How To Check If You Have Bad Reed Valves In Your Compressor?
Reed valves are considered as crucial components to the air conditioning systems of passenger cars. You have to make sure that these components are working flawlessly all the time. They should open and close without any squeaks or unwanted noise or else you should take it as a sign that they will need repair or replacement. If you take care of these components properly then they are sure to last for years without needing any maintenance.
Just like other components in you’re A/C compressor, there will come a time when bad reed valves can be a problem. This problem should be diagnosed right away. Here is how you can check if you have bad reed valves in your compressor.
Know What’s Causing the Problem
An aging compressor is not the only cause for a reed valve gone bad. More specific reasons include refrigerant flooding problems, an overheating A/C compressor, and the slugging of oil or refrigerant on the compressor. When acids or sludge or even both are present on the system, expect that parts will deteriorate and reed valves will not be exempted. Any loss in lubrication, which means the compressor is too low in oil, will also compromise this vital component.
How about the Symptoms?
The causes mentioned above are among the few causes that can be associated with other parts of the A/C compressor, not just the reed valves. Therefore, it is not enough to say that when these causes are present then the reed valves are also compromised. Noting some symptoms will help establish that there is indeed something wrong with the valves.
Among the most common symptoms that show a bad reed valve include low amp draw, an occurrence of normal to high superheats as well as normal to high sub-cooling, and a discharge temperature that is higher than normal. Also, when there are low condensing temperatures and pressures then something is wrong with the valve too. When suction pressures on the evaporator get high also then you should take that as a sign too that you have a bad reed valve in your compressor.
More on Symptoms of Bad Reed Valves
A principle worth taking note of to conclude that the reed valves are bad is the combination of a low condensing head pressure at the same time a high suction or evaporating pressure. Basically, a low head or condensing pressure takes place when discharge gases on the compressor are short cycled. From here, the compressor will have a lower refrigerant level which was mentioned as one of the causes of a bad reed valve. When this happens, heat loading on the condenser will be reduced and will eventually result to low condensing pressure as well.
On the other hand, there is also a chance that compressors will have a stroke down. Refrigerant vapor will be drawn from that of the suction line which will then go to the cylinder of the compressor. There will come a time in this regular process when an upstroke instead of a stroke down will take place. This is that event when the refrigerant will go back to the suction line because the suction valves are no longer functioning properly. When this happens, higher suction pressure will become inevitable.
If you think something is wrong with your reed valves, it is time to have your compressor checked. Never hesitate to ask the help of experts in this regard.