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APPLICATION AND ENGINEERING DATA

Copper Capillary Tubing
For Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning
DIAMETER AND LENGTH

FACTORS AFFECTING REFRIGERANT FLOW
The size of the cap tube is fairly critical. Unlike orifices, such as expansion valve seats, capillary tubes depend on their length as well as their diameter to determine their total restriction. The relationship between these two factors are shown in the following charts. A change in diameter on a percentage basis can change the flow more than an equal change in length. To illustrate, changing the diameter by .005" as between .026" I.D. and .031" I.D. can double the flow. Restriction can also be changed by lengthening or shortening the cap tub. The longer the tube, the slower the flow; the shorter the tube, the faster the flow. The general flow curve graph (right) shows what happens to the flow of refrigerant through a cap tube as the length is changed. This curve is not meant to give specific flows but to simply illustrate what happens with all cap tubes so that the general flow pattern can be understood. By following the flow curve from left to right it can be seen that for the very longest length the flow is the smallest. Then as the cap tube length is decreased, the flow increases slowly until critical point "L" is reached. At this point the flow increases more rapidly with each reduction in length until critical point "S" is reached. From this point on, further decrease in
SHORT COIL 100 FT. COILS 10 COILS DESCRIPTION (Short Coil Length)

length causes ever increasing flow. From the study of this typical curve, certain pertinent conclusions can be reached that directly affect the field application of capillary tubes. On the graph, the section above the critical point "L" is marked as extra long lengths. Attempting to increase restriction (i.e. reduce flow) by increasing length into this region is not only uneconomical but frequently hopeless. In addition, tubes in this range may not be responsive enough to changes in head pressures during operation. All in all, tube lengths in this range should be avoided where possible. Continuing down the graph, the section below critical point "S" should be avoided like the plague. In this range, the tube is so short that even small changes in length will cause very large increases in flow. This is caused by the fact that the length no longer affects the flow and the tube now beings to act more like an orifice than a capillary tube. But, without the other components necessary to control an orifice, such as are present in an expansion valve or high side float, a very short cap tube will give wildly erratic operation under varying ambients and loads. All of this would be meaningless without some definite way to use this information. Although the critical points will vary depending on the I.D. of the cap tubing being used, a very safe operating rule-of-thumb can be offered. Keep the cap tube no shorter than 5 ft. and no longer than 16 ft.

TC-26-16 TC-31-12 TC-36-12 TC-42-12 TC-44-12 TC-49-11 TC-50-11 TC-54-11 TC-55-11 TC-59-10 TC-64-10 TC-70-12 TC-75-9 TC-80-10 TC-85-9 TC-90-7 TC-100-10

TC-26-100 TC-31-100 TC-36-100 TC-42-100 TC-44-100 TC-49-100 TC-50-100 TC-54-100 TC-55-100 TC-59-100 TC-64-100 TC-70-100 TC-75-100 TC-80-100 TC-85-100 TC-90-100 TC-100-100

TC-26-100-101 TC-31-100-101 TC-36-100-101 TC-42-100-101 TC-44-100-101 TC-49-100-101 TC-50-100-101 TC-54-100-101 TC-55-100-101 TC-59-100-101 TC-64-100-101 TC-70-100-101 TC-75-100-101 TC-80-100-101 TC-85-100-101 TC-90-100-101 TC-100-100-101

.026 ID x .072 OD x 16' .031 ID x .083 OD x 12' .036 ID x .087 OD x 12' .042 ID x .093 OD x 12' .044 ID x .109 OD x 12' .049 ID x .099 OD x 11' .050 ID x .114 OD x 11' .054 ID x .106 OD x 11' .055 ID x .125 OD x 11' .059 ID x .112 OD x 10' .064 ID x .125 OD x 10' .070 ID x .125 OD x 12' .075 ID x .125 OD x 9' .080 ID x .145 OD x 10' .085 ID x .145 OD x 9' .090 ID x .145 OD x 7' .100 ID x .156 OD x 10'

LENGTH

EXTRA LONG LENGTHS

CRITICAL POINT "L" OPTIMUM LENGTH RANGE 5 to 16 FT. CRITICAL POINT "S" SHORT LENGTH ACTS LIKE ORIFICE

Typical flow curve showing changes in flow of refrigerant through a capillary tube with a change in the length of the cap tub.

