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  1. #1
    Hello,
    The "4-way valve" on my heat pump must be replaced. Because the dealership has chanaged hands and this is a warranty repair, I'm worried the new owner may try to take short cuts on what I'm told is "major surgery"

    Can you guys help me prepare a short list of questions to ask the service manager in terms of what needs to be done to make sure my heat pump works as well as it did before the repair? For example, is it ok to reuse the FREON, or should it be replaced? Also, there's something called a "bi-directional filter drier" inside the outdoor cabinet. Should this be replaced or cleaned?

    My unit has a scroll compressor with thermal expansion valve and runs on the old R22 FREON.

    Thank you,
    Allen

    [Edited by yallcomeback on 07-29-2006 at 10:17 PM]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,350
    i always replace the refrigerant on a burn out, but with a reversing valve it is not always needed. they will need to perform a acid test to make that call. they will need to use thermo-block on the valve when installing it. I like to replace the filter dryers when i can, because it adds piece of mind and i can charge for it. it is not that big of a deal, a good tech should be able to do it in at most 4 hrs. depending on what kind of ecu it is.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    7,708
    Why must they use thermo block.... Ive been changing reversing valves for 25 years and all I have ever used is strips of cloth soaked in water around the stubs... I also keep a plastic drink bottle full of water nearby with a small hole in the cap to squirt down the rags really good after brazing. I burned up my first valve many years ago...have not burned one since.....

    anywho.....make em replace the drier...make em run a good leak test...make em evacuate the system after the repair and make sure they charge the unit correctly... make em cycle the unit into and out of heat mode a couple times to insure that the valve works.

    do all that and you can be sure that there is a 50 percent chance that it will hold up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Lancaster,Ohio
    Posts
    464
    Replacing a reversing is a major job.

    "Because the dealership has chanaged hands and this is a warranty repair, I'm worried the new owner may try to take short cuts on what I'm told is "major surgery" The last thing that dealership wants is to have you as a dissatisfied customer. That person has a ton of money riding on this aquisition. Also this person is being scrutinzed by the suppliers. They had better be on top of their game if they want to survive. Give them a chance. work with them, if the change has been recent then understand this; there may be a little confusion. Dont jump off the deep end...work with them and you will probably end up with a free clean and check someday!
    IcyFlame

  5. #5
    Originally posted by icyflame
    The last thing that dealership wants is to have you as a dissatisfied customer.
    I hope this is the case. Unfortunately, the original dealer transitioned to 100% commercial before he retired. I'm certainly willing to work with them. I just want to ask the right questions without sounding like some prick that can't be satisfied.
    Originally posted by emoney1971
    i always replace the refrigerant on a burn out, but with a reversing valve it is not always needed. they will need to perform a acid test to make that call....
    (snip)
    a good tech should be able to do it in at most 4 hrs. depending on what kind of ecu it is.
    Would someone mind explaining the "acid test"? Also, what does "ecu" mean?

    MANY THANKS!

    Allen

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    2,210
    i always replace the refrigerant on a burn out, but with a reversing valve it is not always needed.
    Unless you're using a new, clean recovery cylinder, you need new refrigerant. If you mix his used refrigerant with the stuff you've recovered from three other units, then who knows what will be in it. Why take a chance?

    they will need to perform a acid test to make that call.
    Are you serious? For a reversing valve? First off, does anyone in resi seriously do acid testing? Secondly, why would you need an acid test for a bad reversing valve? It's a waste of time and supplies.

    they will need to use thermo-block on the valve when installing it.
    Only if they don't know how to braze. Just because YOU need to smear that crap all over everything to keep from melting the valve body doesn't mean we all do. The valve can also be wrapped with a wet rag, heat gel, etc. Thermoblock is messy and stinks, plus it's hard to remove. BTW, yes I have used it once, and never again.

    I like to replace the filter dryers when i can, because it adds piece of mind and i can charge for it.
    Any time the refrigeration circuit is opened the filter drier should be changed as a matter of habit. That's basic service "common sense" and helps prevent callbacks. You should do it because it's the correct thing to do, not just because you can charge for it.

