The Difference Between Rebuilt and Remanufactured Commercial Compressors

Rebuilt commercial compressor

When you need a replacement commercial compressor, a remanufactured compressor is the way to go.

Done right, a remanufactured commercial compressor offers you performance that meets or exceeds the OEM specifications for that model – not only in terms of the compressor’s output and operational capacity but also its energy efficiency. When you want quality and environmental excellence, remanufacturing makes it happen.

When they look at the difference between remanufacturing and buying an OEM commercial compressor, most businesses conclude going with the OEM isn’t worth the cost. After all, even OEM compressors are usually not 100% new, and most are sold through an OEM’s affiliated wholesaler, not directly.

From there, companies must decide between a remanufactured compressor and a rebuilt one.

That choice is crucial.

What Is a Remanufactured Commercial Compressor?

A remanufactured commercial compressor is a compressor that has undergone a comprehensive engineering process to restore it to service on a “like new” basis – though, in some cases, it can even outperform a totally new compressor of the same make and model. The difference is in how the compressor is prepared for work.

When a used compressor reaches a remanufacturing company, the process starts by disassembling the entire compressor and cleaning it inside and out. But this is only the beginning.  What comes next makes all the difference.

A reputable commercial compressor remanufacturing company will then go through the entire unit and make a variety of replacements. Some components are particularly vulnerable and always need to be replaced, such as o-rings, gaskets, valve reeds and piston rings. Others will only be replaced if tests reveal that they need to be.

In fact, testing is the core of the commercial compressor remanufacturing process. Once the initial cleaning and replacement phase is over, every function of the compressor needs to be tested. All along the way, additional changes are made to the compressor configuration, using data from the tests to optimize it.

These tests – and the expert documentation you receive that verifies their results – make the biggest difference in a remanufactured compressor versus a rebuilt compressor. Testing ensures that the compressor is ready for another eight to ten years (or longer), delivering the reliable cooling or refrigeration you expect.

When you select a remanufacturing company you can trust, you’re also getting the benefit of an experienced team you can call on in the future. An American compressor remanufacturing company can often help you get to the root of performance issues and decide on the best way to resolve maintenance problems faster.

A compressor remanufacturing company can often get the equipment you need to your door days, weeks or even months sooner – at a discount of 10 to 30%, or even more compared to the OEM wholesaler.

By comparison, a rebuilt commercial compressor offers far less.

What Is a Rebuilt Commercial Compressor?

In effect, you will know what standard of work has been done to a remanufactured commercial compressor because you receive a warranty with the purchase. While different remanufacturing firms might differ in how they handle their process, the goal of remanufacturing is always to deliver a unit that’s at least “good as new.”

Yes, brands might vary in exactly what remanufacturing entails, but you can always ask questions before and throughout the process. By comparison, you never quite know what might happen when you order a rebuilt commercial compressor. That’s because there simply is no standard that defines what “rebuilt” means.  Many “rebuilder” simply fix what was broken and do not check the rest of the compressor before reselling it to a customer.  

In comparison to a remanufactured commercial compressor, a rebuilt commercial compressor could have any amount of work done to it or almost no work at all. Sometimes rebuilt compressors have only been cleaned on the outside and then repainted. This makes them look new at first glance, but they could fail at any time.

Without replacing even basic components, a rebuilt compressor may very well still be suffering from all of the same issues that originally caused it to be pulled out of service. Instead of getting a compressor that you could rely on for your business needs, you could end up waiting weeks to get a replacement for your replacement.

When It Comes to Remanufactured Compressors vs. Rebuilt Compressors, There Is No Contest

When you want a reliable commercial compressor that gives you a high level of performance without having to pay the premium associated with an OEM-affiliated wholesaler, a remanufactured compressor is an unbeatable choice. Finding a U.S.-based remanufacturing firm in your region makes it even better.

They might seem similar at first, but when it comes to remanufactured vs. rebuilt compressors, remanufactured units are the hands-down winner, no matter if you need a commercial refrigeration compressor or a commercial HVAC compressor.


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