How Can You Replace an AC Compressor?

No matter the brand or how well you maintain your air conditioning system, the compressor will eventually need to be replaced. If your air conditioner is having problems and you have narrowed it down to a bad compressor, you can replace it following the steps below. A compressor works by compressing refrigerant gas and then sending it to a condenser where the gas is cooled and turned into a liquid.

The gas can be cooled by immersing the coil in water or by a fan. 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.

The following items will need to be replaced on the compressor:

  • New compressor
  • Basic hand tools such as wrenches, screwdrivers, ratchet, and pliers
  • Refrigerant recovery tank
  • Equipment to recover and charge system
  • Refrigerant
  • Torch

Replacing Compressor

Identify type- There are numerous types of compressors so it is very important to ensure that you have to correct type before performing this job. The correct part number and type can be found in the unit or the old compressor. Turn off power- Before doing any work on the system it is critical to remove all power from the unit to prevent serious injury or death.

The power switch and circuit breakers are usually near the unit. In addition, you may have breakers in your main breaker panel.

Remove refrigerant – An air conditioning system is under high pressure at all times so it is important to remove relieve the pressure by removing all of the refrigerants. Keep in mind that in most cases you are required to be certified to remove or install refrigerant.

The recovered refrigerant must be stored in an approved tank and not released into the air.

Cut lines – Cut the refrigerant lines on the compressor and disconnect the electrical connector.

Remove compressor – Unbolt the compressor and remove it from the unit.

Install new compressor- Bolt in the new compressor and connect the electrical connector. The refrigerant lines will also have to be brazed to the compressor.

Assemble – Assemble the condenser unit and charge the system with the recovered refrigerant.

For additional information or help with your air conditioning system call us today at 408-295-2182.