HVAC Float valve

A float valve, either high-side or low-side, can serve as a metering device. The high-side float, located in the liquid line, allows the liquid to flow into the low side when a sufficient amount of refrigerant has been condensed to move the float ball. No liquid remains in the receiver. A charge of refrigerant just sufficient to fill the coils is put into the system on installation. This type of float, formerly used extensively, is now limited to use in certain types of industrial and commercial systems.

The low-side float valve keeps the liquid level constant in the evaporator. It is used in flooded-type evaporators where the medium being cooled flows through tubes in a bath of refrigerant. The low-side float is more critical in operation than the high-side float and must be manufactured more precisely. A malfunction will cause the evaporator to fill during shutdown. This condition will result in serious pounding and probable compressor trouble on start-up.

Needle valves, either diaphragm or packed type, may be used as hand expansion valves. As such, they are usually installed in a bypass line around an automatic- or thermostatic-expansion valve. They are placed in operation when the normal control is out of order or is removed for repairs.

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