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Some Manufacturers Are Struggling With Thermal Expansion Valves

Posted by AC Contractor on August 11, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Often times in HVAC, there are industry wide quality problems occurring with various parts of a system. While many will experiences issues, it does not mean that all manufacturers are going to. Some recent issues facing the HVAC industry have been copper coils and X-13 motors. The latest product bulletin we came across is from Nordyne which manufacturers air conditioning and heating products under a number of different trade names including Maytag, Frigidaire, Broan, Nu Tone, Westinghouse and others. Below is an excerpt from a product bulletin released by Nordyne this past July.

NORDYNE has received a number of calls from several customers regarding abnormal TXV failures. In addition, we have received bulletins from other manufacturers indicating TXV issues. It appears the issue is spanning multiple valve suppliers. While our warranty claim data does not indicate an issues (claims are actually down year-to-date versus last year), NORDYNE is taking these reports seriously and is taking appropriate actions.

All of the data is not in yet, but there is a possibility that the TXV is not the root cause of the issue; therefore, NORDYNE is working to understand and resolve the issue.

NORDYNE has brought back several valves from the field, and a thorough analysis has begun. Two valves were inspected at NORDYNE - initially, an unknown substance was discovered on the valve metering pins. These valves were sent to Saint Louis Test Labs, and the substance has been identified as coagulated POE oil. The cause of the coagulation has not yet been determined but is the focus of our continuing efforts.

Sample valves have also been sent to our valve supplier for analysis. And, NORDYNE is working with other system component suppliers in an effort to determine the root cause of the issue.

In summary, NORDYNE is very much aware of the issue and is taking appropriate action. We will update distribution through the bulletin process as more information becomes available.

While we feel that the most important decision is the contractor you select and the emphasis should not be on brand, at Melo Air we do not recommend Nordyne products. The major blow came when Equiguard filed Chapter 11 and many homeowners lost warranty coverage on their equipment. We have had difficulty in regaining confidence in the product since.

Because equipment failures can run in strings and across multiple vendors, it is a good idea to get multiple opinions on products and talk to folks who have recently installed equipment. That way you are less likely to purchase a product with a manufacturing defect that has not been corrected.

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