Pull The Top
The photo above is from a video one of my techs took of proper condenser cleaning. I must say, he did a GREAT job of cleaning the coil and he was very careful with the top. However I STILL would have liked to see the top get completely removed during a full maintenance. Pulling the top usually just requires disconnecting the fan wires, cutting a few wire ties, taking out some screws and then removing the fan grille or the entire top and laying it top down in the grass.
This is ACTUALLY how I performed a maintenance, even before I started my own business.
Here is why –
- If you wash from the outside – in you are not doing the best possible cleaning. Everyone knows that washing from the inside out is a superior method of cleaning.
- If you lay the fan on top of the unit (like shown above) you risk twisting / damaging the wires, scratching the paint and bending the fan bade.
- When you pull the top entirely you can more easily clean the dirt and leaves from the inside of the condenser, this should also be part of a proper maintenance because that dirt can reduce coil capacity as well as hold moisture against the base, compressor and accumulator resulting in corrosion.
- With the top off you can get a better view of any wire rubouts or potential wire rub outs and address them before they cause a problem.
- You can also visually inspect the compressor terminals for signs of heat and corrosion, potentially preventing a major issue such a terminal failure / “blowing a terminal”.
Obviously it will take about 5 mins longer and you will need to rewire it properly with the terminals snugly installed.
So what do you think?
P.S. – Here is the video in case you want to see what I mean and yes… he knows that cleaner isn’t always required when washing a coil but he used it for demonstration purposes
Bryan Orr is a lifelong learner, proud technician and advocate for the HVAC/R Trade