The light works on my ceiling fan, but the fan does not. My brief research suggested that I check the capacitor. I disassembled the unit, and I find two things in there that look similar--one being a bit smaller than the other. Neither one exhibits the bubbling/melting that suggests that it's been blown.

I've attached a picture that shows both. Can anyone help me identify what they are? (The larger unit has four wires--grey, pink, and 2 yellows--and the smaller has three wires--red and 2 whites.)

Also, if they both look OK, does it pay to replace them to see if that solves the problem? Or is it time for a new fan? (We moved into this house in June, and I don't think we've ever turned the fan on. The first time we tried, the chain on the pull switch broke, and I just got around to replacing that pull switch. That's when I found that the fan doesn't work.)

Many thanks!

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  • I have the same problem. Were you able to figure it out? I kind of think that 4L is a some other number, rather than inductance value.
    – abq476
    Commented Oct 23, 2020 at 20:06

2 Answers 2


They are capacitors made by Seika to be compact to fit into enclosed spaces. Testing caps is very easy

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You have to be careful when dealing with caps because they are essentially quick charge/discharge batteries and are capable of giving you a zap with the power off. The the resistor on the diagram of the cap indicates that it discharges itself when the power is off, but it's still best to be cautious. If you test and it fails they are available for replacement.

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This is an example of one on Amazon, however this is a triple cap. And to clarify the second one is also a capacitor, it's a 4 micro farad run capacitor.

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  • 1
    The screen shots are highly annoying and too large. Can you post normal photographs and resize them so they are not so big. (or links) Please.
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Oct 23, 2020 at 20:16

This question was asked a long time ago and hasn't had (good) answers for a while either, but since this may help someone stumbling across this question and having the same issue, here's how I fixed my ceiling fan.

The key is, not all pull chain switches are created equal. In addition to the simple on/off chains (used for lights), there are at least 2 types of 3-speed fan controllers, likely made to be used with different types of run capacitors. In super simple terms, the capacitors change the electrical wave to create magnetic opposition in the fan motor, and different capacitance creates the different speeds. So the capacitor module is actually a few capacitors designed to run with different total capacitance and drive the motor at 3 speeds.

The 3-speed switch therefore will either rotate between 3 different wires of output (O-1, O-2, O-3) which each connect to progressively lower separate capacitor channels (slower speeds) or it will change outputs in combination (O-1, O-2, O-1 + O-2) where capacitors run in parallel one at a time and then both together.

With some pretty simple electrical equipment (voltmeter + alligator clips and some spare wire) you can check which type of 3-way switch you have. The capacitor shown in OP looks like it needs the second (combination) type of switch to achieve 3 speeds since it doesn't have 3 capacitors in the package. So it might not be the capacitor that's dead, but the wrong type of switch is used.

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