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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    55

    Default New Line Set for Central A/C System

    I have a new Central A/C system (replaced in last 6 months), but the line set (i.e. the coolant pipes connecting the system) are very old (at least 20 years, but likely more).

    It works (as far as I know), but there are three problems.

    First the easiest and quickest route between two points is a straight line. This philosophy was obviously not believed by the original installers (there are at least 7 right angles).

    Second, aesthetically speaking, the piping in the room of the home is unsightly. The condenser is at the side of the house, but the piping exits the rear of the home, snaking around windows and doors until is climbs around the corner to the side of the house.

    Third, at some point in the next two years I will need to replace the siding and therefore this line set will need to be removed temporarily. I believe there is a change over to a new type of freon; I did not want to get caught having to make a major upgrade as we result.

    So, I would like to know how much of this can I do myself? Can I run a new A/C line set on my own? I understand I will not be able to charge it, but I was hoping to reduce the total cost of the replacement (quoted at $1K) if I did most of the work myself.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,365

    Default Re: New Line Set for Central A/C System

    First, I claim zero expertise with HVAC systems. Now that we've got that out of the way...

    A few considerations:

    Cutting open existing lines and letting the refrigerant escape into the atmosphere is a big no-no and could get you in major trouble with your local environmental protection agency. If you need to, you can probably have an HVAC technician purge the lines and recover the refrigerant before you dismantle the existing system.

    I believe that fittings in refrigerant lines need to be brazed, not soldered. There's a difference; I'm not sure why brazing is preferred.

    You can probably run lines yourself, especially if you can do it using flexible tubing so you don't have to braze any fittings. Then the HVAC tech can hook it up on each end. If you have the tools and know-how, you may be able to do up the fittings yourself. I can tell you how to solder water pipes, but I've never brazed.

    Is this a single-story house? Maybe you can run the lines through the attic.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: New Line Set for Central A/C System

    Thank you!

    The unit is in the Attic, so I was hoping to run the line set straight through the attic space to the side of the home. It gets a little tricky...but doable. Probably 40 or 50 feet from the attic unit to the side of the house and then 25 feet straight down.

    I did not realize you can use flexible piping...

    I understand that I will need to drain the lines and then recharge them...but that is a couple of hundred dollars versus $1K.

    Thanks for the insight!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,365

    Default Re: New Line Set for Central A/C System

    Double-check on the flexible tubing. I don't know if it's "special" copper tubing, or if any old tubing will do. There are two lines, a larger and a smaller one. The stuff HVAC installers usually use is almost always pre-insulated (the larger pipe).
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: New Line Set for Central A/C System

    Thank you!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    661

    Default Re: New Line Set for Central A/C System

    OMG, Good Luck,

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    661

    Default Re: New Line Set for Central A/C System

    I'm not a big supporter of mechanical fittings but I'm sure that in the years to come that's where we're headed. As for flexible linesets here's a link to at least one product line.
    http://www.hydraulicseaton.com.cn/gb...AC-MC001-E.pdf Good Luck!!!

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