HVACmarket - Compressor Replacement


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What should be included in my contractors bid for compressor replacement?

 There are many things to consider when determining whether or not you are getting a good deal in regards to repairing the heating and cooling equipment at your facility.

As the maintenance director you are responsible for maintaining the equipment and ensuring that your company is getting its moneys worth on all outside contractor work.

Most commercial business establishments today require at least 3 bids or estimates before giving a final authorization on repairing the problem. When it comes to major system repairs many contractors will cut corners to get the job. Here are a few things that should be part of any estimate in regards to compressor replacement:

  • Refrigerant recovery of all existing refrigerant per EPA regulations.
  • Prior to the recovery and bid, the contractor should check for acid contamination of refrigerant oil.
  • Removal of old liquid line dryer core.
  • Removal of failed compressor. Hermetically sealed compressors should be drained of oil properly and sealed before disposing of.
  • Installation of new compressor. NOTE: If system contained any acid from electrical or high temp failure the system should be flushed and oil of new compressor treated with an acid neutralizer. 
  • Installation of new liquid line dryer. NOTE: If system contained acid or high levels of contaminates quote/bid should allow for a return visit after equipment has been running for another dryer change out. 
  • Pressurize system with dry nitrogen to test for any leaks, followed by purging with nitrogen. 
  • Vacuum should be pulled per manufacturers directions to evacuate the system of non condensibles such as water. Not all manufacturers require system to be pulled to 500microns. Some actually require much less.
  • System to be charged with virgin refrigerant and readings recorded for your records.

In short, if the above procedures are not included in the bid you have received you should not award the respective contractor with the job. Continue to request estimates until you have received a contractor that is willing to do the job right for a competitive price.

Lastly, make sure to periodically check in with the service technician as work is being performed to ensure no steps have been left out or skipped.