I have a rental unit without A/C. The builder, in 1982, ran a line-set
and A/C power to under the deck for A/C and many owners have added
horizontal discharge condensers placed under the deck.
The problem is that the A/C line-set between the condenser and the
evaporator is only for R-22 refrigerant. Running a new lineset would be
extremely expensive, requiring the opening of the walls.
There are very few R-22 horizontal discharge condensers still available.
The only one I've found still in stock is a Coldpoint, and the only size
left is a 4 ton unit which is way oversized. I really only need a 2.0 to
2.5 ton unit for 1152 square feet on two levels.
Humidity control is not an issue since it's in Northern California where
the humidity is low (in fact humidifiers are more often used by people
here than dehumidifiers).
What are the disadvantages of using an over-sized compressor given that
humidity control is not an issue.
The other option is a vertical discharge R-22 condenser with some sheet
metal work to try to direct the exhaust to the outside.
I've had several HVAC companies out. The last one was the one that told
me about the Coldpoint units but he found out the same thing I found
out--the only ones still available are the 4 ton.
I need to do this all pretty fast because in another month California is
implementing new regulations for A/C installations which will raise the
Is there a difference between the lines? I had my leaking R-22 condenser
and evaporator replaced a couple of years ago with a modern R410A unit. The
installer used the existing lines with the exception of a new dryer -- he
just vacuumed the lines before freeing the refrigerant from the condenser.
Everything is kosher and works perfectly.
There can be a difference. Some of the old R-22 lines were not solid
copper. That's the problem I'm running into. The existing R-22 lines are
copper at the two ends, but plastic in between. All of the other A/C
units are for older R-22 and use the line set that is in the walls.
It would add about $1000 to the total cost to replace the lineset
properly with solid copper. The other option is this one
I've not heard of either. Well, some thing
new every day. I did see one time where the
liquid line was way too long, and hung in a
coil from the cellar ceiling. Aparently, some
use a fixed length of liquid line as a metering
I went with an older R-22 condenser. These are a bit more difficult to
source but no more expensive. Any issues will be ten or more years down
the road if more R-22 refrigerant needs to be added since it will be
very expensive (then maybe I'll regret not tearing up the walls to
install new lines). They put in a low profile vertical discharge unit
(horizontal discharge R-22 condensers are no longer available in smaller
sizes). They did quite a bit of sheet metal work to direct the exhaust
out from under the deck, probably more than they expected to do for the
It was a real experience getting bids on this project.
Two companies came out and spent a lot of time figuring out what was
needed but never sent a bid.
One company didn't show up for the appointment and later I got a
voice-mail that was to confirm the appointment. I guess I can blame
Verizon, but I was waiting for them to come since the voice-mail was
One company looked at the amount of work needed and declined to bid.
Two companies bid the job with a replacement furnace as well (the
existing furnace is 34 years old and was too tall to put an evaporator
on top of where it was located). One bid $6900. One bid $4990.
I think that most of the HVAC companies just want to do simple condenser
replacements which they can do in just a couple of hours. The company I
chose was happy to do all the mechanical, electrical, and carpentry
work. The owner is Ukranian and I got a good explanation of what's going
on in Ukraine.
Refrigerant pressures are much higher with R410A, if the lines were
"cheap" they might not be up to the pressure. Otherwise copper tubing is
copper tubing and as far as I know R410A doesn't require different line
sizes than R22 did.
On Friday, May 9, 2014 6:25:48 PM UTC-4, Pete C. wrote:
When I was getting quotes to have my old AC replaced
some of the firms wanted to just flush and re-use the
old lines. From what I've seen online it's common to
re-use the lines when they are still in good condition
and difficult to replace. Mine were easy to replace and
I also wanted to relocate the compressor to another side
of the house. But if I was in the OP's situation, I'd
re-use the existing lines if they are OK and the right size.
But you'd have to plan for 700 psi if an R410 line was plugged or
blocked. No one has had an issue with these lines in 34 years. Even the
AC contractors say that they would probably work but that they would not
guarantee their work if they put R410 pressures through the lines.
