Top Problems with Aftermarket Compressors

Most residences spend approximately $300 on air conditioning each year. Excessive use and subpar parts can cause these systems to break down faster. When making residential repairs, an HVAC technician may come across a system that contains an aftermarket compressor. Here are the top problems with aftermarket compressors.

Air Leaks

If the HVAC compressor gauge drops after being shut off at full charge, it’s a good indicator of an air leak. To pinpoint the source, there are a couple of things that an HVAC technician can do. Applying liquid soap to the connections, pressure switch, and couplers while the compressor is unplugged can identify where the leak is at by bubbling. If that doesn’t work, inspect the tank check valve and clean or replace it if needed. Check the piston seals if compressor pressure is being lost through the oil fill tube.

Electrical Power and Motor Issues

One of the causes of electrical failure in aftermarket compressors is blown fuses and breakers. This could be caused by HVAC compressors being plugged into outlets with extension cords. Power loss may also be due to the use of aftermarket motors or HVAC motors that have been running for several years. If the tank is lugging during high pressurization, the issue is most likely the motor capacitor. If dimming compressor lights are noticed at startup, the starter capacitor may be due for a replacement.

If the breaker trips when the compressor is turned on, there may be trapped air over the pistons. Unplug the power supply and drain the tank of air after shutting it off. Inspect and clean the unloader valve. Check the pressure and the release valve if the motor won’t stop running. Other issues could be a faulty pump or gasket.

Pressure Flow Problems

One of the most common problems for aftermarket compressors is faulty airflow and pressure. This could be caused by an obstructed intake filter, a tank lacking air, or the regulator pressure set to zero. The discharge coupler may be blocking airflow because it’s fitted with the wrong hose connector.

If you need assistance with replacement parts for aftermarket compressors, there are many trusted distributors who can help you get the parts you need. Many have cross-referencing tools that can ensure you get the appropriate compressor for the make and model of the unit you’re working on.

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