Air conditioning units are essential gadgets that help in maintaining cool temperatures during hot and humid weather. However, sometimes they might not function as expected, leading to high temperatures and discomfort in your rooms. One of the most common issues air conditioning units face is compressor failure. The compressor is the heart of the air conditioning system, and when it malfunctions, the functionality of the whole system is affected. Therefore, learning how to jumpstart the air conditioner compressor can save you from the nuisance of contacting a technician. In this informative article, you will learn the necessary steps to jump your air conditioner compressor and get it working efficiently again.

1. Steps to Safely Jump an Air Conditioner Compressor for DIY Repairs

One of the common issues that people face with their air conditioners is a faulty compressor. While calling a professional technician is always the recommended course of action, there are times when DIY repairs can be attempted. If you’re looking to jump start your AC compressor on your own, follow these steps to do it safely and effectively.

Step 1: Turn off the AC Unit

Before jumping the compressor, it’s essential that you turn off the AC unit and disconnect it from the power source. This is an important safety measure that will prevent electrocution and other hazards.

Step 2: Locate the Capacitor

The next step is to locate the capacitor, which is a device that stores electrical energy. It’s typically located near the compressor and is a cylindrical shape with wires connected to it.

Step 3: Test the Capacitor

To jump the AC compressor, you need to test the capacitor using a multimeter to ensure it has enough charge. Place the multimeter probes on the terminals of the capacitor and set the meter to “resistance” or “continuity” mode. If the reading is less than 0.5, the capacitor has enough charge, and you can proceed to the next step.

Step 4: Connect a Jumper Wire

Now that you’ve tested the capacitor, it’s time to connect a jumper wire between the HERM and the COM terminals. It’s essential to use a thick gauge wire that can handle the high voltage load.

Step 5: Turn on the AC Unit

After connecting the jumper wire, it’s time to turn on the AC unit and see if the compressor starts running. If it does, that means the compressor needed a jump start, and you’ve successfully done it.

Remember that DIY AC repairs can be risky, and it’s always recommended to call a professional. However, if you decide to jump-start the compressor yourself, follow these steps carefully and take all necessary safety precautions.

2. What You Need to Know Before Attempting to Jump an AC Compressor

Jumping an air conditioner compressor can be done safely, but it is important to understand the basics beforehand. Before attempting any DIY repairs, it is essential to know your limitations and the potential risks involved. Knowing what to do and what not to do can prevent further damage to your system, as well as injury.

Before attempting to jump an AC compressor, you need to ensure that you have the proper tools on hand. These include a multimeter, jumper cables, and protective gloves. It is also important to have a solid understanding of the electrical wiring of your compressor, as well as any possible underlying issues that may require additional repairs.

Additionally, it is important to note that not all AC compressor issues can or should be jumped. In some cases, jumping the compressor may cause further damage to the system, worsening the initial problem. It is important to troubleshoot and identify the root cause of your AC compressor issue before attempting any DIY repairs.

By taking the time to consider these factors before jumping your AC compressor, you can ensure that you are properly equipped and aware of any potential risks. With a solid understanding of the basics, you can safely and effectively troubleshoot and repair issues with your air conditioner.

3. Troubleshooting Common AC Compressor Issues and Solutions

In this section, we will discuss common air conditioner compressor issues that could be the reason for failure or malfunction and the recommended solutions to solve each problem.

Low or Insufficient Refrigerant

If your air conditioner system is not blowing cold air, the refrigerant level might be low or insufficient. Low refrigerant levels can be caused by refrigerant leaks or improper installation. To check for leaks, you might need to use a leak detector or seek the help of a professional technician. Once you identify the leaks, you can fix it by repairing, replacing, or tightening the fittings.

Dirty Condenser Coils

Dirt and debris tend to accumulate on the condenser coils over time, leading to a drop in cooling efficiency. If your system is not cooling properly, the first thing you should check is the condenser coils. You can clean the coils with a garden hose and a mild detergent. Be gentle while cleaning not to distort the coils.

