
Sincerely, Steve Arnold

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