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AC Expansion Valve

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The expansion device is a generic term.  It can be an orifice tube, expansion valve or expansion block.  An orifice tube should always be replaced, it should never be cleaned.   An expansion valve or block is a little more difficult.  They should always be removed and inspected or replaced during a repair.  A stuck expansion device can allow too much pressure to build in a system and thus blow out the head of the compressor. 

 

The rule of thumb is that if you are replacing the compressor because it is leaking or not blowing cold enough, then cleaning is acceptable.  Any other failure requires a new expansion device.  If unsure, it never hurts to change the expansion device.

Picture of AC Expansion Device, A/C Expansion Valve and Orifice tube

A/C Expansion BlockA/C Expansion Valve

A/C Orifice Tube

 



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