Repairing Guides

how to repair ac compressor

by Hailie Anderson Published 1 year ago Updated 1 year ago

Steps to fix an AC compressor.

  • Confirm that the AC system activates normally.
  • Check circuit breaker box switches.
  • Check the circuit breaker box for power to air conditioning.
  • Confirm the AC system is blowing cold air.
  • Locate the fuse box of the AC unit.
  • Remove all the refrigerant before removing the compressor.
  • Remove the receiver drier, orifice tube, and the expansion valve.
  • Flush all foreign materials from the AC system.
  • Install the new compressor, receiver drier, and orifice tube.

Full Answer

How do I troubleshoot my AC compressor?

Troubleshooting AC Compressor Problems in 5 Steps

  1. Check Fuses and Wiring Symptom: The AC turns on and off frequently. ...
  2. Check the Start Capacitor Symptom: The compressor won’t start or stops shortly after starting. Solution: The most common cause of this issues is a failed start capacitor. ...
  3. Check Refrigerant Level Symptom: The unit isn’t cooling sufficiently. ...

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How do you replace AC compressor?

  • The compressor is still under warranty such that you only need to pay for the labor cost.
  • No other major components of your AC have already failed or are likely to fail in the near future.
  • The inside unit was replaced recently.
  • Budget is tight, and you can’t be extravagant.

How to replace an AC compressor in your car?

Steps to Replace AC Compressor in Your Vehicle are:

  1. Remove the Accessories and Air Intake. As a first step, unbolt and remove the hoses or tubing in order to access the serpentine belt. ...
  2. Remove the Existing Compressor. Depending on your vehicle, the AC compressor might be in clear sight, or it could be buried under a layer of accessories and brackets ...
  3. Replace the O Ring Seals. ...

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Who rebuilds automotive AC compressors?

Houston A/C Compressor provides only the finest automotive ac replacement compressors, and hose sets. As an auto ac manufacturer we are aligned with the most professional auto air condition vendors in the industry. Allowing us to offer these auto a/c compressors at fantastic prices. WE REBUILT ANY COMPRESSOR


Can an AC compressor be repaired?

In some situations, technicians can repair your damaged compressor. However, if your compressor breaks down completely, it's often safer and more cost-effective to replace the part. Many compressors come with a ten-year warranty, allowing for easy replacement.

How much does it cost to repair the compressor for AC?

Complete AC compressor replacement cost ranges from around $800 to $2,800, so the labor portion of that bill would be between $400 to $1,600. The exception is for compressor replacement in a window unit, which averages $100 to $200. Typical labor costs run from $50 to $150 per hour.

Is it worth repairing AC compressor?

One factor to consider is whether or not your compressor itself is still under warranty. If it is, that means that you are not going to have to pay for the compressor, but only the labor required for the replacement. If this is the case, then replacing the compressor may be worth considering.

What causes an AC compressor to stop working?

Top Reasons Your AC Compressor Stopped Working Dirty condenser coils. Blocked suction lines. Low refrigerant charge. Incorrect suction line size.

How do you know if AC compressor is bad?

5 Signs & Symptoms of a Bad AC CompressorYour AC Is Making Growling, Screeching, or Clattering Noises. Electrical failures in the compressor will make your AC emit unusual clunking or rattling noises. ... You Have a Hard Time Getting Your AC to Start. ... Your AC Stops Blowing Cold Air. ... Circuit Breaker Problems. ... Diminished Airflow.

Can I replace my home AC compressor myself?

Typically, replacing a compressor should be done by a professional, but you can perform this task at home if you are competent working with your hands. Doing the job yourself can also save you a decent amount of money.

Is it better to replace compressor or whole unit?

If your compressor is still under warranty, replace only the compressor. Assuming the compressor is no longer under warranty, we recommend replacing the outside unit if one or more of the circumstances also applies: Money is really short right now and you're not sure it'll be better anytime soon.

Why is AC compressor so expensive?

If you have a large AC unit, then you can expect an expensive AC compressor. That's because this part is needed to circulate the refrigerant through the entire system. As more parts are needed for the large unit to run, replacement components will always be more costly.

How much is a new compressor?

Compressor Cost For Different Type Of Air Conditioners (Central, Mini-Split, Window)Type Of Air ConditionerPrice Of AC CompressorCentral Air Conditioner$400 – $1,900Mini-Split Air Conditioner$550 – $2,250Window Air Conditioner$120 – $225

How do I reset my AC compressor?

How to Reset an Air ConditionerPower down your AC. Start at your circuit breaker panel and flip the breaker that powers your AC. ... Find the button. Most air conditioning units are equipped with a reset button. ... Hold down the reset button for 3 to 5 seconds and then release.Restore power to your AC.

How do you troubleshoot a compressor?

6 Simple Steps to Troubleshooting a Compressor. ... Measure the Suction and Discharge Pressures. ... Check the Discharge Line Temperature. ... Record Temperatures in the Refrigerated Space. ... Perform a Compressor Valve Test. ... Checking for Compressor Electrical Motor Faults. ... Refrigerant System Problems.

Will AC fan run if compressor is bad?

Inappropriate maintenance of the AC compressor sometimes can lead to its malfunctioning. An air conditioning unit can still appear to run with a malfunctioning HVAC compressor. AC unit is equipped with a pair of fans, which still can run even in case of a malfunctioned compressor.

How to service an AC compressor when it's cold?

If the air is cold, you may need to service something other than the AC compressor. Locate the fuse box of the AC unit. Air conditioning units typically have a fuse box. Locate this mechanism along the power relay running to the unit.

What is the purpose of an AC compressor?

