Driers are not interchangeable with accumulators, but they perform the same functions. This component is in the A/C system to:
- Trap, remove and hold moisture
- Filter particles or debris
- Also acts as a reservoir for compressor oil and refrigerant
Typically, the accumulators are located on the LOW pressure side of the system. Receiver driers are almost always on the HIGH pressure side, usually in the liquid line that runs between the condenser and evaporator.
This detailed illustration will show you exactly where these components are located in a typical auto A/C system. or a detailed below is an illustration showing where the A/C accumulator and/or receiver drier would be located on a typical auto A/C system.
It’s important to remember that one of the main functions of the accumulator or drier is to absorb moisture from the A/C system. Therefore they include a desiccant material. Desiccants are typically made from silica gel, and because of their affinity for water, they make great drying agents. Additionally, accumulators and driers have filter screens to trap any debris. After a compressor failure, these filter screens can easily get plugged with debris. KEEP IN MIND.. some of the components that flow refrigerant through the system work with openings of less than .050″ (fifty thousandths of an inch). It takes LESS THAN 1/10 of A TEASPOON OF DEBRIS to plug these components and cause a failure.