Perhaps the most widepsread manufacturing issue of the past decade in the air conditioning and heating industry is the TXV failure rate. It has gained the attention of homeowners and contractors alike and had been widely discussed on many forums including HVAC Talk, Reddit, Mr Money Mustache and much more.
A new manufacturing process used by Danfoss had been causing the failures and since nearly every manufacturer used Danfoss expansion valves, the failures were felt industry wide. Some manufacturers such as Goodman were less exposed to the failure rate because they can achieve minimum efficiency ratings with a standard piston metering device as opposed to the TXV. The more efficient the system, the more likely it requires and expansion valve to achieve the ratings. Unfortunately this means the people who spent the most on their equipment were more likely to experience a failure rate.
It did not take long until most if not all manufacturers released service bulletins regarding the failures. Some of them had identified a temporary fix to the issue that required additional time on start up using an oil additive that would prevent the TXV from becoming stuck. To our knowledge, manufacturers did not offer any relief to contractors or homeowners as a result of this industry wide failure though that would often times not be reported. While an expansion valve does not cost much, the labor required to replace them is significant and repair costs can easily exceed $1000 in the middle of summer. There is little that could have been done to avoid a failure such as this as it caught the industry by surprise.
TXV failures are still common and may require adjusting from time to time, however, mass failures as a result of manufacturing defects are no longer a concern. If you have equipment that was purchased in the 2012/13 time frame and have not had an expansion valve failure yet, it is probably safe to breathe a sigh of relief and your system is not impacted. Please don't hesitate to contact us is you believe you have an issue with your metering device.