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The capacitor needs replacement. While it is possible there is a circuitry problem causing the capacitor to overheat (and thus fail like this), it is also possible it was simply time for this electrolytic capacitor to fail while nothing else is wrong. See this photo for a similar failure mode.


If the a/c runs for the better part of an hour, it is almost certainly not a short circuit. More likely, the air conditioner is slightly overloading the circuit. Or possibly the circuit breaker has "derated itself." Fix the latter by replacing the circuit breaker. Always choose a replacement circuit breaker based on the wire capacity, not the devices ...

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