While our customers are wholesalers, Packard knows that you, the contractor, have a choice. You are often presented with many buying options, and being well-informed about your purchase can help make your job easier and more successful.
This is why we have dedicated a section of our site for contractors. In this section, you will find helpful product tips, tools and some clips from our training classes. We’ve also provided a distributor locator so you can find the nearest wholesaler who can give you access to Packard products.
What does the information on the capacitor nameplate mean?
The capacitor nameplate identifies characteristics of the capacitor. Let’s examine the information on the capacitor shown below.
In the example shown, the first three lines on the nameplate identify the brand name, the type of capacitor, and the part number.
The next line identifies the capacitor rating. In this case the 35+5 indicates that it is a dual value capacitor. It has two capacitance values. It is a 35 microfarad (MFD or µF) capacitor and a 5 MFD. When connected on common (C) and hermetic (H) it is a 35 MFD capacitor. The higher value is typically used with the compressor. When connected on common (C) and fan (F) it is a 5 MFD capacitor. The lower value is typically used for the condenser fan motor. The +/- 5% is a manufacturer’s tolerance. This tolerance indicates that if the capacitance is measured from the common terminal (C) to the hermetic terminal (H), the manufacturer guarantees that it will be no lower than 33.25 MFD or no higher than 36.75 MFD. If the capacitance is measured from the common terminal (C) to the fan terminal (F), the manufacturer guarantees that it will be no lower than 4.75 MFD or no higher than 5.25 MFD. The MFD rating of the capacitor applied to a motor should always match the MFD rating on the nameplate of the motor.
The voltage and frequency ratings are shown on the next line. A capacitor having a voltage rating higher than the capacitor voltage identified on the motor nameplate can always be used. If the motor calls for a 370 volt capacitor, a capacitor with a voltage rating higher than that can be used. In this example, the capacitor is rated 440/370 volts. It can be used for motors calling for a capacitor rated up to 440 volts. The 370 volt rating on the capacitor nameplate is shown to assure the technician that it can be used with motors calling for 370 volt capacitors as well. Realize that the capacitor volts may not match the line voltage going to the motor.
The 60/50 HZ indicates that the capacitor can be operated on a frequency of either 60 or 50 cycles.
Typically, the expected life of the capacitor is not shown on the nameplate. However, life expectancy is usually shown in the manufacturer’s literature. In the case of the example, it’s expected life is 60,000 hours. This is where the “Rated to 70°C” comes into play. If the case temperature of this capacitor is 70°C (158°F) and the capacitor volts are at or below its rating, the expected life of the capacitor is 60,000 hours. A rule of thumb is if the case temperature of the capacitor changes by 10°C (18°F), life is impacted by 50%. The higher the capacitor case temperature, the shorter the life. Life is extended if the capacitor case temperature is reduced.
Protected 10,000 AFC identifies the electrical protection within the capacitor. Available fault current (AFC) is the highest electric current that the capacitor can withstand in a short-circuit condition.
RoHS Compliant and No-PCB indicate that certain hazardous materials are not used in the capacitor.
The backward RU symbol is an indication that the capacitor has met certain standards established by Underwriters Laboratory for the product’s performance and safety. The “C” and the “US” signify that both Canadian and United States standards have been met.
The remaining information is manufacturing related.
There are a number of characteristics that must be considered when selecting the proper capacitor for a motor. For peak motor and capacitor life, as well as optimum system performance, the correct capacitor must be used.
Packard has developed a complete HVACR critical components training program, which has received approval by North American Training Excellence (NATE) - the leading certification program for HVACR technician, and the only test approved by the entire industry. Below are some video excerpts from our instructor led training courses which we hold at Wholesaler locations nationwide.
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