Can A Do-It_Yourselfer Install a Mini-Split?

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I consider myself to be at least an 8/10 stars do-it-yourselfer and I perfrom a very wide variety of jobs in my two houses. Other than painters can't remember the last time I had a service professional over there. Is there anything that would prevent me from being able to install a mini-split without professional help? (I have been looking at Samsungs.) Thanks for your help! Frank
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Do you own or have access to the tools and materials required? Do you have the knowledge to use them?
Some of the tasks: Silver solder copper joints. Use refrigerant gauges? (licensed trade) Install electric, gas (if used), and control wiring? (licensed trade)
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Are you saying that it is simply illegal for me to these "licensed trade" items, or that they are simply very difficult. I have done all kinds of wiring and soldering.

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You need an EPA license to buy and to install the refrigerant.
Electric depends on local laws. Some allow you to do your own wiring with a permit, others do not.
Silver soldering takes more heat than water tubing solder. Contamination of the lines (lack of, actually) is a big factor in having a dependable system. Whe I was involved years ago, we ran nitrogen through the coils when they were brazed.
If control wiring is 48 volts or less, no license is needed.
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By asking "do you think I can", you prove that you don't have the skills. Those who can... already are doing, and don't bother to post to Usenet to ask if they can.
I learned HVAC by working for other companies and learning from guys who know how.
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"frank1492" < snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net> wrote in message
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I think it is obvious that a particular skill can be learned by reading the right material and doing the correct research. I do it all the time and get good results. The question "Do you think I can?" is simply a request for an explanation of what is required.
On Mon, 29 Oct 2007 09:07:59 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

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frank1492 wrote:

Theory can be learned by reading; actual implementation isn't necessarily quite so simple. There's also "art" involved beyond the technical aspects.
While not impossible, unless one already has the skills in hand, learning the necessary skill set practicing on a new system install isn't conducive to a quality installation.
Learning sheetrocking or how to sweat copper plumbing is pretty simple and easy enough to fix screwups with very little cost or impact other than time. Messing up a new HVAC system install is much more costly and difficult to repair the damage.
...
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dpb wrote:

Actually, got to thinking--if I were really intent on doing a cheap install, I'd call the instructor at the local Technical School and see if he would bring his class out for an in-the-field lesson. They work under instructors' direction to ensure no major screwups. Not sure just how they do the remuneration thing, but am sure it's not a whole lot...of course, their warranty is about the same as yours on the complete self-install... :)
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This is a wonderful newsgroup. People come here all the time asking "Is this something I can do myself?" in the hope of learning what they may not know about a project. The OP stated what skills he had and they appeared to be extensive. So IMO your reply was not helpful.
Personally I would not touch HVAC, but I have completely rewired two houses by myself. The one thing I will not do is to work on the main panel. For that I will gladly pay a contractor.
I'm seriously thinking of taking a course in plumbing because what I have paid plumbers for simple tasks is outrageous and I am reasonably certain my finidhed product will be at least as good as theirs and will look a hell of a lot better.
Dick
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I've never understood why plumbers draw such large fees. There are only 7 things you need to know to be a plumber:
1. Hot's on the left 2. Cold's on the right 3. Farts go up 4. Shit goes down 5. Fridays are paydays 6. Boss is a Son of a bitch 7. Don't chew your fingernails <grin>
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8. Ooohhhh... this gonna be expensive!
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"DanG" < snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net> wrote in message
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9. Rightee tightee--leftee loosie 10. The Master's test-- getting a dip of snuff without using your fingers. I couldn't make it as a plumber. I weigh about 145lb and when I try to have the appropriate amount of buttcrack showing, my pants fall all the way down. Larry
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EPA refrigerant license?
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Lack of skills Lack of equipment / tools Lack of permission from various governmental regulatory bodies
Any one of those, above, could be a problem.
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Christopher A. Young
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"frank1492" < snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net> wrote in message
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Thanks to all for your comments!
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To me it is what will the cost of the tools be -vs- paying someone to do it.
If I am only doing something once and it is less to pay someone to do it, then I will go that route. If I do something frequently, then it would pay to buy the tools and learn how to do it.
Anyway here is a bit about what this entails... http://www.firstfives.org/faq/AC/ac_charge.html
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I purchased a Celiera unit on eBay and installed it myself. I am quite happy with it after two years. Most of the systems have pre-charged outdoor units and feature what they called "quick couplers" which are just flared fittings. The installation manual outlines a method to bleed the air out of the lines and indoor unit using a timed purge. This purge is designed to just exhaust the air, and release a minimum of refrigerant. How well it works I cannot attest to.
A friend installed a whole house unit years ago and bought a unit with evacuated lineset and evaporator and true dry-break quick disconnects which did not need to be purged, but I could not locate any.
I had to shorten the lineset so I had to cut and reflare the tubing (I have years of experience at this and all the tools). I do some work on automotive A/C so I have a vacuum pump with the correct fittings which are the same as the mini-split. So I vacuum checked the entire system before releasing the refrigerant instead of using their purge method.
So...yes it can be done if (1) you have the skills and buy a unit with the proper connections and (2) you are satisfied with their purge method. Even though the instructions show this method, reading the fine print reveals that it has to be professionally installed in order to be guaranteed. And if you need a lineset longer than the supplied length, you will have to have it filled anyway, as the refrigerant only fills a certain line length.
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Dennis


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I agree with everything said in this post. I bought a mini-split on Ebay and had the exact same experience.

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Once again, thanks to all for your comments. A special thanks to DT for his detailed "can do" answer. I never thought this would be easy (and I still don't know if I will attempt it) but if I do decide to go ahead at least now I have a better idea of what I am in for and the amount of time I will have to take to get it right! Thanks again! Frank
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frank1492 writes:

No. I know do-it-yourselfer's who have successfully installed mini-splits. The bigger problem is whether you will get it right enough the first time, and whether you're willing to deal with the possibility of fouling it up.
If your bent is to do it yourself, I would encourage you to do so.
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