With the record setting temperatures of this summer season, every AC system is being strained to the limit. This fact is especially true for the circulatory portion of the system, the AC condenser. There are a number of ways that an AC condenser can stop working properly. Most times the fix is relatively easy for either the homeowner or a professional AC technician. In rare cases, however, an AC condenser can experience a catastrophic failure and must be replaced.
A Word of Caution
The replacement of an AC condenser is a fairly straightforward task. But it does require some technical skill such as the ability to “sweat“ pipes and some specialized equipment. If you are even slightly unsure of the procedure, it will be more economical in the long run to hire an HVAC professional.
Removing the Old AC Condenser
The first step in replacing an AC condenser is to remove the refrigerant from the system. This procedure must be done with the proper equipment and in accordance with all local ordinances. Venting the refrigerant directly into the air is illegal and can result in substantial fines.
While system is venting, turn off the electrical feed and disconnect all of the electrical connections to the condenser. These include two 24 and two 120 volt connections as well as a ground wire. Next, use a pipe cutter to disconnect the copper tubing that feeds the condenser. You should be able to physically remove the condenser at his point.
Installing the New AC Condenser
Properly seat the new condenser in the old space. It is important to use the correct size condenser for your unit. Check with your local supplier to double check. Installation begins by sweating the new copper connections from the existing ones to the condenser and reconnecting the electric. Next, check for leaks and correct any problems.
Professional HVAC Technicians
This installation description is a vast oversimplification of the entire process. Installing a new condenser is only recommended for an experienced handyman or a certified HVAC technician. Professional air conditioning technicians can install an AC condenser in three to four hours and will guarantee their work. For most homeowners, it is the preferable method of installation.