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close look at an orifice tube
is a photo of the original design orifice tube, know referred to as the GM
White orifice tube. This design is located at the evaporator inlet. Notice
the 'TABS' on the inlet side. They are used to remove the orifice tube with
a proper orifice tube remover tool. Some techs will use needle nose pliers
to remove the tube, but you must use caution so that you don't damage the
o-ring seals and separates the high pressure and low pressure sides of the
A/C system, forcing all the refrigerant to pass through the 'brass' orifice.
Also note the flow arrow that indicated the direction of refrigerant flow.
One other caution... always be sure to install the replacement orifice tube
the proper way!
photos of other typical orifice tubes used in current applications
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.