In some air conditioners, the compressor is usually placed outdoors. However, for residential air conditioners, it is usually placed within the condenser. The air conditioners and compressors are usually combined into one sealed unit. The compressor has a motor that functions just like a pump, it removes hot refrigerated gas and condenses refrigerant gas making it have higher pressure and a higher temperature.
In case a compressor fails, it will not be able to maintain pressure and temperature difference leading to malfunctioning of the general air conditioner unit. Air compressor problems are caused by different problems. Here are common aircon compressor problems and their repair procedures.
The Aircon Compressor
The compressor may sometime have a symptom where it fails to run, though it could hum silently. This problem could occur when the compressor wire breaks hence stopping the running of the compressor.
If the wires of the compressor are open, it could lead to damage of the whole system. It is thus important to repair it immediately to prevent further problems. You can solve this problem by opening the compressor and checking on its wires to ensure that they are well connected and function well.
Simply put off the compressor, removing the outer cover of the compressor then identify the wires within the thermal limiter. If you find this process somewhat sophisticated, you can find help from professionals. They will be able to open the compressor and find out if terminals which allow the flow of electricity.
The compressor starts but keeps failing
At some point, the compressor may not start at all or may start for a short while but will keep failing. This problem is usually caused due to defects within the motor. The motor can get defective in different steps; it gets worn out and the insulation within the windings are removed. After this, it burns and will stop working.
Fortunately, if this happens the fuse will trip and will protect the whole motor and compressor. You can solve this problem by finding a new fuse and replacing wires that were worn out. If this does not work, it means that the motor burnt up beyond repair. If this occurs, you may have to find a new compressor replacement.
Failure of the compressor to run
Overheating of the compressor
If you are keen enough, you will notice the temperature of your compressor rising to high levels, this eventually leads to overheating. Overheating is usually caused by different problems. It can be due to poor wiring or the motor may not be functioning well. Repairing this is however quite complicated.
Unless you fully understand the whole operation of your compressor, you may want to leave this repair to skilled HVAC technicians.
Overheating and shutting down will be a different problem from simply overheating. In case this happens, you will experience alternating periods of little cooling, then no cooling whatsoever. This is usually caused by clogged coils. Clean your condenser coils severally then try to find out if this solves the problem.
If it does not solve the whole problem, you may have to install a new filter. After this, open its supply vents to ensure that there is correct airflow through the compressor’s condenser coils.
The motor does not start
As mentioned, the motor is responsible for most problems within the aircon compressor. Sometimes, the motor fails to start at all leading to a general malfunctioning of the compressor. When this happens, it is usually due to a faulty capacitor known as the start capacitor. If you understand the functioning of the compressor well, a little replacing of the failed components will do the work.
Overheating and shutting down
Compressor bearing failure (produces creaking sounds)
Though this is not very common, a bearing compressor could trigger further problems within your compressor. If not solved it could trigger problems that may cause a general failure of your unit. You can know a bearing failure has occurred since the compressor will produce creaking sounds.
These are sounds like that of a motor with bad bearing. After some time, it may lock itself up and refuse to run. The moment you hear any such sounds, make sure that you find bearing replacement for your unit. If you leave it to run for an extended time, the rotor within the motor cold wobble creating a failed short that could destroy the whole compressor.
Mechanical failure of the compressor
Your compressor could sometimes undergo a mechanical failure and fail to run completely. This happens when the compressor locks and causes a general switch off. You will know this since there will be a buzz quite loudly for some seconds and may finally shudder. If you decide to check on the compressor, you will not find any open or failed short.
In case the compressor fails this way, there are very few repair options you can consider. Replacing the whole unit will, therefore, be a viable option as long as the other parts of the air conditioners are not old. Before conducting this replacement, you have to carefully inspect the entire aircon system. This is in a bid to ensure that this problem was not induced by other parts of the conditioner.
Worn out compressor
Sometimes, the compressor could be fully worn out, old and damaged. Replacing it will solve everything. The compressor comes with a serial number and a model number on its metal plate. Note these numbers and shop for compressors with this kind of plates.
You can also replace your motor through your warranty. In case your motor malfunctions and its warranty is not expired, make sure that you first take it back to its manufacturer for a free repair or free replacement. The compressor performs the biggest role in the air conditioning process.
You should thus ensure regular maintenance to have it work in a perfect condition. Clean it regularly by removing any particles of dust that could attach to the compressor. If you experience any problems, you can troubleshoot them with the above list to return your compressor to its previous normal condition.