The purpose of a compressor is to circulate the refrigerant needed for heat exchange through the coils of the indoor and outdoor air conditioning unit. It also applies the energy to the refrigerant.

Air compressor stalling? Save money and fix it yourself

A faulty air compressor unloader valve can cause the compressor to stall out, but replacement valves are readily available and the fix is easy and inexpensive.

Replacing the unloader valve

Slap two open end wrenches on the compression fitting and loosen the nut on the air line. Pull it out of the fitting.

Required Tools for this Compressor Repair Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

Required Materials for this Compressor Repair Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

Inspect the compressor

Have a detailed look inside the compression to examine whether all the components of the compressor are working fine or not. The most common reason for compressor malfunction is due to the swollen capacitor or dead capacitor. A capacitor is an oval or cylindrical shape that is fixed inside the condenser electrical panel.

Remove wires from inside of the compressor

Make sure that you remove all the wires connected from the inside of the compressor. Before opening the lid of your compressor make sure that the circuit breaker is turned off, which if on can be of extreme danger. You can use nose pliers to hold the wires and disconnect them rather than doing it with bare hands.

Plugin your multimeter to check capacitance

Connect your multimeter to each capacitor terminal to check the readings. Make sure that the multimeter is switched to capacitor settings. The reading of the multimeter should remain 10% of the reading of the capacitor. If the rating is not as described, replace the capacitor and re-attach the condenser wires to their terminals respectively.

Check the wire connectors

Check if the wire connectors are attached properly to the terminals of compressors. Make sure the terminals don’t look worn out or burnt. If they do replace the terminals using a professional terminal repair kit with a pile of instructions on it.

Inspect the amperage

Connect your multimeter again to the terminals to check the amperage. Clamp the probe to the black wire leading to the common terminal in the compressor. Note down the maximum startup amperage and the running amperage for the condenser.

Replace the compressor cover

After you are done with checking the amperage, replace the compressor cover using a screwdriver. Make sure that you use the correct screwdriver head to avoid damage to the screws.

What are the visible parts of a heat compressor?

Furthermore, the only visible working parts on the compressor are the electrical connections and the copper discharge and suction lines. That makes it difficult to repair any compressor once a diagnosis is made to the air conditioner or heat compressor.

How many windings does an electric compressor motor have?

A compressor electric motor has two separate windings inside for the average residential air conditioner or heat pump single-phase compressors. The windings inside the compressor are the run winding and the start winding. When troubleshooting an air conditioner or heat pump compressor one should see three terminals on the outside of the compressor.

How many terminals are there on an air conditioner?

When troubleshooting an air conditioner or heat pump compressor one should see three terminals on the outside of the compressor. These three electrical terminals are called or should be labeled in some manner.

Does color matter in a scroll compressor?

In any regard, the color does not matter as all the components inside the compressor are the same. That is, a scroll compressor is a scroll compressor. There are new scroll compressors out that can unload. Other electronic scroll and rotary compressors can fully modulate.

Can a capacitor hold a charge?

Capacitors hold a charge of electricity. You can be seriously injured or worse by coming into contact with a charged capacitor. Discharge the capacitor using a properly rated resistor. When troubleshooting the electrical system of a compressor three different problems can occur with the windings of the compressor.

What to do if compressor doesn't start?

If the compressor starts but the fan doesn't, the fan motor is most likely shot. Shut off the power and remove the screws around the condenser cover. Lift the cover and remove the fan blade and motor. Reinstall the blade and secure the cover. Then repower the unit and see if the fan starts.

How often should I replace my AC contactor?

Even if your AC contactor is working, it pays to replace it every five years or so. Unscrew the old AC contactor before removing the wires. Then move the wires to the new unit ( Photo 6 ).

What is the A coil on a central air conditioner?

Central home air conditioner service systems consist of two major components: a condensing unit that sits outside your house, and the evaporator coil (often referred to as an A-coil) that sits in the plenum of your furnace or air handler. The refrigerant in the A-coil picks up the heat from your home and moves it to the outdoor condensing unit. The condensing unit fan blows outside air through the condensing coil to remove the heat. The condensing unit houses the three parts replaceable by a DIYer: the AC contactor, the start/run capacitor (s) and the condenser fan motor. The condensing unit also houses the compressor, but only a pro can replace that. The A-coil has no parts that can be serviced by a DIYer.

What does a blown fuse on a condensing unit mean?

Many disconnect blocks contain two cartridge fuses. Check them before you proceed with repairs. A blown fuse is a sign of a failing part inside the condensing unit. So don't just replace it and think you've solved the problem. Instead, replace the parts, install new fuses, and fire up the unit. If it blows again, call a pro—you've got more serious issues.

How long does it take for an AC unit to reset?

AC units and thermostats have built-in delay features when they're shut down and then repowered. The delay can be as long as 10 minutes. And, if you've subscribed to an energy-saving device from your local power utility, the unit can take even longer to reset. If you've installed the parts shown and reinstalled the disconnect block, repowered the circuit breaker, turned on the switch at the furnace, moved the thermostat to AC mode and lowered the temperature below the indoor temperature, and the unit doesn't fire up after 30 minutes, it's time to call a pro.

Do AC units have capacitors?

All air conditioning service units have at least one capacitor. The capacitor stores electricity and releases it during compressor and condenser fan startup to give both motors an extra jolt of power. And it smooths out voltage fluctuations to protect the compressor and condenser fan motor from damage.

Can capacitors degrade over time?

Capacitors can degrade slowly, providing less startup power over time. Or they can fail in an instant. Gradual capacitor failure can go unnoticed for a long time, stressing the compressor and condenser fan motor windings, resulting in their early failure.

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