    Good? Bad? I'm the guy with the gun.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    So we all understand, inside the reversing valve is a slide assembly. On both ends of the slide assembly there is a seal. More often than not, this seal is made of a teflon material. If you can grasp what makes a reversing valve shift you can pretty easily see why slight deforming of this seal by either heat or mishaping the outser tube by tapping on it can prevent the valve from shifting. The coil does nothing but steer the refrigerant into or out of the pilot tubes.

    The valve needs to be protected from heat and that means a good wet rag. Techs need to get it hot, braze it and get the heat off. messing around with a slow torch will cause problems. Also, the pilot tubes are very small. It doesnt take much to plug them up. The use of nitrogen while brazing can prevent this scale. As Doug mentioned, a new filter drier is a must.

    When these valves are being installed in the units at the factory, both notrogen and water are used. Nitrogen inside, and water flowing over the outside. The flowing water removes the heat. This is much better than a wet rag but in the field, that is not any easy task.

  8. #8
    Originally posted by docholiday
    When these valves are being installed in the units at the factory, both notrogen and water are used. Nitrogen inside, and water flowing over the outside. The flowing water removes the heat. This is much better than a wet rag but in the field, that is not any easy task.
    I could hold a water hose while the guy brazes! :-)

    Seriously, this discussion has been very helpful, even though you guys obviously differ on some issues.

    One more question... I noticed in another thread a discussion about about using a micron meter to assure good evacuation. Sounds like a great tool but not something commonly used on home systems. Seeing that the dealer now only does commercial work, would it be unreasonble for me to ask them to use a micron meter?

    Allen

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
    Posts
    7,415
    Residential or commercial, you need to use a micron gauge no matter what. I would say they aren't used on residential as often simply because of the speed (fast and cheap is typical).

    Wouldn't be out of line at all, at least to bring it up in conversation and make sure he's going to use it.
    "If you call that hard work, a koala’s life would look heroic."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Lancaster,Ohio
    Posts
    464
    I had the pleasure of seeing a york international factory representive replace a reversing valve in the field. Seven of us present, including company officals and officials from the suppliers. It was a four ton Heatpump, stand on head from the top and squeeze into access panel from behind.
    He made a level mark across the bottom two lines and cut them with a tube cutter. He cut the top two lines and removed the valve. He fitted both bottom lines with couplings (after cleaning and flux) and inserted a wire brush (round, fitting brush) deep into the line and brazed the lower side of the coupling. He cooled it and twist and pulled the brush out of the pipe. He cut two pieces of cooper three inches and inserted it into the bottom ports of the valve. Then the same with the top ports. All the brazing on the valve was done out in the open where he to complete control.He wraped the valve body and the recieving end of the fitting with a rag and took the tail of the rag and stuffed it into a garden hose, positioned it out of the way and turn the water on to a trickle then used a low temp silversolder (on a coil) and sweat it in. He Put these tail pieces in all four openings so that the final sweat joint was faceing up and there was no intense heat against the valve. There was no stress or strain, a calm and relaxed situation. The whole procedure took forty minutes.
    Our company policy was if we ever pumped a system down without using a micron gauge, don't come back. About twice a month he would pick one or two to "verify our equipment" we would have to set up our vacuum pump, gauges and micron gauge and pump down a recovery bottle to 100 microns for one minute and 250 microns for seven minutes and we had five minutes to reach 100 microns. We did not have many call backs!


    [Edited by icyflame on 07-30-2006 at 06:05 PM]
    IcyFlame

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,350
    dougfamous you must have issues. what service tech puts refrigerant into a jug with some from another job? it is totally against the rules. why charge the customer an extra $90 for juice when you don't need to. i use disposable bottles for each job, it is cheap and easy, and i avoid issues. i perform acid tests all the time, it costs a whole 5 bucks and can save alot of money in the future. i like thermoblock if you don't that is your prference, i don't like to get h2o near my system for obvious reasons. we all know the proper way to do everything, but time does not always allow us to do so, ie. running nitrogen through a system while welding to prevent scaling, or changing our vac pump oil every time we use it, or puting in a filter dryer everytime we cut into a system. if i have learned anything in this business in 13 years it has been that everyone has an opinion and they always let you know it.

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