Troubleshooting single-phase compressors requires a technician to have a proficient understanding of capacitors. The run capacitor is one of two types of capacitors that could be found on single-phase compressors.
Liquid refrigerant floodback is a compressor’s worse nightmare. Floodback will dilute the compressor’s oil with liquid refrigerant and cause foaming in the compressor’s crankcase, which causes bearing wash.
Right now, contractors and technicians probably aren’t consumed by the question of how much R-22 they'll be able to get when things start heating up this summer. But for many of them, the question is probably in the back of their minds. R-22 is a refrigerant due for eventual phaseout. According to EPA regulations, production has to be reduced by 35 percent beginning in 2004.
According to refrigerant manufacturer DuPont, HFCs “are as safe as, or safer than, the refrigerants they replace.” However, the company recommends that “Anyone working with refrigerants should always follow these safety tips.”
When News editor John Hall wrote an editorial asking readers to relate some of their more bizarre experiences in the field, service technician Terry Warner of La Crosse, Kan. answered the call. This is his trilogy of tales.