How Much Does A TXV Valve Replacement Cost?
For many, and AC unit or refrigerator developing problems can be a troubling experience. Coolant systems are complex, and maintenance generally requires complete teardowns of the units in question in order to access the parts that need to be changed.
It costs an average of $300 to professionally replace a TXV valve, or as little as $100 if you do it yourself. Labor costs $150, on average, but it varies based on your location and the complexity of the project. It generally only takes 2 hours or less to replace a TXV valve, but long jobs can make TXV replacement cost $650 or more.
What is the TXV Valve?
The thermostatic expansion valve, also known as a TXV valve, is a component within a refrigeration device that controls the amount of refrigerant that enters into the system. When the TXV valve is faulty, the evaporator within the system can either have too much refrigerant or not enough.
There are many problems that come from problematic TXV valves, including short cycling high superheats, and more. To find out whether the problems you are experiencing with your refrigeration unit are a result of a faulty TXV valve, there are some steps you can take to locate the source of the problem.
What Does the TXV Valve Do?
TXV valves are components of a refrigeration device comprised of a valve and a sensor. These parts work in unison to feed the rest of the system the appropriate amounts of refrigerant.
The sensor gets a read on the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant within the system and then tells the valve how much of that refrigerant should pass through. Virtually every other component within a refrigeration device depends on the correct amount of refrigerant being fed into the system.
Types of Thermal Expansion Valves
As TXV valves make up a part of refrigeration systems, they can be found in a wide range of appliances and devices that require the refrigeration process. TXV valves can be found in nearly all A/C units, refrigerators, ice makers, and many others.
The two types of TXVs that you are most likely to find are externally equalized valves and internally equalized valves. While both types of valves serve the same function, they do so in slightly different ways.
Most home refrigeration units, including AC units and refrigerators, are internally equalized TXV valves. These work on a single circuit and require the right amount of pressure within the system in order to maintain optimal superheats. Externally equalized TXV valves do not have this drawback, but they are mainly found in much larger HVAC systems.
Troubleshooting and Replacement
It is not always an easy task identifying sources of refrigeration and cooling issues. HVAC systems are often complex and the parts that make up the systems have many internal components. This makes ‘spotting’ problems especially difficult as most of the issues that come up are not visible ones.
The TXV Valve is a perfect example of such a part. To properly identify and solve problems with your expansion valve, there are a few symptoms that you should look for.
In fact, it is always best to run through a troubleshooting checklist when your AC unit is acting up so that you can rule out any other potential problems. If, for example, your AC’s compressor is running backward, the problem is not associated with a TXV at all.
When your liquid line is restricted, the coolant system is not getting the refrigerant that it needs. This leads to an A/C unit or refrigeration unit to behave in unexpected and unwanted ways.
Low pressure from the evaporator
As each part of a refrigeration unit are interconnected and dependent on one another, it makes sense that one part fails there is a knock-on effect on other parts of the system.
When a TXV is restricted, there is not enough refrigerant going into the compressor. The compressor needs the refrigerant to vaporize within the system to keep pressure up. Without it, the entire system suffers from low pressure.
High Superheats from Evaporator and Compressor
A perfect example of parts within your cooling system having a knock-on effect on one another is superheating. When the compressor runs on low pressure and is unable to vaporize refrigerant, there is not enough cool air being created. When this happens, saturated vapor runs through the coils and superheats are created.
Continuing along the system, we have another potential problem. Due to the lower pressure and high superheats, short cycling can often occur. Short cycling can be a difficult problem to deal with as there is usually more than one possible reason for it.
If you suspect that your TXV valve is acting up, however, short cycling is certainly one of the indicators of that problem.
Continuous operation is another telltale sign of a bad TXV valve. If the expansion valve doesn’t turn itself off because the sensor is faulty, and excess of gas will build up within the system and the compressor will run non-stop.
One way to tell if a refrigeration unit is running more than it should is to observe it for a while and see if it has a normal on/off cycle. If not, it is likely that the TXV valve is acting up.
Freezing is another common issue that comes up from bad TXV valves. In the case of freezing coils and frost, the TXV valve continuously sends refrigerant into the system which creates conditions conducive to icing.
When an AC unit or refrigerator stays frozen for too long, there is a danger that other components can become damaged. For that reason, it is always a good idea to take steps to solve the problem as soon as you see ice and frost begin to form.
TXV Replacement: DIY or Professional Job?
You may be tempted to handle the TXV replacement on your own. Whether the valve you are replacing is on a large air conditioning system, a refrigerator, or your car, the idea of saving a few bucks on labor is often an attractive one.
The main thing that needs to be considered when planning for a DIY approach, however, is how much knowledge you have about the entire cooling process. The parts that make up a cooling system – TXVs included – work in conjunction with other parts.
Therefore, to change a thermostatic valve, you must realize and respect the relationship that part has with the others on the same system. With HVAC and refrigeration, the cooling systems are under pressure and repair processes have extremely specific protocols.
TXV Replacement Cost
The cost of a TXV valve replacement is related to two primary things: parts and labor, but there are other factors as well.
Cooling systems utilize different types of expansion valves. Each of which is priced for the types of systems they are built for. Where labor is concerned, the cost is associated with the complexity of the job as well as how long the job will take to complete.
One of which is that a part of the cost will be the part that needs to be replaced. there are a few different manufacturers who produce TXVs of different kinds and these manufacturers have varying degrees of quality and cost associated with their parts. In general, a TXV valve can cost anywhere from $100 to $200.
Another consideration when pricing parts is that there are thermal expansion valves specifically designed for different types of systems. Some of these are more expensive than others. It is always a good idea to check prices at your local hardware store after getting a quote from an HVAC professional.
Location is another consideration. Some refrigeration units are situated in difficult to reach or cramped spaces. Many contractors will charge extra for labor if they are presented with a unit that is difficult to work on.
Labor, of course, is one of the most expensive aspects of getting a TXV replaced.
Labor costs for TXV replacements can vary wildly from place to place and from company to company. In general, labor costs in cities are quite a lot higher than what you will find in rural areas and some companies will charge differently for labor than others.
For example, one company May charge labor for one person to work one hour while another can send a small team and charge you multiple hours for each of those repair people. It is always wise to ask plenty of questions when quoted a price for your TXV replacement.
Overall Cost Basis for a TXV Replacement
Depending on where you live, which company you talk to, and what kind of thermal expansion valve you need, the price is for a TXV replacement can range from $300 to nearly $1,000.
What happens when a TXV valve goes bad?
There are many potential problems that can come from a faulty TXV valve. Has the TXV valve is responsible for feeding the rest of the system refrigerant, there can be a series of knock-on effects that take place when the TXV valve stops doing its job.Hi superheats, short cycling, and refrigeration units stalling, are just some of the indicators that the TXV valve has gone bad.
How many hours does it take to change a TXV valve?
Depending on the system and type of TXV valve being replaced, replacing a thermal expansion valve can take anywhere from a couple of hours to several.
Benjamin is a proud homeowner who loves to write about DIY projects and home improvement projects. Traveling, perfecting his home, and spending time with his family are just a few of the many things that keep him inspired.
More by Benjamin Wright