Replacing A Bad Reversing Valve Is An Essential Heat Pump Repair That Keeps Your Home Warm

Posted on: 8 April 2021

One of the most important parts of a heat pump is the reversing valve. There are other parts that are just as important, but without a reversing valve, the heat pump couldn't defrost or switch to AC mode in the summer. Here's an overview of the purpose of a reversing valve in a heat pump, signs it might be bad, and how a heat pump repair technician can replace the valve.

The Purpose Of A Reversing Valve

A heat pump can use the same equipment for air conditioning and heat because of the reversing valve. The heat pump blows warm air in your home during the winter and then reverses so warm air blows outside in the summer and cool air blows inside.

This reversing process also happens in the winter when warm air is needed to blow over the heat pump to keep ice from forming. This is the defrost mode, and it's important for keeping ice from building on the equipment.

The Signs Of A Bad Reversing Valve

When the reversing valve goes bad, the blower may not be able to switch back and forth between heating and cooling modes. This might not be too noticeable in the winter until your home doesn't heat up as well. When the reversing valve is bad, the defrost mode doesn't work. That could cause your heat pump to freeze over, and then it can't make heat for your home.

There could be other reasons your heat pump can't keep you warm in the winter, so a repair technician needs to rule out other causes and narrow the problem down to a bad reversing valve.

The Repairs For A Bad Reversing Valve

If a damaged part is causing the reversing valve to malfunction, the valve might start working again when the bad part is repaired or replaced. When the problem is a bad reversing valve, the valve has to be replaced.

Replacing a reversing valve is often a difficult process. The valve is made of brass, and it is soldered in place with the brass refrigerant line and condenser coil. The valve is in a place that's difficult to reach, so your heat pump repair technician might need to take the entire condenser apart to get to the valve.

Once they have access to the valve, the old valve has to be cut or desoldered to remove it. First, the refrigerant has to be removed from the system. Once the old valve is out, a new one is put in its place, and the connections are soldered. The line is pressure-tested to make sure there are no leaks, and then the refrigerant can be put back in.

Since the reversing valve gets a lot of wear and tear, it's fairly common for a valve to wear out after years of use. Your heat pump can't work effectively without a functioning reversing valve, so replacing the valve is a necessary repair. For more information about heat pump repair, contact a local contractor.