How To Diagnose a Bad Air Conditioning Compressor

How To Diagnose a Bad Air Conditioning Compressor

Troubleshooting your system for a bad air conditioner compressor isn’t always easy. In fact, even some professionals misdiagnose units as having a bad compressor. This is a common misdiagnosis made by professionals in the industry. This is why it’s important to go with a renowned company with highly-trained professionals. You don’t want to end up paying money to repair something that isn’t broken, so getting the diagnosis right is important.

If you do find out that you have a bad air conditioner compressor and your system is no longer under warranty, then see if cost for the compressor replacement is more than half the price of a new system. If so, then you would be better off having the entire AC unit replaced. If not, before you have the bad compressor replaced, make sure that the root of the problem is found. Without knowing, you could end up with another compressor failure.

You’ll find that there are a variety of compressors found in different air conditioning systems. In window units, the compressors are called rotary, which are known to be affordable and durable. Reciprocating compressors are what’s commonly found in the lower efficiency split ACs. These aren’t as durable, but are also affordable. If you have a higher efficiency AC, then it’s likely that you have a scroll compressor, which is high in efficiency, durability and price. The latest models may be using the latest innovation in compressors, known as variable speed compressors or inverter drives. These are typically found in top-of-the-line models with high efficiency and are the most expensive.

When diagnosing your system for a bad air conditioner compressor, you will need certain tools and know-how to complete the task. Again, it’s best left up to the experts who know exactly what to do. A basic multimete is needed in order to measure resistance in the system. But first, the power has to be shut off. Afterward, the terminal cover is removed to determine if the wiring ad terminals are damaged.

When checking the terminals, if the resistance is significantly higher, then touch the compressor to see if it is hot. If so, then this means that the internal overload is open. This will need to cool off before moving on. However, if the unit is cool, then it’s likely the motor that is bad. Next, resistance readings will have to be taken from each of the terminals to the compressor’s body. When low resistance levels are being read, then the motor is grounded and the compressor is bad and needs replacing.

On the other hand, if the compressor motor doesn’t seem to be bad, then it’s best to check the capacitors. This is especially so if the breaker or fuse trips, which can mean a mechanical issue.

Once you know that you have a bad air conditioner compressor, you’ll need to contact a licensed professional to come and diagnose then repair your unit. You can contact our office to get a free quote and to schedule an appointment.

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