After Harvey, What Homeowners Need to Know about Their A/C Units

Homeowners who’ve suffered a flood at their home are wondering what to do about re-starting their AC units that were under flood water for some time.

  • It’s best to have AC professionals handle the initial re-start after their outdoor AC units have been flooded.
  • Before re-starting the AC unit, the AC professional will:
    • Make sure the power to the unit is off at the unit disconnect
    • Remove the compressor terminal cover and blow the terminals dry using nitrogen and clean them
    • Blow the electrical contractor dry and clean them
    • Blow all electrical capacitor contacts dry and clean them
    • Use fresh water to back wash the condenser coil to remove debris, mud, and sludge deposited by flood waters
    • Replace any circuit boards or variable speed drives that have had flood water on them. They are shot if they got submerged.
    • Probably replace the condenser fan motor. It’s possible that if a condenser fan motor was submerged it would still operate if it was allowed to fully drain and dry….which would mean waiting 3 days minimum. Most homeowners are not going to want to wait that long. Even if the old motor does run on re-start, the longevity of the motor will be seriously compromised because of being submerged. The best bet is to change the motor.
  • After doing all that, the A/C professional will power the unit up and turn it on.
  • The other course of action for homeowners is to simply turn the system on with no professional re-start assistance and see what happens. If the system craters when the on switch is hit, they can call for help then, but they may have fried some expensive components that could have been saved if re-start procedures had been followed.
  • Trane Comfort Specialist dealers are the trained professional you want handling your A/C system under these stressful situations.
  • Of course, if your AC unit is just shot because of the flood, you really should look at having a new Trane system installed. There is simply no better A/C system.

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