OPTIMUM FLOW RANGE

FLOW

© COPYRIGHT 2000 J/B INDUSTRIES INC.

49 .18 2.38 1.59 1.59 1.43 1.94 .060 .54 .59 .053 . (3) Multiply the given length of the recommended cap tube by the conversion factor.360 .045 .56 1.50 .60 1.43 .59 .64 1.60 .73 .98 1.049 TC-50 .43 .52 1.72 .044 TC-49 .D.00 .80 .54 2.71 .32 2.62 1.00 .30 2. 5 feet/Max.20 1.038 .17 1.43 .00 .039 . Tube I.058 .47 1.69 .73 .65 .75 1.054 .75 1.81 .040 in left hand column and reading across gives the following conversion factor: No.92 .055 TC-59 .55 1.14 1.76 .71 1.83 1.90 .45 2.00 .50 .32 2.056 .105 .46 1.57 .78 1.35 1.059 TC-64 .059 .65 .115 .38 1.28 .026 .65 . Either of these two cap tubes will give the same results as the original cap tube of 9'–.55 .064 .87 .085 TC-90 .16 1.26 2.29 1.51 .56 .044 .76 .16 1.56 1.030 .042 .09 1. Locate .040 I.48 2.09 1.04 1.036 TC-42 .96 1.43 1. EXAMPLE Recommended cap tube: 9'–.46 .31 .53 .56 .20 1.84 .79 1.62 .100 (1) Locate recommended cap tube I.00 .39 2.62 1.45 .67 .16 feet) of copper cap tube will give the same flow characteristics as the original recommended cap tube.47 1.90 .39 .73 .D.11 1.03 1.52 .49 1.050 .041 .35 .120 1.62 .00 .025 .27 1.87 1.69 .67 .75 1.070 .41 2.93 .00 .07 1.031 TC-36 .31 1.22 1.44 1.70 .31 2.44 1.54 .040 I.50 2.10 1.44 1.040 .110 .33 1.50 .35 .00 .92 1.47 . (2) Read across and find conversion factor under copper cap tube size.00 1.37 1.27 1.052 .00 .80 .39 .00 .64 .41 1.45 .55 1.046 .54 1.00 1.23 1.25 .00 .79 1.047 .84 1.D.070 TC-75 .58 .79 .82 .62 .20 1.031 .064 TC-70 .45 .075 . TC-26 .028 .85 .80 .76 .79 .18 2.32 1.67 . Part No.042 TC-44 .00 .60 .095 .23 .24 1.100 .075 TC-80 .057 .050 TC-54 .34 1.080 .62 .74 .85 1.72 1.19 1.00 .054 .20 2.048 .91 . TC-36 (.31 1.74 .00 .055 .024 .085 .50 1.32 1.86 .33 2.00 .42 .48 1.69 1.27 2.026 TC-31 .06 1.72 1.67 .89 1.51 2.47 .080 TC-85 .09 1.25).034 .00 . Multiply the recommended cap tube length of 9' by the conversion factor gives the following results: 5-1/2"-TC-36 and 11-1/4'–TC-42.090 .78 .93 .46 2.090 TC-100 .CAPILLARY TUBE LENGTH CONVERSION CHART This conversion chart enables the user to translate the recommended length of tube diameter into sizes stocked by J/B.00 .043 .049 .32 2.85 .D.035 .87 .12 1.39 .61 .08 1.75 .24 1.73 . in left hand column.032 .36 2. TO USE CHART (4) The resultant length (Min.20 1.07 1.51 .47 .051 .033 .037 .25 1.62) and TC-42 (1. In using the chart it is recommended that conversions be made using factors within the unshaded area.67 . TC-55 .50 .37 1.10 1.