Faulty Capacitors

A capacitor is a component that provides sufficient energy to initiate the compressor’s operation. Capacitors can wear out or fail over time, leading to the compressor start-up failure. If your air conditioner system won’t start, try testing the capacitor using a multimeter, and if it’s faulty, replace it.

Thermostat Issues

Sometimes, the issue with the AC compressor may not be faulting its components but a thermostat problem. A malfunctioning thermostat might cause a temperature reading error or fail to regulate the cooling system. In such cases, you can reset or replace the thermostat to solve the problem.

Regular maintenance of your air conditioner compressor, such as cleaning the air filters, adjusting the refrigerant levels, and regular system check-ups, can prolong the life of your system and prevent breakdowns. If you’re not sure about troubleshooting your AC compressor issues, it’s best to call a reliable HVAC technician to diagnose and fix the issue. Remember to take proper safety precautions when jumping the AC compressor.

4. Techniques to Successfully Jump Start an Air Conditioner Compressor

Jumpstarting an air conditioner compressor can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t have experience working with HVAC systems. However, with the right steps and safety precautions, you can successfully jump start your AC compressor for DIY repairs. Here are some techniques to follow:

Technique 1: Check the Capacitor

Before you attempt to jump start your AC compressor, you have to check the capacitor first. A faulty capacitor can cause your AC unit to not run or start up properly. Start by turning off the power to your AC unit and opening the electrical panel. Carefully remove the capacitor and test it using a multimeter. If the capacitor is faulty, you need to replace it before attempting to jump start your compressor.

Technique 2: Use a Hard Start Kit

Using a hard start kit can help your AC compressor start up more easily. This device provides an extra kick of power to the compressor to help it overcome its initial start-up resistance. You can install a hard start kit yourself or have a professional HVAC technician do it for you.

Technique 3: Give the Compressor a Push

After you have checked the capacitor and installed a hard start kit, the next step is to push the compressor to see if it will start up. You can use a long wooden stick or a rubber mallet to gently push the fan blade in a clockwise direction. This should help the compressor start up. However, if the compressor still doesn’t start up, you may need to call a professional technician to diagnose and fix the issue.

Successfully jump starting your AC compressor requires careful troubleshooting and safety precautions. If you are not confident in your ability to do this yourself, it’s always best to call in a professional HVAC technician to handle the job. Remember to always turn off the power to your AC unit and wear appropriate safety gear before attempting any repairs.

5. Maintaining Your Air Conditioner Compressor to Prevent Future Breakdowns

One of the most important things you can do to keep your air conditioner compressor running is to maintain it properly. Regular maintenance not only helps prevent breakdowns but also extends the lifespan of your AC unit. Here are a few tips to keep your compressor running at its best.

1. Keep the compressor and surrounding area clean.

Dirt, dust, and debris can accumulate in and around the compressor, reducing airflow and causing it to overheat. Clean the compressor periodically to ensure it operates efficiently. Use a soft brush or cloth to remove any debris from the compressor and the area around it.

2. Change the air filter frequently.

The air filter in your AC unit helps remove dirt, dust, and other contaminants from the air before it enters the compressor. A dirty air filter can cause the compressor to work harder than it needs to, reducing the lifespan of your unit. Change the air filter at least once a month to keep it clean and reduce the load on the compressor.

3. Get regular maintenance.

Regular maintenance by a professional technician can help ensure your compressor runs smoothly and efficiently. A professional technician can inspect your unit, identify any issues, and perform any necessary repairs or maintenance. They can also check the refrigerant levels, clean the coils, and inspect the electrical connections to ensure everything is functioning correctly.

Maintaining your air conditioner compressor is crucial to ensuring it runs efficiently and lasts for many years. With regular maintenance and a proper cleaning routine, you can reduce the risk of breakdowns and save money in the long run.

6. Risk of DIY AC Repairs and When to Call a Professional Technician

Before attempting to jump start an air conditioner compressor, it’s important to understand the risks that come with DIY AC repairs. While DIY repairs may seem like a cost-effective solution, they can actually lead to more serious and expensive problems in the long run.

