What To Check When Replacing A Compressor?

Replacing a compressor is quite an expensive. Therefore when a technician replaces it, he should take enough care so that the new one is not doomed to breakdown within a short period. A compressor is damaged to due to various factors. The main ones are –

• liquid slugging
• Motor burnout


When the evaporator coil becomes inefficient disabling the refrigerant to absorb sufficient heat from the room air, the refrigerant does not get vaporized. This can also be caused by dirty filters. The refrigerant in liquid form reaches the compressor. It also gets mixed with the lubricating oil. Liquid refrigerant tends to ping and degrade the compressor motor insulation in due course, resulting in a motor failure. It can push the compressor oil out of the compressor and into the system resulting in a lubrication breakdown. The compressor in such cases will malfunction or stop completely within days. Liquid refrigerant in more severe cases can cause the connecting rods and crankshaft to break into pieces.

A compressor burn out is usually caused by poor maintenance or an electrical event such as a power surge. However formation of acids in the system due to chemical reaction between moisture that enters it and the various components and lubricating oil present in the system can also cause a burnout. Eventually, these acids eat away at the compressor and system parts. If this has been the cause of burned compressor, then it is not enough just to replace the damaged unit. The technician has to ensure that acids have been completely eliminated from the system through clean-ups. They usually use liquid and suction line filter dryers to drain away the last bit of acid in the unit. In case of severe burn- out, the liquid line dryer should be replaced. It is also wise to install a suction accumulator that protects the compressor from flooding in the event of a faulty evaporator.

A technician should always diagnose the cause of compressor failure. Determining the cause will tell him whether the compressor needs replacing or replacing just part of it will resolve the problem. It is faster an inexpensive to replace a valve plate than it is to replace an entire compressor.

Retrofit Situations

There could be situations where the model of the compressor is not available any more. Or in other circumstances, the technician may want to upgrade the system to a different model, brand, or compressor type. There are few options in retrofit conversion-

• You may just change the brand in same type of compressor

• You may change the compressor type such as reciprocating to a screw compressor, scroll to a reciprocating compressor, or reciprocating to a scroll compressor and so on.

• You should determine that if changing compressor type will also require changing the oil type

• You should also take a look at the shape of the new compressor to confirm that it will be accommodated in the system.

• Sometimes the controller needs to be changed in a retrofit conversion. It is wise to follow the manufacturer’s instruction when changing compressor.

• In case of screw compressor that oil should be changed after several days of operation to keep the oil quality perfect.

Hire a good HVAC technician to replace compressor. It is a vital and complicated part. Any error here and there can do severe damage to the system.

 

 

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