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HVAC School - For Techs, By Techs

Jan 26, 2021

In this short podcast episode, Bryan talks about the placement of the TXV sensing bulb. He also explains how it affects the opening force on the TXV.

The TXV sensing bulb (or sensor on an EEV) provides the opening force for the valve. The warmer the bulb gets, the more the valve opens; the colder the bulb gets, the more the valve closes. The TXV also has a closing force provided by the spring pressure and equalizer (usually the external equalizer).

So, if you have a bulb that has been poorly mounted or insulated, you tend to have more opening force than the design. Your suction line will generally be colder than the airstream around the evaporator coil. If the sensing bulb has poor contact with the suction line, it will likely read warmer temperatures than it should.

When the TXV opens more than it should, the valve loses control and could lead to flooded conditions. (If that liquid gets to the compressor, then you could get catastrophic damage.) Generally speaking, improper TXV bulb placement will result in low superheat and potential flooding. When you have a high superheat or a starved evaporator, the sensing bulb placement is rarely the actual problem.

When mounting a sensing bulb, the suction line should be clean. Get rid of all Armaflex residue and ensure that the bulb is also clean. In some cases, you may need to insulate the bulb. You must also ensure that you mount the sensing bulb securely near the evaporator outlet, and you can be a few inches downstream of the external equalizer. Another common suggestion is to place the bulb on top of the line if the line is smaller than 7/8" (larger than 7/8", you can mount the bulb at 4 o'clock or 5 o'clock on the line).


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