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What does the word, “Protected” mean on an air conditioner run capacitor?

troubleshooting air conditioners and heat pumps

We had this question asked this week by a potential customer and I did not know what the word, “Protected” on air conditioner run capacitors meant until I researched it on the Internet. Our customer’s question was the following:

“The AC (Carrier) in our vacation home failed and needs a replacement. The original has the word PROTECTED stamped on its metal  wall. I  found a local supplier that has a new Capacitor that has the same  spec except it does not have the PROTECTED  stamp. My question is what does Protected entail and is it an essential when replacing a Capacitor.” 
My answer: I really did not know what “Protected” meant until I started researching on the Internet and found the following answer on the HVAC Talk website. I opened a few of the capacitors that we sell and all of them say, “Protected” on them. The Titan Pro capacitors we sell say, “Protected 10,000AFC“. The following is what I found when I Googled the topic: “Its a safety rating. Some capacitors are designed so that if the cap short circuits and starts building up pressure inside the can the terminals will disconnect themselves from the internal connections to the cap plates. This opens the circuit before the can can burst or explodes.
When you see the top of a capacitor can bulged out you can see that the terminals and plates inside the capacitor have pulled away from the plate connections in the can.  I think circuit breakers carry the same ratings…..”

I would think that it is important to have a capacitor that has “protected” on it so it does not damage your equipment. If a capacitor is not protected then it could short out and damage other controls in an air conditioning system which could be very costly. All of the capacitors that we sell have “Protected” stamped on the body of the capacitor. We sell many different capacitors on the following page: Please click here to see the capacitors we sell. Thank you so very much for asking this question! This was a learning experience for me! Thanks! Steve Arnold
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