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Is accumulator the same as reciever/dryer?

wesleyn on Tue July 08, 2008 10:44 PM User is offlineView users profile

Year: 2004
Make: Ford
Model: Focus
Engine Size: 2.0
Refrigerant Type: r134a
Ambient Temp: 90

Just read on Autozone and PartsAmerica website that I have an accumulator and not a reciever/dryer on the Focus. Are they the same, and does the accumulator need to be changed when recharging an open system? Thanks guys. I am learning alot here, and appreciate it!

2004 Focus

bearing01 on Wed July 09, 2008 12:05 AM User is offline

A system that uses an orifice tube to throttle the refrigerant into the evaporator uses an accumulator. Systems that use thermal expansion valves use a receiver instead of an accumulator. The receiver goes in the liquid line between condenser to expansion valve. The accumulator goes in the wet-vapor line between the evaporator and compressor. They both do the same thing... in storing extra refrigerant... and filters & dries the refrigerant. The difference is that the accumulator prevents liquid from entering the compressor while the receiver ensures only liquid enters the expansion valve.

Cussboy on Wed July 09, 2008 9:41 AM User is offline

Like above poster stated, accumulator is located after the evaporator on orifice-tube vehicles, and receiver drier is located before evaporator on expansion valve vehicles. And their functions are similar, and many (wrongly) use the terms interchangeably.

RonG on Wed July 09, 2008 2:14 PM User is offline

Bearing01 states the accumulator prevents liquid from entering the compressor.
But isn't the refrigerant a LOW PRESSURE VAPOR when it leaves the evaporator and enters the accumulator?
And also, the service manual on my GM car states the refrigerant container be inverted and connected to the accumulator so LIQUID enters the accumulator when charging.
I'm confused !!!!

mk378 on Wed July 09, 2008 2:27 PM User is offline

On a CCOT system, the evaporator can fill up with liquid because flow through the orifice tube is not controlled. The accumulator traps any liquid and lets the compressor pull vapor off of the top. Since the accumulator is full of liquid most of the time anyway it is OK to put liquid into the charging port, within reason.

bearing01 on Wed July 09, 2008 3:36 PM User is offline

When there's large heat load (like high temperature or high humidity) on the evaporator the refrigerant in the evap boils rapidly and you get superheated vapor coming out and entering the accumulator. However, when the evaporator has low heat load you won't get the rapid boiling and same amount of superheat. In some cases you can even have saturated vapor or even a wet vapor exiting the evaporator. The accumulator catches the liquid and ensures it doesn't reach the compressor.

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