How to Stop Random Air Conditioner Compressor Shutoffs How to Stop Random Air Conditioner Compressor Shutoffs

What You'll Need
Air conditioner dye
Freon detector
Marking pen
Your Air Conditioner manual

On a hot summer day, you are always very grateful to hear the sound of the air conditioner compressor clicking on, but when there is some odd malfunction and the air keeps shutting off, frustration almost immediately takes over.

Not as bad as you might think

The problem might not be as bad as you might expect or as costly.  If you are hearing the air click on then shutoff just a few seconds later there are two strong possibilities both of them fairly inexpensive to fix, even if a professional needs to be called in order to make a quick repair.

Step 1 – Check the Manual

Check the manual for the level of Freon you will need.  Don’t buy more if you can help it since just using up the can is the best way of telling you have used enough. If you don’t have a hose already then buy the hose attached to the can if possible.

Step 2 – Find the Quick Fit Connector

Find the quick fit connector.  If you are unfamiliar with where this is on your machine check the manual, and find the refill for the system.  The hose should fit this easily.  

Step 3 – Angle the Freon Can

Make sure to hold the can upside down so the hose connection is elevated above the connection point.  In other words hold it tilted downwards toward the connection point as if you were pouring it out.  

Step 4 – Release the Freon

Following the instructions on the can expel the freon.  If the connection is being made properly this should empty fairly quickly.

If the problem continues

If after you have replenished the freon the problem continues it is possible there is a leak in the system.  There are two ways to check for a leak.  

Step 1 – Find Freon Leaks

Go outside and using the freon detector check to find out if you can establish where the leak is with this device first.  Take off the housing to the unit. Be sure that since you need to leave the power on you are very careful to touch nothing.  If you touch the wrong it can mean a nasty shock. This is the easier method the only problem is, since the compressor is coming on then being shut off so fast because of the lack of freon there is a possibility you won’t find enough freon in the air to find the leak.  

Step 2 – Use Leak Dye

If the detector doesn’t work then use one more can of freon and air conditioner dye.  Again going outside take off the housing again see if you can visually see where the dye is coming out from. This point will demonstrate where you leak is.  

Step 3 – Repair a Leaky Hose

If the leak is from a hose these can usually be repaired with a kit you can find at any hardware store.  If the problem is with the coil, or somewhere you have difficulty reaching you might want to call in a professional.  This type of repair does not usually put you too much out of pocket. 

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