Can you re-charge a compressor?

rny1gwJuly 29, 2012


here's the problem: a goodman compressor was cut free and moved for a renovation project. it's been sitting on the lawn for about a month. the project has moved along, and it's time to move the compressor back, re-connect, and hopefully re-charge with R22.

i'm told that a compressor sitting unconnected cannot be re-used. it ...gets gook inside the compressor...

so, my question: is this true? the compressor cannot be cleaned out and re-connected/re-charged? the unit has worked perfectly before the disconnect.

the overall project is a tad above budget. replacing a whole compressor puts us more in the red.

if there is a process to prep the compressor i'd sure like to know about it.

thanks for any advice,


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I think you mean condenser and not compressor.

The answer to your question is maybe. The problem is moisture may have gotten into the system. Did an HVAC tech disconnect it or did you do it yourself? The valves on the condenser need to be closed in order to keep the moisture out.

How old is this condenser and the coil? Reconnecting an old condenser and pulling the vacuum and recharging it may cause a leak. I tried doing this with an a condenser I had temporaily disconnected. It worked fine when first reconnected, but it developed a leak. The HVAC contractor warned me this could happen.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 11:22AM
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aha - and good grief.

ok, i didn't do it; it was done when i was away by the guys extending the foundation.
i can check if the valves were secured shut (i can hope, right?).
the unit is 15yrs old, a Goodman with 13seer rating running r22. i don't know if 16seer is worth the money; and i hear that changing to a replacement using r410 might require new copper tubing, etc. etc. and maybe a new coil on the furnace?

now i'm in for a big bill.

thanks mike, i appreciate the feedback. at least i wasn't being led astray by the feedback i got.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 11:38AM
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HVAC is not my trade. The failure to immediately cover all the cut tubing ends with caps or with tape is a clue that the workers are amateurs. Small insects love those tubes. Reinstalling, evacuating and charging the system is the only way to know if it is usable. And even if it works, how many more years of service can you expect from it?
15 years old and 13 seer? I have my doubts about 13 seer.
I probably would start over with new equipment.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 7:59AM
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My guess is that it's ok. I'd hook it up triple evacuate and it should be good to go. You'll never know unless you try.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 8:35AM
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"I think you mean condenser and not compressor. "

Most split systems contain both in the same outside housing.

You see the condenser coils, the compressor is inside the unit.

Neither do well if not sealed from the atmosphere, but a condenser can be cleaned out a lot easier than the compressor.

Even if you can get it up and running, it is likely to have a short life.

It is going to take a long time (days) to pull all the moisture out of the equipment (vacuum pump).

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 1:04PM
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