Why Might a Compressor Fail

A few reasons why a compressor might fail:

  • Electrical problems – which is a major cause of compressor failure – including: faulty wiring done by the technician improperly wiring the compressor, low voltage, a bad or incorrectly-sized capacitor, compressor short-cycling or motor overload.
  • Liquid flooding is liquid returning to the compressor while it is still running. Liquid droplets dilute the oil, which prevents the parts of the compressor from being properly lubricated, which in turn leads to wear of parts and overheating. Slugging is the return of a mass of liquid, usually refrigerant and/oil. Compressors cannot compress liquids and will lead to a broken compentant usually if slugging occurs. To prevent liquid flooding/flooback and slugging, an accumulator can used. It will act as a reservoir, keeping liquid from entering the compressor.
  • Lack of oil, which as mention can be caused from liquid floodback, results in wear of the compressor, which will cause overheating and the compressor to seize up. Some reasons why the compressor isn’t properly oiled include: the gas velocity being too small to pick up the oil, a lack of refrigerant in the system, an oversized suction line, short-cycling or a blockage in the system.
  • Improper control settings can lead to the overheating of the system.
  • The only things allowed inside a refrigeration system is oil and refrigerant. Anything besides these is considered a contaminant, including air, scale, moisture or any kind of dirt. Contaminants can lead to system failure, so make sure that the system is clean and there is nothing besides oil and refrigerant in there, and even then, make sure those are at proper levels and not going into the wrong place.

Contact us today if you’re having troubles with your system’s compressor, and we’ll be sure to check it out for you.

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