7-1/2 Ft.000 12. 11 Ft.250 11. 10 Ft.000 by 3 = 9.000 13.250 10. 9 Ft. 7-1/2 Ft. 9 Ft. 12 Ft. 8 Ft.U.T. 8 Ft. 12 Ft. Example: Air conditioner is rated at 27.500 13. 12 Ft. 12 Ft. R12 R12 R12 R12 R12 R12 R12 R12 R12 R22 R12 R22 R12 R22 R12 R22 R12 R22 R12 R22 R12 R22 R12 R22 R12 R22 R12 R12 NOTE S-F S-F S S S-F S F S F S-F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F -10 to +5 16 Ft. Where this is the case. 6 Ft./ CIRCUIT CAP TUBE Length Size B.500 10. 10 Ft. 6 Ft. 7-1/2 Ft.000 11. 9 Ft. 10 Ft. Window air conditioners normally have 1 circuit and the recommended cap tube can be read directly from the chart. 10 Ft. 9 Ft. 6 Ft.D. 9 Ft. 9 Ft. 10 Ft. TC-42 TC-49 TC-42 TC-49 TC-49 TC-54 TC-64 1 Ft. of any cap tube may be adjusted to a more readily available size by using the conversion chart.000 78 in 72 in 67 in 84 in 84 in 76 in 72 in 68 in 64 in 60 in 87 in 84 in 78 in 72 in 82 in 72 in 66 in 60 in TC-75 TC-75 TC-75 TC-80 TC-80 TC-80 TC-80 TC-80 TC-80 TC-80 TC-85 TC-85 TC-85 TC-85 TC-90 TC-90 TC-90 TC-90 . 9 Ft. 12 Ft.075 I.000 10.T. 11 Ft. 6 Ft. 10 Ft.500 14.REFRIGERATION APPLICATION CHART (R-12 AND R-22)* NORMAL EVAPORTING TEMPERATURE DEGREES F H. 9 Ft. 6 Ft. this would call for . TC-70 (2 pcs) TC-70 (2 pcs) NOTE: Condenser Type: S = Static. 1/20 1/12 1/9 1/9 1/8 1/6 1/6 1/5 1/5 1/4 1/4 1/3 1/3 1/2 1/2 3/4 3/4 1 1 1-1/2 1-1/2 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 REF. 10 Ft. 8 Ft. 9 Ft. 7-1/2 Ft. 12 Ft. 9 Ft. 6 Ft. 7-1/2 Ft. 6 Ft.The length and I. 10 Ft. TC-80 TC-54 (2 pcs) TC-64 (2 pcs) TC-80 (2 pcs) TC-75 (2 pcs) TC-85 (2 pcs) TC-75 (3 pcs) TC-80 (4 pcs) TC-75 (4 pcs) TC-75 (5 pcs) TC-85 (5 pcs) *R-134a – It is suggested to add 10% to length. 10 Ft. 11 Ft. 10 Ft. 7-1/2 Ft. 10 Ft. 10 Ft.D. Larger units have 2 or more circuits in the evaporator. 12 Ft. 12 Ft. TC-26 TC-31 TC-31 TC-31 TC-31 TC-36 TC-36 TC-36 TC-36 TC-36 TC-36 TC-36 TC-42 TC-42 TC-49 TC-54 TC-70 TC-70 TC-54 TC-54 (2 pcs) TC-64 (2 pcs) TC-70 (2 pcs) TC-75 (2 pcs) TC-70 (3 pcs) TC-64 (4 pcs) TC-70 (4 pcs) TC-70 (5 pcs) TC-80 (5 pcs) +20 to +35 +35 to +50 8 Ft. 10 Ft. 7-1/2 Ft. 6 Ft./ CIRCUIT CAP TUBE Length Size R-134a – It is suggested to add 10% to length. Divide 27. 10 Ft. simply divide the total BTU rating of the unit by the number of cap tube circuits to obtain the BTU/CIRCUIT rating of each individual cap tube. (TC-75) 72 inch long. 10 Ft. 9 Ft. 10 Ft.U. From the chart. 10 Ft. 10 Ft.000 BTU and has 3 cap tubes connected to the evaporator. 11 Ft.750 12.000 BTU/Circuit. 8 Ft. 8-1/2 Ft.500 11. Recommended capillary tube lengths for each circuit in an air conditioner evaporator where R-22 is the refrigerant. All recommendations must be considered approximate and variations may arise in actual field applications. 10 Ft. 10 Ft. 12 Ft. 10 Ft. 6 Ft. 8 Ft.P. TC-26 TC-26 TC-26 TC-26 TC-26 TC-31 TC-31 TC-31 TC-31 TC-36 TC-36 TC-36 TC-42 TC-36 TC-54 TC-54 TC-54 TC-64 TC-70 TC-54 (2 pcs) +5 to +20 10 Ft. 10 Ft.750 11. TC-36 TC-42 TC-42 TC-42 TC-42 TC-49 TC-49 TC-54 10 Ft. 10 Ft. 10 Ft. 4000 4250 4500 4750 5000 5250 5500 5750 6000 6250 6500 6750 7000 7250 7500 7750 8000 8250 8500 69 in 63 in 90 in 81 in 72 in 63 in 101 in 94 in 87 in 79 in 72 in 64 in 90 in 84 in 78 in 73 in 69 in 64 in 84 in TC-49 TC-49 TC-54 TC-54 TC-54 TC-54 TC-64 TC-64 TC-64 TC-64 TC-64 TC-64 TC-70 TC-70 TC-70 TC-70 TC-70 TC-70 TC-75 8750 9000 9250 9500 9750 10. 12 Ft. F = FAN AIR-CONDITIONING APPLICATION CHART (R-22) B.

