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tubes & TXV's (Expansion Valves)
is a photo of a 2003 Lincoln Town Car evaporator. The white circle indicates
the exact location of the orifice tube.
the orifice tube is one of the divisions between HIGH PRESSURE Liquid refrigerant
(returning from the condenser) and LOW PRESSURE liquid refrigerant entering
into the A/C Evaporator.
orifice tube replaces a typical expansion valve (also called a thermostatic
expansion valve or TXV). Both orifice tubes and expansion valves perform
the same function in an A/C system. The biggest difference is that an orifice
tube has no moving parts!
orifice tube will always be located between the condenser outlet and the
evaporator inlet. Keep in mind that in some applications, it's actually right
inside the condenser outlet! Some Ford applications have it located 'mid
line' between the condenser and the orifice tube. You may have to replace
the line in order to replace the orifice tube.
wrong with these orifice tubes?
How can you help prevent this?
stated above, orifice tubes can easily become restricted with debris that
may travel through the system. Restricting the orifice tube immediately restricts
the flow of refrigerant. It also limits the flow of refrigerant oil. The
oil is required to maintain compressor lubrication. Therefore, orifice tube
restrictions can easily cause a catastrophic compressor failure.
causes the debris and contamination? In short, moisture which enters the
system mixes with the refrigerant to form acids. Those acids corrode aluminum
components. That corrosion moves throughout the system and get caught by
the filter screens on the orifice tube. As shown on the left, if takes less
than 1/10 of a teaspoon of debris to plug the orifice tube.