Receiver Basics

The receiver is also often called a “liquid receiver,” and you will see it on everything from small self-contained refrigeration units to very large commercial and industrial systems.

Many new techs who are used to residential air conditioning confuse receivers with accumulators. While an accumulator is located in the suction line before the compressor and prevents liquid from entering the compressor, a receiver is located in the liquid line after the condenser and stores liquid refrigerant.

The liquid receiver stores refrigerant when the system is operating at less than maximum heat load. It is generally designed so that the receiver can hold all of the system charges and still be no more than 80% full. The design allows you to pump down the entire system charge into the receiver without the danger of creating hydrostatic pressure (very high pressures resulting from full liquid expansion).

The multi-position service valve at the outlet of the receiver is called a “King valve.” It can be used for refrigerant circuit access, and it may be fully front seated (turned clockwise) for pump down.

Because a receiver has both liquid and vapor present inside, many techs argue that the refrigerant cannot be “subcooled” in the receiver. The truth is that while the refrigerant that interacts between the liquid and vapor at the top of the receiver is at saturation, the refrigerant below the liquid line can be and usually will and should be subcooled.

—Bryan

Related Tech Tips

The Why Behind the Lies
This article is written by longtime tech Shaun McCann sharing his experiences with a big problem in our trade. Thanks for this, Shaun.  I started in the HVAC business working for a small commercial union shop in the late '80s. I left that job within a year and worked in the bar and restaurant business […]
Read more
Condensation - It Isn't Where Hot Meets Cold
Photo by Stephen Rardon I hear it all the time. Someone will talk about undesired condensation on an air handler cabinet, on a supply air duct, in a ventilation duct, or on a vent like the one above. In reply, someone will inevitably say, “Condensation occurs where hot meets cold.” Early on in my career, […]
Read more
Newton's Laws of Motion
“Isaac Newton” by paukrus is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 Sir Isaac Newton was an English physicist and mathematician born in a small Lincolnshire village called Woolsthorpe in 1642. His father died before he was born, and his mother remarried when Newton was three years old. He stayed with his maternal grandparents thereafter, and his […]
Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

loading

To continue you need to agree to our terms.

The HVAC School site, podcast and daily tech tips
Made possible by Generous support from