Hvac Compressor Troubleshooting

The compressor of an air conditioning system can almost be compared with the human heart. The symptoms of burnt and faulty compressors are many- noisy appliance, hard starting, or lost cooling capacity. Before we look into the problems that a compressor can cause let us first understand the job of a compressor in the air conditioner unit. The task of compressor motor is to pump the refrigerant gas from the evaporator into the compressor. Here the gas is further compressed to increase its pressure as well as temperature. In order to keep your compressor at the height of its efficiency you should have a maintenance contract for your unit.

Begin with simple checks

If the operation of your AC gives you a feel that the compressor is failing or will go out of operation before long, then start troubleshooting with some simple steps. To begin with, check if the unit is plugged to a working electric panel. Also check if the main circuit breaker to which the panel is connected is ON. Ensure that the control settings are at the optimal limit. This includes the thermostat. Finally, check the other components like the air filter, duct work, and blower fans. If you feel that any of these components are defective then start your investigation in that direction.

If your AC is not cooling properly

There could be many reasons for this. But one of the reasons is an defective compressor. In such a case the issue stems from an inability to maintain correct pressure in the compressor. If the pressure discharge is too high or low, either of these is a bad symptom for a compressor. You can ratify the unusual pressure discharge by checking the pressure gauges on your unit. This will need professional intervention. The technician will ask you for the manual of the gadget. The manual can tell you precisely about what should be the reading on the pressure gauges, when the unit is functioning at its best. If there is a problem in the pressure level, a technician is the best person to correct it.

If the air conditioner is not cooling then it can be due to a worn compressor too. With aging, the efficiency of the compressor goes down. In such a case the compressor will run but limited cooling will be delivered by the unit. It is the result of a normal wear and tear and requires replacement. You can also install or replace gauge ports on the compressor.

Burnt Compressor

This is a grave issue. This happens when the there is an electrical problem in the machine. To do this you will need a basic multi center to measure resistance. It is always better to have a technician to carry out this task. The ideal way is to plug of the unit from power panel. Verify with the meter that there is no power present in the unit. Now you need to examine if the wires and the terminals are not damaged. A typical unit will have three terminals labelled C, R, and S. Check for resistance with the multimedia. If the resistance is too high then check if the compressor is hot. If the unit is hot, the internal overload is open. In case the unit is cool, the motor is defective. There is a reset button on the motor. If there is a fault it will pop out.

If the resistance reading is low, the motor is grounded and the compressor needs replacing. Sometimes the valve of compressor could be broken which results in liquid refrigerant coming to it instead of vapors gas. This problem has no other solution but replacement.

Compressor Stutters

This is commonly referred as hard starting. This could originate due to a blown fuse or some minor wiring problem that needs to be looked onto. It can also result due to aging of the compressor. The best way to remedy the situation is to use special capacitors called hard start capacitors. These are designed for this situation. They have a capacitor and a built in relay. They render your compressor an extra starting torque. The relay disconnects the capacitor once the compressor starts. They are quite reasonably-priced and can extend the life of you captor by several years.

When troubleshooting compressor problems, also take a look into the condenser fans. Ensure both fan and the motor are functioning properly. Sometime problem in the fan motor can affect the compressor.

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