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How to Install a Rotolock Compressor

Mark Robinson

A number of compressors used in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning, or HVAC, industry use rotolock valves to connect refrigeration lines to valves. Use of a rotolock allows technicians to not only install and remove lines with relative ease, but also to remove refrigerant from compressors without removing the system’s charge. The installation of a rotolock fitting on a compressor is somewhat labor intensive, so the amount of time needed for an installation depends largely on the technician’s experience.

Step 1

Apply a small amount of flux onto the surface of the rotolock with a small brush and discharge pipe stub. Avoid leaving excess amounts of flux inside the pipe and fitting. Remove the Teflon gaskets from the rotolock fitting.

Step 2

Assemble the rotolock fitting onto the pipe stub immediately after adding the flux. Revolve the fitting at least once on the pipe to spread the flux in a uniform manner.

Step 3

Apply a small amount of flux over the back end of the fitting. Make sure the fitting has adequate support, if needed.

Step 4

Braze the fitting with an oxyacetylene torch fitted with a low-velocity bulbous tip and a 10-inch-long soft copper extension tube. Position the flame at least a half-inch away from the end of the fitting.

Step 5

Heat the fitting all around to promote the uniform expansion of the pipe. After the flux on the pipe melts to a clear liquid, move the torch away from the pipe and onto the joint on the rotolock fitting.

Step 6

Apply alloy onto the junction between the pipe and fitting by heating the alloy stick with the torch. Allow the liquefied alloy to run and settle into the junction. When finished, remove the heat and wash off residual flux with a wet brush. Reinstall the Teflon gasket onto the rotolock fitting.

Step 7

Insert the discharge line into the rotolock fitting. Hold the larger nut on the rotolock fitting with one combination wrench while tightening the line with the other combination wrench. Repeat the procedure for the suction line and other lines that require rotolock fittings.