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Old 05-20-2008, 02:47 PM   #1
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Copper piping for central air


I have been pricing replacement central air-conditioners and have gotten mixed information about changing the copper piping if I get above a 13 SEER new unit. I'm pretty settled on getting a new R410 refrigerant and at least a 14 SEER so I want to know if I really need to change the copper wires or not. My existing wiring is 3/4" and they'd change to 7/8". One a/c person said existing is fine and another said the 14 SEER won't be working with the old copper piping. Who is right? Help! please. I'm a single woman(of a certain age) needing to replace a 20-yr old Rheem and needing advice. By the way any opinions regarding a Rheem replacement versus a Trane?

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Old 05-20-2008, 07:22 PM   #2
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Copper piping for central air


Replace the copper, irregardless. Copper is expensive, but only reflects a small percentage of a new system cost.

Sizing of the refrigerant lines is based on the size A.C. thats being installed. What size are you getting, tons of A.C., and the distace from the outdoor unit (condensor) to the indoor unit (evaporator).

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Old 05-21-2008, 12:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8 Ball View Post
Replace the copper, irregardless. Copper is expensive, but only reflects a small percentage of a new system cost.

Sizing of the refrigerant lines is based on the size A.C. thats being installed. What size are you getting, tons of A.C., and the distace from the outdoor unit (condensor) to the indoor unit (evaporator).
I'm getting a 3 ton unit and the distance is about 35-50 feet from outside to the unit. Another quote I got yesterday wants to give me a Trane 14 SEER with R410 refrigeration but they gave me the serial number and it begins with the number 4, I think that means it was manufactured in 2004, does that matter? I am so confused. And what about the variable speed air handler - my Rheem Classic guy is using a variable speed but I don't think the Trane guy is. My sense is that the variable speed is quieter. Do you know?
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Old 05-21-2008, 09:17 PM   #4
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Copper piping for central air


Gets overwhelming doesnt it.

If you will be in your home for at least 10 yrs, its prudent to buy the best quality you can, along with the highest efficiency. 14 SEER with multi speed 90+. Dont be afraid to ask for all the information you can get on the proposed equipment before you buy. In particular ask for the "cut sheets" for the equipment. These describe the manufacturers physical description of the equipment. Ask also for a copy of the I.O.M. for the equipment. Instalation Operating Manuals describe the sequence of operation, how the manufacturer recomends the equipment be installed, and the written warranty information.

Most of the questions you have can resolved by asking for these BEFORE you sign.

R410A is a new refrigerant, one of the intended replacements for R22, which will no longer be manufactured in the U.S.A.after 2010. It will still be available for a long long time.(R22). If you live in the northern states, there is no signifigant efficiency savings using R410. Most manufacturers designate a 4 in thier model number, if the unit is intended for R410.

If you have an existing R22 A.C., there are oil deposits in your line set. These mineral oils are not compatable with R410. For 35-50ft line set, the piping size is the same for both refrigerants, but if your switching refrigerants, replace the line set.

Multi speed blowers speed up the greater the distance from set point, then slow down as they approach the heating or cooling setpoint. This doesnt necessarily mean that they are quieter. A properly sized and installed system, equipment and ductwork, will determine how quiet a system operates.

These systems are expensive to purchase...and expensive to repair. Get the best warranty from the installer, over and above the manufacturers warranty you can get...in writing. Last but not least, do buisness with a reputable contractor that you can trust to be around when you need them. Sometimes, thats NOT the lowest bidder.

Good Luck, hope this helps.

Last edited by 8 Ball; 05-21-2008 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 05-22-2008, 02:26 PM   #5
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Copper piping for central air


I really appreciate your time and explanations. I live in Florida where it's hot. I'm thinking not only about me but in case I sell the house I figure the next people would want the new refrigerant. Both contractors I spoke to said they would "blow out the lines and clean them and I do not have to change them." contrary to what you say. I'm liking the independent guy who seems very honest and reliable and did a friend's work and he's the Rheem person and the bigger company (ads in the newpaper and trucks I see around) wants to give me the Trane. Last email I promise. Any thoughts on this?
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:47 PM   #6
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Copper piping for central air


Go with the one that you feel most comfortable with. Let me know how it turns out.

Good luck.
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Old 05-22-2008, 08:38 PM   #7
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Copper piping for central air


I have a Carrier system with the variable speed fan, I do not see any difference in the noise level, but what it will do is eliminate the blast of hot (or cold) air when the unit starts up. On startup the fan ramps up to speed as the air cools (or heats). Supposedly it saves a little energy too. This can be an expensive option, I do not know if it is really worth the cost.

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