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Home AC - Run Refrigerant Lines & Connect the Condenser

Home AC 

Running refrigerant lines and connecting the condenser flare connections on a home AC system. The function and life span of a newly installed commercial or domestic air conditioning installation relies on good copper pipe installations. The pipe ends must be sealed at all times to stop debris and moisture entering unnecessarily. The system life greatly reduces and acid mixture built up in the system, causes damage to the main compressor. Furthermore, the warranty on a home air conditioner will become void on inspection of a failed compressor in this event.Soft Copper Handling

Soft copper coils are the preferred type for most residential air conditioning installations due to the flexibility and ease of handling. It is easy to kink your pipe work and in some cases over braze and block capillary connections. You will find issues like refrigerant starvation to your home AC indoor unit and in turn critical oil starvation back to the compressor. Therefore, do not bend pipes by hand for angles greater than 35o degrees. Only use purpose made benders such as springs and bending hydraulic formers

Room Air Conditioning 

The duty sizing selection for an AC unit to be able to mange the heat loads in a room should be calculated by experienced home air conditioning contractors. Under sizing the capacity of the air conditioning unit will mean longer running hours resulting in higher energy bills. In turn, over sizing an air conditioning system will cause swings in the room temperature during operation. Draft problems from the air outlet being too powerful will also cause comfort cooling issues. There is a lot to consider prior to installation and may be a better choice to use an air conditioning installation contractor.

Pipe work installation

Run both your discharge and suction copper pipes along the selected route once all access holes have been made. When you are doing more than a single braze it is advised that you purge the pipe work with oxygen free nitrogen during the brazing. The build up of oxidisation inside the pipework will cause issues with the refrigerant oil and cause compressor failure. Once the pipe has been run you will then need to insulate it with lagging. Once all the pipe is lagged, run in your interconnecting comms and power cables. Secure all interconnecting services with the correct type of supports dependant on the installation. Be sure to to follow the manufacturer electrical installation guidelines and consider using a screened comms cable to prevent interference from other cables.

Mounting the condenser

You should apply anti vibration floor mounts to the metal feet of the condenser. The air conditioning system is always best mounted directly off the floor for drainage and servicing reasons. A wall bracket is another option to use when direct floor mounting is not possible. Wall brackets come in different weight capacities so be sure to select the right type for the condensing unit. Use anti vibration pads on the bracket to reduce the chance of a neighbouring wall absorbing the noise in operation.

Connecting at the condenser

To connect the pipe work at the condenser you will need a flaring tool kit. There are various types of flaring tools on the market. A good flaring tool will save you time and money so invest wisely. Be mindful to remove the brass flare connections from the condenser service valves before flaring your pipework. Fit the brass flares onto your respective pipes and flare the pipe ends. Once complete screw the brass connections back onto the condenser service valves. Use a toque wrench so as to not over tighten and split the flares.

Final commissioning 

When the brass flares on the outdoor have been fitted, and the indoor pipe also complete, it is time to pressure test the connections. To do this you will need a set of refrigeration gauges, OFN, and a OFN gauge. DO NOT EVER use an air compressor system as you will push moisture contamination into the home ac system. See our article and video on pre-commissioning and the process of pressure testing. During this process you will be able to test the strength and integrity of your flare connections and brazes throughout the system. This entire process is a pretty straight forward task even for a trainee but if you require help with air conditioning installation in London click the link.

Home AC and Commercial air conditioning

The installation processes for your home AC and commercial air conditioning are the same and require the same tools and knowledge. If you don’t have the tools or manual labour experience it is best to seek advice first. Guide performed by individuals training or with trade experience.