Is This A/C Suction Line Insulation Tight Enough? - HVAC - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:37 AM   #1
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Is this A/C suction line insulation tight enough?


The over-20-year-old insulation on the suction line coming from my outside A/C unit into the house was in terrible shape, with torn and uncovered areas, so i decided to replace it. The O.D. of the copper pipe is 3/4" measured (twice) with a digital caliper. I did research, and called customer service at Armacell to make sure I was getting the correct product. They verified that the "3/4 in. x 6 ft. Rubber Self-Seal Pipe Wrap Insulation" tubes, available at Home Depot was the correct product to use, so I bought that and installed it.

My concern is it seems a LITTLE loose, about 1/8" of play. I am planning on sealing the tube split and tube ends with EPDM rubber tape, and using cable ties every 6 inches (not too tight) to hold the wiring against the line.

The only other choice (at HD, anyway) is 1/2" tubes, but given that there is only 1/8" play, I thought that would be too tight.

I'd hate to have to re-do this since installing it was a b**** due to a tight working area. Is 1/8" of play acceptable?

Link to the 3/4" tubes:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Armacell-3-4-in-x-6-ft-Rubber-Self-Seal-Pipe-Wrap-Insulation-HST07812/100585113

Link to the 1/2" tubes:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Armaflex-...5812/100550644

Thanks

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Old 05-24-2015, 08:42 AM   #2
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Is this A/C suction line insulation tight enough?


I'm sure there are technical issues, but in general air is a better insulator than a conductor so don't over think this. It'll be fine loose.

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Old 05-24-2015, 09:18 AM   #3
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Is this A/C suction line insulation tight enough?


As long as you seal it at each end to prevent air migration .

Might also consider the aluminum ( shiny ) tape to protect it against sunlight or the elements . Or just cheap electrical tape .

I use this " cork insulating tape " to cover the last few inches of copper line and the service valve .

God bless
Wyr
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Old 05-24-2015, 10:23 AM   #4
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Is this A/C suction line insulation tight enough?


Makes no great difference. It is insulated so it does not sweat and drip in the house. Not going to gain enough heat from it being loose to make any difference. Keeping the outdoor clean by washing it with a hose periodically saves the most elec $$ and getting it checked to make sure it has enough freon are the 2 biggest NRG savers.
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Old 05-24-2015, 10:35 AM   #5
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Is this A/C suction line insulation tight enough?


^How many units that you routinely check year after year do you actually find low? seems redundant unless the owner notices a change in performance.

do it year after year and after a while the charge will be low just from losing gas when the hoses are pulled off.
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Old 05-24-2015, 11:38 AM   #6
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Is this A/C suction line insulation tight enough?


What you got at HD is 7/8" OD insulation for 3/4" copper plumbing pipes. It will work okay. Just seal the seams, doesn't need to be wire tied.
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Old 05-24-2015, 12:34 PM   #7
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Is this A/C suction line insulation tight enough?


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^How many units that you routinely check year after year do you actually find low? seems redundant unless the owner notices a change in performance.

do it year after year and after a while the charge will be low just from losing gas when the hoses are pulled off.
Seriously? Not doing maintenance?

The owner most of the time does not know anything other than whether it runs and blows some cool air. It could start leaking at any time or have a slow leak over a few years. Just like saying you drive your car w/o checking the coolant until the red overheating light comes on. Plus we check the wiring and amps and caps and drain etc.

Point being on this site I give info for those people who never think of doing maintenance or were not told they should by the installer. Most logical responsible people believe in maintaining their equipment themselves or paying someone. A few monitor the delta T but most have no interest and should pay a Pro. Did we not just go thru a burned out compressor saga from low freon and never washing the condensor coil in the Bayou.
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Old 05-24-2015, 12:40 PM   #8
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Is this A/C suction line insulation tight enough?


OP here. Thank you all for your help. I've attached a before and after pic. It's hard to see all the breaks and tears in the before picture, but believe me, it was in rough shape. (The reason I used cable ties was to keep the electrical and control wires next to the lines, so they didn't flop down. The ties are on there loosely. The two straps secure the line to the wall.)
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Old 05-24-2015, 12:44 PM   #9
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Is this A/C suction line insulation tight enough?


Nice clean install.
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Old 05-24-2015, 12:45 PM   #10
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Is this A/C suction line insulation tight enough?


X2, yeah it looks perfect.

We seal the hole where it goes into the house with clear silicone. A mouse can get in thru a 1/2" hole.
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Old 05-24-2015, 12:51 PM   #11
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Is this A/C suction line insulation tight enough?


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X2, yeah it looks perfect.

We seal the hole where it goes into the house with clear silicone. A mouse can get in thru a 1/2" hole.
Thanks. I sealed it with Duct Seal (that dark grey clay-like stuff).
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Old 05-24-2015, 12:53 PM   #12
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Is this A/C suction line insulation tight enough?


It works good but after a few years dries out and shrinks. OK if you rework it like silly putty.
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Old 05-24-2015, 01:45 PM   #13
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Is this A/C suction line insulation tight enough?


Nice work.
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Old 05-24-2015, 03:48 PM   #14
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Is this A/C suction line insulation tight enough?


You could have run the tstat wire under neath the insulation and " hid " it .

God bless
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