The Risks of DIY AC Repairs

Some common risks associated with DIY AC repairs include:

  • Dangerous electrical equipment
  • Incorrectly identifying the problem, leading to further issues
  • Voiding the manufacturer’s warranty
  • Accidentally causing damage to the air conditioning unit

Additionally, attempting to jump start an air conditioner compressor without the proper knowledge and experience can lead to further damage to the unit, or even cause injury to oneself.

When to Call a Professional Technician

If you’re unsure whether to attempt a DIY AC repair or call a professional technician, it’s important to consider a few things. First, if you’re not confident in your ability to safely and accurately diagnose and repair the problem, it’s best to call a professional. Second, if the air conditioning unit is still under warranty, attempting a DIY repair may void the warranty. Third, if the repair requires specialized tools or equipment, you may not have access to those tools.

Overall, it’s important to weigh the risks and benefits before attempting a DIY AC repair. If you’re uncertain in any way, it’s best to call a professional technician to ensure the job is done safely and correctly.

7. Important Safety Precautions to Consider While Jumping an Air Conditioner Compressor

Jump-starting an air conditioner compressor can be a dangerous task that carries potential hazards if not done with utmost care. Safety must always be your number one priority when working with air conditioner compressors. Here are some essential safety precautions to consider before you start jumping an AC compressor:

Wear Protective Gear

You should wear protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and face masks when jumping an air conditioner compressor. This is because refrigerants have toxic fumes that can cause respiratory problems, severe burns, and even death in extreme cases. Make sure that you have protective gear on before you start any DIY repair task.

Shut Off the Power

Before you begin jumping your air conditioner compressor, turn off the power supply. This eliminates the risk of electrocution from an exposed wire or other live electrical components. Make sure that you locate the power supply switch or circuit breaker and turn it off before you touch your AC compressor.

Use Proper Tools and Equipment

You should always use the right tools and equipment when jumping an air conditioner compressor. Make sure that you get the right jump starter kit for your specific AC compressor model and that all the necessary tools are available. Also, verify that the jump starter kit has all the necessary safety features, including short circuit protection, surge protection, and overcharge protection.

By following these safety precautions, you can minimize the risks involved and perform the DIY compressor jump effectively. However, if you are not confident or do not have the required expertise, call a professional HVAC technician to handle your AC compressor issues.

People Also Ask

1. Why do you need to jump start your air conditioner compressor?

Jump starting your air conditioner compressor is necessary when your AC unit fails to function properly. This may indicate a problem with the compressor itself, or it may be a problem with some other part of the AC unit. Jump starting your compressor can help you diagnose and fix the problem.

2. What tools do you need to jump start an AC compressor?

Some of the tools you will need include a screwdriver, a voltmeter, a pair of pliers, and a set of jumper cables. You will also need basic safety equipment, including gloves and safety glasses.

3. How do you jump start an AC compressor?

To jump start your AC compressor, you will need to use a pair of jumper cables to connect the compressor to a battery. Once you have made the connection, you can test the compressor using a voltmeter to see if it is functioning properly.

4. Can you jump start an AC compressor on your own?

Jump starting an AC compressor is typically a job for a professional HVAC technician. Attempting to jump start the compressor on your own can be dangerous and may cause further damage to your AC unit.

5. What are some common reasons why an AC compressor fails?

There are several common reasons why an AC compressor may fail, including low refrigerant levels, a faulty thermostat, or a malfunctioning capacitor. Other issues, such as a dirty air filter or a worn out compressor motor, can also cause problems with your AC unit.


In conclusion, jump starting an air conditioner compressor may help identify and fix the problem if your AC unit isn’t functioning properly. It’s important to have a professional HVAC technician handle this task, as it can be dangerous and may cause further damage if done incorrectly. Understanding the common reasons the AC compressor may fail can also help you properly maintain your unit to avoid future problems.