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HVAC School - For Techs, By Techs

Apr 14, 2022

In this podcast, Bryan goes through the entire process of replacing a compressor step-by-step. This process is what the Kalos team uses to replace a failed compressor and make sure it doesn’t fail again.

Before replacing a compressor, you must figure out how the compressor failed; grounded conditions often lead to acid, so it’s a good idea to test for acid and see if you need to address a burnout. In any case, make sure you have the correct tools for the job (including a compatible replacement compressor).

When you arrive at the job site, be sure to confirm the diagnosis and check to see if the unit has a hard start kit. That’s also the time to do a visual inspection, checking airflow as well as the filter, blower, and coil cleanliness. Recover and weigh out the refrigerant charge.

Unscrew the foot bolts and lift the old compressor out. Then, seal the compressor once it’s out. If you’re dealing with burnout, clean out or replace the accumulator (you will install/reinstall it shortly). Cut out and replace the existing liquid line drier and install a suction drier in a place where it can be easily removed.  

When piping in the new compressor, make sure you protect heat-sensitive parts and do a quality brazing job. Install the new capacitor and hard start kit, too, keeping wiring away from places where it may chafe.

Test for leaks, evacuate the system, charge the system, and check your five pillars as well as voltage. Finish by cleaning the drain and double-checking airflow.

Bryan also covers:

  • Misdiagnosed compressor failure
  • Parts needed for replacing a compressor
  • What makes a compatible replacement compressor?
  • Billing and pricing
  • Alloys and fluxes
  • Replacing TXVs, capacitors, contactors, and reversing valves
  • Cutting vs. unsweating 
  • Suction driers and pressure drop
  • Charging considerations


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