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  1. #1
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    How long to change out a semi hermetic compressor??

    I know this is a generic question with not a lot of detail but on average how long would you say it should take to change out a semi hermetic compressor? I do not have a lot of experience with service work but have been in sheet metal a long time and now I am in the office and I have a service guy changing one out at a local grocery store and one of my inside office guys thinks it is taking him too long. How many hours do you think it should take to change out? I had a crane there to get the old one down and the new one up. Thanks for any feedback you may have and I look forward to joining in on discussions with this community in the future.

  2. #2
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    There are a LOT of variables. If it is straight forward, I usually budget 4-8 hours.

    Couple of weeks ago did a four ton in three hours from the time I pulled up to the time I pulled away. Which included recovery, hauling everything to the roof and back down, and evacuating to below 500 microns. Took an hour to pick up the compressor (wrong order/voltage) then an hour and a half travel to the job.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBeerme View Post
    There are a LOT of variables. If it is straight forward, I usually budget 4-8 hours.

    Couple of weeks ago did a four ton in three hours from the time I pulled up to the time I pulled away. Which included recovery, hauling everything to the roof and back down, and evacuating to below 500 microns. Took an hour to pick up the compressor (wrong order/voltage) then an hour and a half travel to the job.
    Does that include removing the oil and recharging the Freon?? I believe this unit is a 15 or 20 ton. It is a bigger unit, my guy in our office said the same thing about 6-8 hours he said

  4. #4
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    Start at 4 hrs. Now add extra time for roof, burnout, access, fire guard, on and on. If you think 6 hrs that's a full day in my book.

  5. #5
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    I can do one in about 3-4 hours if it's a little "K" body coplematic for something like a 2 door reach-in freezer. If it's a big sucker like I think you might be talking about, I think planning for 2 guys for an entire day wouldn't be out of line.

    If the failure was a burn out you should also plan for return trips and more time and money for acid tests, filter drier replacements and possibly oil changes.

    This doesn't include unforeseen things that could throw a big monkey wrench into the operation such as isolation valves not holding or other problems that can't be found until the new compressor is up and running.

    Honestly, I don't deal with many big compressors like I think you might be talking about very often, so hopefully some more real techs will chime in to give more insight.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
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    No need to remove the oil on a four ton compressor. The oil goes with the compressor. But yes, from the time I pulled up, to the time I left it charged and fully functional, three hours. And, as I said there were additional hours getting parts and travel.

    If we have something like an O6D or E compressor, then we budget four hours to prep everything the day before the crane lift. Then it probably still takes a whole day the day of the crane lift to get everything done right; usually cut the second guy loose after a few hours.

    Bottom line, if you have less experience in the field, then it's going to take longer. But then that guy with less experience is also getting paid less, so it is essentially a wash in that respect.

    There's a lot of little tricks you learn along the way to make a job go smoothly. And it takes time to learn those tricks that make you better than others.


    Quote Originally Posted by jdizzle View Post
    Does that include removing the oil and recharging the Freon?? I believe this unit is a 15 or 20 ton. It is a bigger unit, my guy in our office said the same thing about 6-8 hours he said

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdizzle View Post
    I know this is a generic question with not a lot of detail but on average how long would you say it should take to change out a semi hermetic compressor? I do not have a lot of experience with service work but have been in sheet metal a long time and now I am in the office and I have a service guy changing one out at a local grocery store and one of my inside office guys thinks it is taking him too long. How many hours do you think it should take to change out? I had a crane there to get the old one down and the new one up. Thanks for any feedback you may have and I look forward to joining in on discussions with this community in the future.
    It take as much as needed. Some are quick replacement guys, will replace without validating pressure superheat or anything else. Do a quick vacuum and be out.

    I take 12 hours for a regular job on a roof.
    Get my stock on the roof (torch, recovery, vacuum pump, tank,......) lot of stuff!!

    After replacement do a nitrogen test for leak. 4 hour for startup after leaving the vacuum with microns gage all night. Polyester oil is a big sucker of humidity

    I all depend on your beliefs at that point, I'm by the book and believe faster work ain't good for nobody.

    You're tech may be taking a longer-term that the other one but if he don't get callback leave it as it is....

    Good luck

  8. #8
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    I may be replacing on a sail boat. Any guesses as to how long it should take. (If I can find out what compressor it takes)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdizzle View Post
    I know this is a generic question with not a lot of detail but on average how long would you say it should take to change out a semi hermetic compressor? I do not have a lot of experience with service work but have been in sheet metal a long time and now I am in the office and I have a service guy changing one out at a local grocery store and one of my inside office guys thinks it is taking him too long. How many hours do you think it should take to change out? I had a crane there to get the old one down and the new one up. Thanks for any feedback you may have and I look forward to joining in on discussions with this community in the future.
    Why don't you and your "inside guy" do the next one !?
    I only have to make it work till I retire.

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  11. #10
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    With out a lot more info , I would say a mechanic and helper for a full day.

  12. #11
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    How long did your inside guy say it should take to change out a 20 ton comp?
    Member of the "Work Exchange Program"
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    "Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid"
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  13. #12
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    it's never "just" a compressor change out.. after you have the system back online you need to thoroughly run test it to make sure Everything is up to snuff.. something took that compressor out and you don't want to walk away from it only to have it fail again due to the same issue
    you will attract more flies with honey than with vinegar, but you can attract the most with a dead cat

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  15. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lytning View Post
    I may be replacing on a sail boat. Any guesses as to how long it should take. (If I can find out what compressor it takes)
    Depends on how far from the parking lot the slip is that the boat is moored.

    I did one that I spent more time humping equipment than working since the customer did not seem interested in lending a hand. Cost him a pretty penny.

    Sent from my SM-N910W8 using Tapatalk

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