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How to Reverse a Stuck Compresser

The compressor is the heart of most refrigeration and air conditioning units. When a compressor fails, it prevents the whole unit from working properly. Replacing a compressor is costly and may require ordering a part which could turn into a long wait. One option for fixing a stuck compressor is to try and reverse its direction for a second or two. It doesn't always work, but it could free up the compressor enough to get it running again.

Step 1

Turn off the power to the unit containing the compressor. Turn off the circuit breaker if the unit does not have its own power switch.

Step 2

Remove the compressor's run lead with an adjustable wrench or a screwdriver. The lead should be clearly labeled with an R or the word run.

Step 3

Remove the compressor's start lead. The lead should be clearly labeled with an S or the word start.

Step 4

Attach the compressor's start lead to the run position and the run lead to the start position.

Step 5

Turn the power to the compressor on for 1 to 2 seconds.

Step 6

Turn off the power to the compressor. Replace the leads to their original position.

Step 7

Turn on the power to the compressor.