TXV Sensing Bulb Location

Sensing Bulb Location — What is the correct position for the TXV sensing bulb?

 The placement of the remote sensing bulb of the TXV onto the suction line is critical to proper TXV performance.  A lot of “hunting”, “flooding”, “starving” and other problems can be corrected by making sure the TXV is properly located on the suction line of the evaporator coil. Too often, the TXV is mis-diagnosed as being bad simply because it was not responding correctly. I have had calls where I get asked, ” Are you experiencing a lot of defective TXV’s?  I’ve changed 2 on this coil and it still is not working correctly.  Why don’t you use adjustable valves?” only to find out the bulb is not making good contact, it was not properly insulated, and believe it or not, the bulb isn’t even attached. Contractors figure that because the coil comes with a TXV factory installed  that they have nothing to do. In most cases, manufacturers will install the TXV on the coil but leave the sensing bulb installation to the installer based on how they run their line set, etc.  The important points to follow in regards to the TXV bulb are:

  • Clean the suction line near the outlet of the evaporator. Even on new installs, this is very important.
  • The entire length of the sensing bulb must be in contact with the cleaned portion of the suction line. It must be clamped to the suction line to maintain good contact.txv1
  • The sensing bulb should be placed several inches upstream of the external equalizer connection.

txv_coil location

  • The sensing bulb should be attached at 12 o’clock on any suction line of 7/8-inch diameter or smaller. On lines larger than 7/8-inch diameter, the bulb should be placed at either 4 or 8 o’clock. The bulb should never be placed at 6 o’clock.
  • Always insulate the entire sensing bulb after installation.
  • A sensing bulb can be installed on a vertical suction line if necessary, but never place the bulb downstream of a trap. Bulb placement before a trap (upstream) is recommended. Remember, with R-410A, traps are no longer necessary.
  • When putting the bulb on a vertical line — always — TAIL END UP! And — when clamped to a horizontal suction line — always TAIL END DOWN.  The reason for keeping the tail end up on vertical lines and down on horizontal lines is to assure that the refrigerant charge in the bulb stays in the bulb and allows it to react better and quicker to changes in the suction line temperature. Even when clamping the bulb at the 4 or 8 o’clock positions on larger horizontal lines, keep the tail   rotated so it is always down to keep the charge in the bulb. txv2

A lot of TXV’s are misdiagnosed and replaced because of refrigerant flow control issues and all that really is wrong with the TXV is the “installation”.  Keep these little steps in mind when diagnosing TXV’s problems.


About yorkcentraltechtalk

I have been in the HVAC industry most of my life. I worked 25 years for contractors on anything from residential to large commercial boilers and power burners. For the past 23+ years I had been employed by York International UPG Division ( a division of Johnson Controls) as a Technical support/Service Manager but I am now retired. One of my goals has always been to "educate" dealers and contractors. The reason for starting this blog was to share some knowledge, thoughts, ideas, etc with anyone who takes the time to read it. The contents of this blog are my own opinions, thoughts, experiences and should not be construed as those of Johnson Controls York UPG in any way. I hope you find this a help. I always welcome comments and suggestions for postings and will do my best to address any thoughts, questions, or topics you may want to hear about. Thanks for taking the time to read my postings! Mike Bishop
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6 Responses to TXV Sensing Bulb Location

  1. john (efficient htg ) says:

    thx mike , your blog is very helpful to us in the trenches

  2. JACK HUBER says:

    just want to thank you for tech talks. I give a copy to all our service techs. I can see it is a lot of work on your part but you are doing a good thing.’ we all can learn no matter how long we have been in the business. I am 77 years old started helping my dad at 8 years old and do not know it all yet. thanks very much jack Huber northern mechanical inc Machesney park il.

  3. thanks mate.new in HVAC

  4. thanks for the information it was very good

  5. jd says:


    The correct placement and installation of a thermostatic expansion valve’s … at the 10 or 2 o’clock position for 7/8 inch to 1 5/8 inches suction lines,

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