Am I being lied to?

Page 1 of 3  
I had an HVAC contractor (salesman) out to my house to quote a minisplit replacement. He's selling Fujitsu.
The current installation has around 8 feet of line between the inside and outside units. He's telling me that the minimum line length has to be at least 15 feet.
I've never heard of a "minimum line length," regarding refrigerant lines (not the capillary, but the gas/liquid lines between cond and evap)
He's telling me that he'll just coil the XS line by the compressor and leave it there.
Now, not only does that not make sense to me, but I know damn well that I've seen all kinds of installations in the city where the compressor hangs on brackets fastened to the outside of the building and the inside unit is just on the other side of a wall with at most a couple of feet of tubing between.
What's this guy's game?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 8:15:52 AM UTC-4, default wrote:

I suspect he is installing precharged units and precharged lines. And the minimum length of a precharged line is 15 feet. This is just a guess, I am not a HVAC contractor.
Dan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Dan" wrote in message
On Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 8:15:52 AM UTC-4, default wrote:

I suspect he is installing precharged units and precharged lines. And the minimum length of a precharged line is 15 feet. This is just a guess, I am not a HVAC contractor.
Dan
Dan: is right if contractor is to cut line to 8 feet it will need additional work and material you most likely would pay $3-400 more.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

And the extra length of tubing, how does that affect performance?
It's out there in the weather and going to be losing a little efficiency to insulation losses. Does it affect lubricant? Is there some special way to coil it so any trapped lube oil gets back to the compressor?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"default" wrote in message

And the extra length of tubing, how does that affect performance?
It's out there in the weather and going to be losing a little efficiency to insulation losses. Does it affect lubricant? Is there some special way to coil it so any trapped lube oil gets back to the compressor?
I think you misunderstood, he don't want lengthier he wanted to be shorter, but either lengthier or shorter labor is involved and material Purging, evacuating and adding correct amount of Refrigerant must be taking in consideration. The line that is supplied by OEM it is 15 minutes hook up that is all. No purging no evacuating no adding Refrigerant just the hook up. Efficiency; if properly done has no effect. Oil is carried by refrigerant flow and not how lines are position. Yes oil can be problem on LOW TEMP. units but on AC it should not have any problems unless it is strait upraise above 10-15 feet and suction line is perhaps 7/8'OD or greater.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The way I see it, the inside unit will have moisture in it, and be at atmospheric pressure, so to do it properly, you still have to pull vacuum, leak test, etc..
The only labor saving is that he doesn't have to flare the tubing ends, and for the life of the unit, I'll be stuck with a coil of tubing, insulation losses, and an unsightly mess.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"default" wrote in message ---
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I suspect you are wrong about that. Most just come with a little plastic dust cover on them. To be precharged requires some interesting couplings that prevent the charge from leaking while the parts are screwed together. Much bulkier than a plain old flare fitting that most of them use.
They do make them - for 100% DIY installation.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

"package" which is precharged, or a standard kit that is not. Either way he's being lazy.. You could say I was either lazy or cheap when I replaced my unit - I re-used the original line that has an extra 6 feet of line coiled in a loop in the basement - but I brazed the required ends for the new unit onto the existing line - which took some effort. No flares anywhere - all brazed on fittings on all 4 ends.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote in message wrote:

"package" which is precharged, or a standard kit that is not. Either way he's being lazy.. You could say I was either lazy or cheap when I replaced my unit - I re-used the original line that has an extra 6 feet of line coiled in a loop in the basement - but I brazed the required ends for the new unit onto the existing line - which took some effort. No flares anywhere - all brazed on fittings on all 4 ends.
I will say to that Good for you that you have knowledge and ability to do it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 18 Aug 2016 17:58:01 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I suspect the contractor is "lazy." Time is money, and he has a whole office staff to support. There's Frank, the owner, who spends all his day sitting in one place and surfing the net in his office, "Junior" who is the sales guy, but Daddies' own and well paid, Lisa, who answers the phones, and truth be told, probably is their most valued employee.
I got suckered in, because I met one of their very competent worker drones.
From what I'm reading there is No precharged "this and that" when it comes to minisplits. Those are the exceptions. They supply a compressor/condenser/dryer which holds all the charge for the entire system. The contractor is supposed to make the connections to the inside wall mount and lines, which use flare fittings and are at atmospheric pressure, then vacuum pump, and leak test.
They can, and do, fiddle with gauges, and that is impressive to a mark perhaps, but they only use the vacuum gauge.
Then he gives his mighty imprimatur and turns it on. (electrical requires a disconnect and separate sign off)
Most of the third world buys the exact same systems (you see them in movies from the late 80's) and they are installed with no leak test and no vacuum. They just bleed some of the compressor pre-charge through the liquid side for a few seconds to purge the lines, then tighten the fittings and turn it on. If there's any moisture left the dryer is supposed to neutralize it.
Today the compressors are specified (when not intended for pro installations) with sufficient charge to work with n-feet of line, 25' is basic.
I can see where an AC contractor might be necessary for a ducted central system, but they are working a scam when they install minisplits (in my opinion). I got a quote for $5,000 to install a minisplit (I already have the electrical disconnect and pad in place and holes drilled and tubing run - I'm replacing my 7 year old system)
The list price for the parts is ~$2,000 - $1,200 on the net. So the rest is time for installation. Say they send two guys who make $30/hr... and it takes them 8 hours of work, that's $480, and lets say their "benefit package" is another $300 each, that's $1080 for actual installation. and the rest ~$2700+ is to support their overhead - Lisa, Junior, trucks, tools and operating costs.
That isn't unreasonable IMO. But in my Dad's day we worked the phones, and went out on calls. We made money, and did very well when a service call was $10 (to drive the truck to location)
Regulation eats into profit in the AC industry (I get it) but this minisplit thing in the US has just taken over to maintain an unreasonable expectation, or "entitlement" to contractors IMO.
Anyone can buy and use R410A, no license and no special recovery equipment necessary. Gauges (optional) $40, pump (optional) $150, Purge priceless.
I'm in my 70's and would rather pay to get it done, but $5K buys a lot of electricity... I'd rather get someone else to do it but won't pay more than $3,800.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/19/2016 8:17 AM, default wrote:

