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reversing valve change out on a heat pump

   Like the the man said ; glad it is not me ( lol )

   One of the most miss diagnosed and most botched up installed part in the Industry. Many techs will think the valve is bad when the compressor is dumping on internal relief,  listed below are a few tips that may help you in the future.


   Before I get started,  if the valve has gone bad please always check the acid level and meg the compressor. there is no need to replace the part if the windings on the compressor are going bad. 95 % of the time this is what has screwed the valve up.

When replacing the reversing valve

.01 always recover the refrigerant

.02 run a small amount of dry nitrogen thru the condenser

.03 always cut the part out with a tubing cutter, never use a saw of any kind ( believe me this has been done several times with really bad results )

.04 from past experience it is best to braze in piece 12" long of copper on the three large pipe outlets first and braze in at least a  piece 8" long of copper on the smaller inlet coming from the discharge of the compressor .Before you do any brazing please remove the plastic inserts and coat the body with heat sink

.05 once brazed in allow valve to cool completely off where it can be handle with your hands.and then clean off the heat sink with a dry towel do not dip the part in water.

.06 once the valve and new drier have been brazed in follow my instructions on evacuation and recharging .Remember to install the coil on the valve

tip one, when checking the valve there will always be two of the large pipes that will be cool and one will be hot ( normal operation in the cool mode ) the smaller pipe will be hot ( lol )

tip two, always check your compressor amp draw. If the compressor is dumping on internal relief your amperage will be really low where if the valve is leaking the amperage will be slightly lower than normal F.L.A. example 2 ton 230 v 1p normal F.L.A. 10 - 12 amps.  

tip three, folks take your time when changing the reversing valve and always double check your flow on the valve. I don't care what nobody says a typical reversing valve job will take between 4-6 hours if done correctly and if your boss doesn't like it then he is taking shortcuts

Folks if you have any questions or comments please feel free to email. Always glad to help


David Broome



  • Eugene SilbersteinEugene Silberstein Member Posts: 349
    Nice Post David

    As David mentioned, changing a reversing valve is a time-consuming tedious process. There are a couple of other items that should be mentioned.

    Do not throw away the paperwork that comes with the new reversing valve. Not all manufacturers "etch" the piping configuration on the valve body. It is important to know what ports are connected to what ports when the valve's coil is energized or not. Failure to properly connect the indoor and outdoor coil ports on the valve will cause the system to operate in the wrong mode.

    Be aware of the mode of operation in which the system fails. Most, but not all, heat pump manufacturers design their systems to fail in the heating mode. This is because, in most areas, heating is far more important than cooling. When failing in the heating mode, the system will provide heat if the reversing valve or holding coil fails.

    Finally, if you are replacing the reversing valve on a system, it is best practice to replace the coil as well, especially if the replacement valve is manufactured by a different company. Even if the old coil "fits", there is the very real possibility that gaps between the coil and the valve can cause overheating and improper valve operation.

  • EmpireEmpire Member Posts: 2,343
    I will put it in layman's.... term.

    Besides being time consuming the job can be rewarding if it first, doesn't ruin your whole day.  Please do not throw any tools, keep the curse words at a minimum and most important of all if your torch has been on the fittings for a while and the solder refuses to flow do not go to a larger tip size.  RVS's are like a loose tooth on a 4 year old.  Seems easy to remove if only the (child),...RVS would cooperate!!  Nuff Said..  Hey Eugene.


    Mike T.
  • Eugene SilbersteinEugene Silberstein Member Posts: 349
    Well Said

    Just don't put the old reversing valve under your pillow. The reversing valve fairy is not paying as much as the scrap metal dealer!
  • dondon Member Posts: 395
    One more mention

    That big condenser coil that you have to remove just so you can get to the reversing valve.I hate having to stand on my head and try to work.
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