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  1. #1

    Confused How to determine if your Compressor is Working Correctly?

    Is there a way that one (homeowner or HVAC Professional) could determine if one's AC Compressor is working correctly (outside unit). I just had an HVAC contractor replace my Evaporative Coil inside the Air Handler (inside Unit). He pressure tested it for leaks with nitrogen, filled the system with brand new R-22 Freon and then tested the AC. Though there is colder air (65 degree F) coming out of the registers, the suction line does not get cold (to the touch). My other AC unit's (which works really well) suction line gets really cold, and even sweats since it is so cold. The contractor mentioned that the compressor or pump may not be operating properly. He told me to shut off the AC for a few hours and turn it on again. I did that. The suction line is still not cold. Is there a definitive way that a homeowner or HVAC Professional can determine if the compressor/pump is working properly?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Levittown, PA
    Posts
    818
    Homeowner no, a pro will be able to determine if your compressor is operating properly. That's what we do, if your guy say's he can't tell or you feel uneasy about it get a second opinion.

    Why was the coil replaced in the first place??
    Last edited by sparks; 07-02-2008 at 11:19 PM.
    Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things!

  3. #3

    Uneasy about contractor's assessment of compressor

    When the contractor that replaced the coil started up the AC system and touched the suction line (with his hand), he just commented that he thought the compressor may not be working properly. He was convinced that there was no leak in the system, and that he did a good suction of the system prior to filling the system with brand new R-22 Freon, but was disappointed that the suction line was not cold.
    The coil was replaced because the Freon level was low (for a second year - I had it topped off at the start of last summer too). I had two HVAC professionals (separately) come out and pin point a leak at the coil. So I had the coil replaced.
    I'm concerned that the compressor may not be working properly because the (Westinghouse, 12 SEER, 2 Ton) AC unit is unable to cool down the (bedroom) zone properly. It can take upwards of 6 hours to have the unit cool down 4 degrees. My other larger (Carrier) AC unit can cool down the rest my home (DR, KIT, LR, FM, Office, Large Playroom) very quickly...cooling down 4 degrees in less than an hour.
    I'm looking for an HVAC Professional that can use some tools, meters, etc to make a definitive determination on whether my Compressor is working properly, so I can know whether I need to replace it or not.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    mesa arizona
    Posts
    309

    Thumbs up hey

    easy thing check amp draw on ur compressor each leg look at nameplate for fla and u cna dtermine if the compressor is workign properly

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,171
    Bet he just put in the coil, without putting in the proper metering device.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Levittown, PA
    Posts
    818
    Anyone that walks up, touch's the suction line and say's the compressor isn't working right is a hack! Plain and simple. Keep looking, you need to find another contractor that will use his tools to diagnose your system.
    Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Levittown, PA
    Posts
    818
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Bet he just put in the coil, without putting in the proper metering device.
    More likely than not.
    Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Levittown, PA
    Posts
    818
    Quote Originally Posted by raidersfan7 View Post
    easy thing check amp draw on ur compressor each leg look at nameplate for fla and u cna dtermine if the compressor is workign properly
    Dude, im not trying to be a *ick but that just tells you the motor is running. It doesn’t tell you anything about compression ratio or efficiency.
    Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    mesa arizona
    Posts
    309

    Thumbs up hi

    compressor ratio like 3 to 1 huh

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    mesa arizona
    Posts
    309

    Hmm hey

    whats the formula again for compress ratio i forgot learned that in schoool..tooo mucn arizona heat burning my brain up

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    6,326
    Sorry but with 37-years in this trade I can tell more with my hand than most can with all of the gauges and meters. That is not saying I do not have or use them to verify what I discern with my hand.

    With the proper tools, a tech can determine exactly what a compressor is doing and diagnosis the problem.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    mesa arizona
    Posts
    309

    HI

    U Got That Right.......ie Plugged Filter Drier Or Bad Rvr Valve The Just Feel And Temp.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Levittown, PA
    Posts
    818
    Quote Originally Posted by classical View Post
    Sorry but with 37-years in this trade I can tell more with my hand than most can with all of the gauges and meters. That is not saying I do not have or use them to verify what I discern with my hand.

    With the proper tools, a tech can determine exactly what a compressor is doing and diagnosis the problem.

    I agree, completely. I use my hand to get an idea of whats going on but always use my thermometers, gauges and meters to diagnose.

    raidersfan7: E-mail me or post that question on the tech forum and I'll answer it.
    Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things!

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