filings.D. TC-803-308 Technical Service Call 1/800-323-0811 . Clean burrs by reaming out with special file tip. Stainless steel with black etched numbers q Stainless steel wire plugs q 14 I.072"– 7/16". Sold separately and included with A10971 WORKING WITH CAPILLARY TUBING Every precaution possible should be taken to prevent chips.090 q 22 O. Compare OD with reference chart printed on back of gauge to determine probable ID. Correct tube size is determined by using both the I. etc. Check OD of tube in "V" slot. Form No. moisture. IL 60507 USA Printed in U. sizes from . q Sturdy q Clean Design Cut q No Chips q No Collapse of Tube A10971 CAP TUBE GAUGE (Includes A109720 MEASURES ID MEASURES OD DETERMINING CAP TUBE SIZE The A10971 Cap Tube Gauge accurately measures a full range of capillary tube sizes. dirt. most cap tubes have very small holes.This same means of cross referencing can be used whenever two standard I. The A10972 Cap Tube File and A10973 Cap Tube Cutter are specifically designed tools for working with cap tube. Remember. sizes from . Cap tube is sealed and dehydrated from the factory. it doesn’t take much to plug them. from entering the system when changing the cap tube.’s are very close or OD’s are the same.D. In cleaning or deburring. 5 – 12mm q q AURORA.A10972 CAP TUBE FILE Specially designed to cut and open tube.A. dimensions.D. File notch around tubing at desired cutting point.S. Use pin gauge to confirm actual size of ID. flux. and O.D. Precision engineered. Snap tube by bending at notch. .D.026 – . A10973 CAP TUBE CUTTING TOOL Specially designed to cut all sizes of soft and many sizes of hard drawn cap tubes. always hold tube downward to keep small particles from entering tube.