Flare or sweat filter driers, which do I prefer?
For convenience you can't beat a flare drier. It's so easy to loosen the flare nuts and replace the drier.
But flare driers also increase the possibility of refrigerant leaks.
I never install a flare drier without checking the flare fitting. A few squirts of a good bubble solution is usually all it takes.
However very small leaks are sometimes hard to see.
Only later when you notice an accumulation of dust and dirt around the flare fitting do you realize it's leaking.
Installation of flare fittings requires a good flare kit.
Using the kit is an art.
Too much flare and the flare nut will not slide over the flare and/or the flare will split on the outer edges, ruining the seal.
Too little and the flare will not be large enough to prevent refrigerant leaks.
I usually extend the pipe being flared about the thickness of a quarter above the flare block.
One more thing before I move on the sweat driers.
Before I begin flaring a pipe, I always remove the inner ridge formed when the pipe is cut.
Most cutters have a built in reaming tool.
I use my pocket knife to carefully circle the inside of the pipe.
Now on the sweat driers.
What do I like?
When installed correctly, always installed correctly.
Refrigerant leaks on the sweat joints are easy to see.
Also, installing sweat driers is less involved than flare driers.
No special tools are needed. No special procedure must be followed.
Just clean the pipes, break out the torch, and begin brazing.
What do I dislike?
The time you save in installing a sweat drier vs. a flare drier, is lost when you have to replace it.
Unsweating a drier requires a lot of heat. Especially when removing larger sizes.
This extra heat can drive moisture back into the system.
So, let me sum it up.
Flare driers are difficult to install but easy to replace.
Sweat driers are easy to install but difficult to replace.
What's the best of both worlds?
A flare filter drier, that someone else installs!!!
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