Aug 28, 2018
In today's short podcast episode, Bryan covers some tips about HVAC/R service valves and caps for new technicians. While service valves may seem simple, there are some things you should know about them before you handle them in the field.
Before you connect your gauges, ask yourself if you even need to connect gauges. If you've already benchmarked the system and know what to expect, then you may be able to suffice with line temperatures. If you have a system with caps or Schrader cores and need to hook up your gauges, be careful not to cover any leaks in the cap or Schrader. You could potentially miss a leak on a cap or Schrader, so be sure to inspect those before you hook up your gauges.
Service valves require gentleness and care when you take caps off and on. You don't need to overtighten caps and Schraders, as they mostly come together at an O-ring fitting or with a flare; check to make sure that you're using the correct caps and that those caps have their proper seals, if applicable. If you need to use a thread sealant, a dab of Nylog comes in handy. If you're too hard on it with a wrench, you could break the entire service valve.
When you braze in or around a service valve, you'll want to protect it from heat. One of the best ways to do that is to tie a wet rag around it or use Refrigeration Technologies WetRag heat-blocking putty. (Remember, leave the Schraders out while brazing!) Overall, you'll really need to think about protecting that service valve from damage any time you work on it.
Learn more about Refrigeration Technologies HERE.