The objective of this discussion is to acquaint the service- man with the appearance of compressor parts that have been subjected to the effects of certain system malfunctions: This is aimed at improving diagnostic technique toward identifying and correcting system and application problems.

When viewing this presentation or studying booklet, it must be remembered that even normally operating compressors and their systems are subjected to some of the same elements associated with failed systems.

All systems are subjected to heat, varnish, discoloured oil, and some normal wear which manifests itself as scratches or mild scoring. In additions, some contamination is always found in a system.

It is physically impossible to eliminate elements that contribute to contamination.

What is needed by the serviceman is a developed sense of what is normal and what is not. This presentation shows the extremes of failure, but what about the system which has not failed or shown signs of failing ?

To what extent should you expect to see the elements of wear or abuse that are about to be described ?

This knowledge of the normal versus abnormal must come from experience and a developed service- man’s curious nature -that is, not to always accept the obvious clue as the only lead to the solution.

Most compressors are designed to be forgiving of minor system problems. As newer designs are introduced which take advantage of higher efficiencies, new challenges are placed on the servicemen in the form of closer system tuning, and system understanding.

Cleanliness is more important now with systems designed with closer tolerances. Servicemen accustomed to taking small shortcuts on older systems and getting away with it, are now finding increased problems as a result of these methods or the methods of others.

The compressor itself is seldom the problem in systems which have compressor failures. The key to servicing reciprocating compressor equipment today is based on a thorough understanding of the conditions and the sequence of events that lead to failures.

This discussion approaches compressor failure in a systematic manner. First, the affected parts are examined, then the conditions that led to failure and the possible cause or causes for the failure are explored. The emphasis is placed on locating and correcting the basic cause for failure before any repair or replacement is attempted. If the basic cause goes uncorrected, it is only a matter of time before a repeat failure will occur.

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