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When Does A Drier Have To Be Replaced?

Briandl79 on Sat June 19, 2010 5:52 AM User is offline

I am under the impression that any time air/moisture gets into the system, or a component is replaced that the drier needs to be or should be (?) replaced as well. Is that one of those things where it's just a good practice to replace a relatively inexpensive part since you are already doing the work, or are driers so sensitive to moisture that they are easily damaged by it and must be replaced AND their function so important as well?

If I had to guess I'd say that moisture could cause a problem with the drier and the desicant could go through the system and cause problems so it's easier to just replace it. I know some compressor warranties require it so it must be fairly important.

So let's say I get a new drier, and I open it up, how long can it be open to the air before it's no good?

Just a n00b with some questions, thanks.

Edited: Sat June 19, 2010 at 5:55 AM by Briandl79

HECAT on Sat June 19, 2010 7:00 AM User is offline

The desiccant in a Filter/Dryer or Accumulator can only absorb what would be simply described as a drop or two of water (moisture). Some moisture does not get removed when a system is vacuumed, some moisture is reintroduced during charging, and some moisture can be absorbed through the hoses of an operating system; although molecularly miniscule and somewhat theoretical, it does happen. Yes, since they are relatively inexpensive and simple to change, they should be changed in almost every case where a system is opened. A common exception (right or wrong) is when it has just been replaced and you are opening the system a second time for whatever reason necessary to complete the repair job. Moisture can cause acidic reactions with the refrigerant and oil which can increase internal corrosion issues, and desiccant containment failure will contaminate the system with solids that can block orifices and destroy a compressor. How long can one be open to atmosphere is subjective to the humidity of the air it is being exposed to. In phoenix maybe it can be open for days, in Florida maybe only minutes; who knows, just change it.


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