But while somewhat true..There went your warranty. That kind of work was practiced in the 1960's and earlier. Any air in a PAG oil system is claimed to created an acid condition that damages everything.

Some are..Some are not.

Still has to have a Heatload and distribution plan submitted to the Building Service people for approval first on new systems.
I got a quote for $5,000 to install a

Still requires an Electrician for the hook up and Electrical system then has to be brought up to todays codes. That is your Electrical Unions and Building Inspection folks. Might also need a 115V GFI within 25 feet of the Unit.

Nope.. It runs about $140 upward an hour per man..That pays for labor insurance, license, bond, vehicles, office staff, inventory, taxes, uniforms, advertising, warehousing, office space, training etc ...etc...etc...etc
To verify this go to Craftsman National Estimator. These costs can hit #$200/hour in heavy Unionized area's Like New York City and that is before profit.
and it takes them 8 hours of work, that's $480, and lets say

Nope..Gotta have Certification to install R410A and it must be recovered..Or they wouldn't be making recovery units for it. Same business with R134A.Whoa /..My cheapest Gauge set is over $400..My Cheapest Robinair Vacuum Pump is right at $300 and has a limited lifespan in spite of oil change at every evacuation. I have to pay to recycle R410A and R134A. The HCFC's will sometimes be paid for and most of the time has to be burned at my expense.

Looks like you are going to have to get off you 70 year old ass and get to work then.. Maybe My Dad(88) can take some time off here to help you get around?
Why aren't you bugging the HVAC forums etc...Why here...When all you whiners can attribute to this newsgroup is how badly we treated you.

--
It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard
the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

you entitled clowns out of business. This is high school education stuff and not rocket science.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/20/2016 8:24 AM, default wrote:

Now you've gone and done it. You are reinforcing the HVAC tech as the Rodney Dangerfield of Service. No respect I tell ya, no respect at all!
Mikek
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/20/2016 8:24 AM, default wrote:

Still requires 2 years of Votech just to become an apprentice. 4 years of Apprentice to become a Journeyman...2years of Journeyman to become a Master and another year or 2 as master to make Contractor. That is just the time..You need practical factors and both a physical test and written test to advance in this Clown business. I personally have a degree. Many of us do. Which reminds me.. Myself and a number of others did the Clown work of designing the environment system for Apollo. How is that for Rocket Science? I wonder who did the environmental systems for the space station? Geee, I bet it was one of you HomeMoaners.
--
It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard
the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
PaxPerPoten wrote:

Or, you could just be the brother of contractor with a cell phone.... that's who showed up at my house. Brother's get the same rate too!

crap.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ye olde guilde mentality... No one has to understand what they do, or what reason it has, as long as they memorize and follow rules. That's how animals are trained and tested.
A friend up in Virginia bought a mini split from one of the big outfits like Home Depot for $3,800 Installed. Two days after the purchase a team of four guys show up and hang the evaporator head and mount the compressor and run lines (through brick). Then the AC tech shows up and hangs a gauge on it and pumps it down and leaves, the electrician mounts the disconnect and wires it in, and he's out of there. AC tech comes back the next day, opens the valves, checks the operation and he's out of there too.
Nothing like that here though.
Here it is two guys and they tie up a truck and equipment while they spend all day. I guess if you can sell enough systems fast enough, and not worry about your slack season...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/21/2016 6:42 AM, default wrote:

The only guys out of the whole mess that knew the entire system and what to do. Also had Gas fitters license, HVAC license, and Electricians license along with the knowledge to handle inspection, building and Insurance codes. You are aware that Home Depot contracts the work out to the cheapest and least likely to succeed licensee.

--
It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard
the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Having a license does not necessarily mean one knows what one is doing. The electricians test reads something like how many wires of what size can you have in a specific junction box? Then you get to pick a multiple choice.
My wife had her house rewired... There are pull down stairs to get to the attic and a light switch at the top of the stairs so you can turn on the lights before you negotiate the top steps of the ladder. Now the switch is well inside the attic and you need a flashlight to find it, because the electrician considers the attic a living space (it is uninsulated and unfinished) and the code requires light switches to be xx inches from the floor....
Home Depot gets the job done fast and they guarantee the work. Same thing the other guys promise. I suspect if all you do is install mini-splits, you probably get faster and better at it.
If there's a problem that can't be resolved, there's always small claims court.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.