How to Repair a Rusted Residential Heat Pump

What You'll Need
Rust remover
Steel brush
Steel wool

Learning how to repair your own residential heat pump is a valuable skill that all homeowners must possess. You will be using your heat pump around the clock for years to come. Because of this, expect that your heat pump should have some kinks and malfunctions over time. Your heat pump is also susceptible to rust like most of your other appliances. But what’s so annoying about rust is that it can affect the performance of your heat pump.

Step 1 – Observe Your Heat Pump for Kinks

There are a few symptoms which could indicate that you have a rusted heat pump. If you hear rattling noises, the cover panels on your heat pump must be on too loose. If your pump screws have rusted to the point of rotting, this may be the reason why it’s not as tight as it should be. Or, if it’s not as cold as it’s supposed to be, it could be that the cooling agent is leaking due to another rotting screw.

Step 2 – Replace Rusted Bolts and Nuts

It becomes quite difficult to remove screws and bolts when they have already rusted away. To make the job easier, apply oil all over the screws and bolts and let it sit for quite some time. Overnight would be much preferable.  Sometimes, oil is all you need to be able to twist the screws and bolts free. And then wrench out the nuts or bolts using short sharp turns to effectively loosen the parts off.

Step 3 – Search for Leaks and Corrosion

The most usual cause of leaks is corrosion. Rust buildup in your heat pump can severely compromise the structure of your heat pump and make it more prone to leaks. However, if you spot the problem earlier, repairing it won’t actually be that difficult. You should be on a look out for wet spots. These wet spots often have rust build up with the existence of green or white mineral salts. These wet spots, which indicate internal leak, can only be visible through time. Surface rusts are generally easier to detect than wet spots.

Step 4 – Choose an Appropriate Rust Remover

There are specific rust removers for every material. Find out what your heat pump parts are made of and purchase a corresponding rust remover.

Step 5 – Loosen Rust Flakes

Before you can apply the rust remover, you have to prime the rusted surface first by loosening rust flakes with a wire brush.  Once you have removed all remaining debris, you can then wipe the entire area with a clean rag.

Step 6 – Apply the Rust Remover

When the surface is all primed, apply the rust remover to it. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions especially with the drying time,

Step 7 – Smooth the Surface

When dried, you can smooth out the treated surface with steel wool.