On Saturday, May 10, 2014 9:52:11 AM UTC-4, sms wrote:
I've never seen plastic refrigeration lines either. Why did they make
a portion plastic? I'm assuming it was to snake through a bunch of tight
turns? Otherwise copper tubing can be bent, you can put in elbows etc
as needed. Can you tell us more about what the specific problem is?
You said installing new lines would involve tearing open walls. I'm
wondering how you propose to get the old lines out, new ones in, even
if you use the flexible product, if they are run inside walls? And
if you have to open the walls at all, opening a 2 ft x 8 ft section
to get regular lines in isn't much different than punching two 6 inch
round holes to get flex in. That's kind of where my thinking is,
without seeing it, of course.
Another thing to consider is what's the worst that happens if
you use what's already there. I see three possibilities:
1 - It works OK for the life of the new system or as long as you own
2 - It fails, probably due to the plastic, resulting in loss of R410A
3 - #2 again, but it fails by plastic disintegrating inside the tubing.
With #2, it should result in having to then replace the lines at
that point, purge, recharge the whole system. More expensive than
doing the replacement now, but not the end of the world either. I guess
it could have a #2 when they start it up, worst case.
With #3, the filter/dryer should catch the particles, thereby
protecting the compressor. I guess if a big enough piece of plastic
came loose on the pressure side, it could get stuck inside the
TXV, screwing that, but still not the end of the world. What
the chance is of that, IDK.
The other issue is if there are any warranty issues possible later,
ie if you go with old lines, if the compressor dies in 3 years, will
they say it was somehow because of the lines, even if maybe it wasn't,
etc. I guess the other issue is also if any of the above does go
wrong, is whoever you get to fix it honest, competent, etc. Meaning
once something goes wrong with an AC, even if it's minor, it's not
unheard of for repair people to make mistakes or sell you a whole new
system on purpose.
Actually what the U.S. is doing is exactly right. Neither side in the
conflict is a good side. Two groups of ultra-nationalists going at each
other, weakening their own economies is not necessarily bad for the
U.S.. The mistake the U.S. often makes is taking the wrong side in one
of these conflicts based on manufactured sentiment.
On Thursday, May 15, 2014 12:16:20 PM UTC-4, sms wrote:
I have to disagree. Obama is being pushed around by Putin, and he looks li
ke an impotent weakling. His whole basic strategy is wrong. From the star
keeps telling Putin, if you go farther, then we'll respond with more sancti
The way to stop Putin is to show some leadership, hit Russia with real, tou
sanctions now. And if Putin then backs down, you take the sanctions off.
And the sanctions so far have been a joke.
Obama is letting Putin control events, instead of the other way around.
And if you want to look at further Obama actions that encouraged this,
look at what he did when he first came into office. He went on his
worldwide apology tour, unilaterally canceled the missle defense system
with Poland, and had Hillary giving Putin a "reset button". All that
showed Putin that Obama is weak and he doesn't even know how to negotiate.
You have to be a complete fool to pull that missle defense, without
negotiating with the Russians for something in return, eg help with
containing Iran's nukes. Putin saw that and he knows he dealing with
an amature, whoe doesn't have a clue about geopolitics. Putin is playing
chess, Obama is playing tiddlywinks. Obama's recent plan to cut US
forces by 80,000, down to 420,000 a level not seen in decades, also
sends a message.
Putin has restarted the Cold War, it's just that only he's playing it
so far. The way to show real leadership is to hit Putin with major
sanctions that hit his billionaire Russian mafia thug buddies in their
wallet, big time. When they see their fortunes impacted, they will put
pressure on Putin. They might even oust the prick. What's more important
to them? Their billions in the bank, their businesses, or Putin's intent
of putting the USSR back together? Another simple step that would not go
unnoticed in Moscow is for Obama to immediately OK the Keystone pipline,
citing the vital importance of secure energy sources for the USA in an
increasingly hostile world. And also, it's long overdo for a Reagan or
JFK style speech, calling out Putin and his thugs for what they are.
Telling them that we don't want a return to the Cold War, but if that's
what the Russians want, then we're ready to meet the challenge and
remind them how it turned out last time. If he did those things, he's
find it easier to convince Europe to do more too.
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