Similar to the human heart, the refrigeration compressor needs to be properly maintained and requires periodic inspection and testing. Unfortunately, the compressor is often ignored until it malfunctions or stops running altogether, at which time it gets replaced and the system is back up and running - temporarily. Oftentimes the culprit is not the compressor, but a system failure or design problem with accessory equipment which killed the compressor prematurely.
This article describes how to troubleshoot a compressor and the associated problems that can cause a system to fail prematurely. We will discuss the proper methods of diagnosing and repairing system problems, rather than just their symptoms.