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Central AC Sloppy Install?


mr chaos
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Hi All,

Just want to consult you on an AC install.

We just got our central AC installed last week (by a reputable - one of the supposedly best in our area) and, one day after our install, my neighbor had the same model installed by another company.

The neighbor told me that his installer felt that my AC install was a sloppy one and that could lead in the loss or reduction of efficiency. Basically, he showed me that the copper line on our AC installation is curved in several areas and not straight as his. This, according to his installer, could cause problems.

I have taken pictures The first one is our install with the curved copper line.

CIMG2892.jpg

The second one is our neighbor's install where the copper line is straight.

CIMG2893.jpg

I am not sure how accurate is the assessment of our neighbor's installer on our install. What is your take on this? If this is problematic, what type of problem can result from this?

Many Thanks!

MC

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I don't see a real issue with any of the refrigeration lines. You do not want any kinked or dented refrigerant lines. Kinked or dented lines will cause poor performance or may cause compressor damage. I would accept both sets. Let's see what everyone else says.

I guess my only question would be, why does one unit have a liquid line filter-drier and the other one does not? What does the installation guidelines call for?

Jeff Euriech

Peoria Arizona

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Not a problem with what you show in the picture. The covered suction line may have short radius 90's rather than long, but unless you are at the limit for up-sizing the line size, also not a real issue. Maybe not the best practice, but nothing to worry over in my opinion.

The addition of the drier is also a non-issue as it will vary with the installation needs and method.

The only issue I see (and it is very difficult to tell for sure by the photo) is the clearance between the house and the unit for air flow. This will be noted in the installation manual.

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Thank you all for your comments.

Just to add some additional information.

I just read through the AC installation guide which I should have read long before posting on this forum. Here are some interesting info:

1) There is an installation diagram showing the copper line installed with two 90-degree bents. This apparently reduce the vibration for some install. Based on that, I think having some lesser bents such as mine will not likely cause any problems.

2) For my install, the liquid line filter drier was installed in the inside. As per the installation manual, the filter must be installed as not installing it will void the warranty.

3) Concerning the brackets the AC is put on, i guess it is a necessity in Canada as i don't think it would be good for the unit to be covered in snow for 4 months every year.

And, just in case someone is curious about the model of the AC, it is a Lennox 13ACX.

Thanks for all your inputs so far.

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..... his installer felt that my AC install was a sloppy....

Sounds like the neighbors' installer is just trying to throw his competitor under the bus.

Unfortunately there are too many contractors eager to tear down anyone elses work, even when it was completed properly.

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Common install in northern Kentucky is too mount the unit on two galvanized pipes stuck into the foundation wall. Keeps em off the ground, level, and above the average weed whacker.

Click to Enlarge
tn_200961385913_DSC07346.jpg

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Erby, What are your comments (your original report) about the photo you provided? Is this a typical install or is this an exemplar photo?

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If the clearance requirements are the same then one side is allowed to be as close as 6" to the wall (no less).

I have measured and the clearance is 5 and 1/2 inches to the wall. I hope this will not be a major issue.

What type of problems may occur when having the AC unit too close to the wall?

Thanks!

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If the clearance requirements are the same then one side is allowed to be as close as 6" to the wall (no less).

I have measured and the clearance is 5 and 1/2 inches to the wall. I hope this will not be a major issue.

What type of problems may occur when having the AC unit too close to the wall?

Thanks!

It would restrict air movement through the coil and make the unit less efficient. If the rest of your clearances are OK it seems unlikely that the 1/2" is going to make a noticeable difference. I certainly would not regard it as a "major issue". However, with the bends in your piping it looks like it would be very easy to loosen the mounting bolts/clamps/whatever* and move it out an inch or so...so why not?

(*If it involves drilling new holes I wouldn't bother.)

BTW...this is assuming the clearances in your manual are the same as the ones I posted for the 13ACC unit?

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with the bends in your piping it looks like it would be very easy to loosen the mounting bolts/clamps/whatever* and move it out an inch or so...so why not?

(*If it involves drilling new holes I wouldn't bother.)

I will try to move it away from the wall a little bit more.

BTW...this is assuming the clearances in your manual are the same as the ones I posted for the 13ACC unit?

Yes. The clearance is the same for the 13ACX model as shown in the installation instructions.

Thank you and thank you all for your comments. I am grateful for your helps.

MC

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3) Concerning the brackets the AC is put on, i guess it is a necessity in Canada as i don't think it would be good for the unit to be covered in snow for 4 months every year.

This is a common belief however it's not based on any fact. Rooftop HVAC units, as seen in most commercial buildings, do just fine sitting out in the weather year after year. The key is not setting the outdoor unit on the ground and then putting mulch around them - they will never dry out = rust.

One of the things I (we) see is home owners putting protective covers over the outdoor unit (condensing unit) to keep the snow off them. No one goes up on a roof to wrap the HVAC units in a protective cover and they do just fine. In case you're thinking about it save your money. [;)]

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This is a common belief however it's not based on any fact.

One of the things I (we) see is home owners putting protective covers over the outdoor unit (condensing unit) to keep the snow off them. No one goes up on a roof to wrap the HVAC units in a protective cover and they do just fine. In case you're thinking about it save your money. [;)]

I cover mine in the fall to keep leaves, twigs, and other debris out, and that's a fact. Money well-spent. [;)] FYI...I cover the top half of the condensing unit only, so it can still breathe and not promote corrosion.

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About the only things that can go wrong in a condensing unit are the electronics; wrap 'em in plastic and you get condensation and microclimates that cause electronics to go bad. At least, that's what I think.......is that folklore?

Yeah, I've had a compressor go, and I had the wiring short out on my brand new Carrier exactly 29 days outside the warranty. Cost me a grand........

I put a piece of plywood on top of mine in winter to keep gross amounts of crud out of it. That's all. No plastic wrap.

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