Moving AC Compressor Pipes 2' - HVAC - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > HVAC

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-21-2009, 02:38 PM   #1
Member
 
WaldenL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Nassau, Long Island, NY
Posts: 349
Rewards Points: 268
Default

Moving AC Compressor Pipes 2'


We have a central air system and we need the pipes that go between the air handler and compressor moved about 2' to the left, they go right past a window we're opening/shifting as part of a kitchen remodel. I've got our AC people coming tomorrow (Slomins) but I'm wondering what I'm looking at.

The compressor itself is in a fine spot, we just need to turn the pipe left and run it horizontally for 2' and then down the side of the house instead of just straight down the side of the house. Can the coolant pipes be extended just like a water pipe? Or does this need to be one continuous run? And I'm assuming this is not an average DIY job. I would think I'd loose all the coolant in there if I undid the piping, yes?

I know pricing is very area dependent, but what am I looking at? Is this a 2 hour job that might cost me $250, or a 10 hour job that will cost me $2000?

Advertisement

WaldenL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2009, 02:58 PM   #2
Hvac Pro
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 10,112
Rewards Points: 862
Default

Moving AC Compressor Pipes 2'


The pipes can be extended and it is not a DIY job as the coolant needs proper removal, recharging etc. Pricing is VERY area dependant. I would quote a customer 4 hrs to allow for proper evacuating of the system etc. I would say you are looking at at least $80 - $150/hr depending on area plus some fittings/wire etc. Pricing is a VERY contentious issue and the mods don't like running debates here about posters thinking they got ripped off etc.

Advertisement


Last edited by yuri; 09-21-2009 at 03:02 PM.
yuri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2009, 04:14 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 291
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Moving AC Compressor Pipes 2'


Here's what's involved:

1. Recover the refrigerant from the unit.
2. Disconnect and re-route the tubing.
3. Install new filter/drier
4. Purge the lines with Nitrogen.
5. Braze the modified connections
6. Leak test new connections with pressurized Nitrogen, soap bubbles and/or Halogen sniffer.
7. Vacuum down the system to <500 microns
8. Weigh in refrigerant. (you can re-use the recovered refrigerant)
9. Fine tune charge based on manufacturer's specs.
10. Observe operation of system to ensure all is OK.

The tech. would also be wise to also clean the condensor and evaporator coil while he's there. (good time filler while the pump is running).

It's probably half a days work and I'd bet the bill would be no less then $500 and possibly closer to a grand. Just don't let them charge you for any more then a nominal amount of new refrigerant.

How old is the system?

Last edited by hennyh; 09-21-2009 at 04:20 PM.
hennyh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2009, 05:46 PM   #4
An old Tradesmen
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 26,525
Rewards Points: 4,688
Default

Moving AC Compressor Pipes 2'


It ain't a cheap job.

Not if its done right.
beenthere is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2009, 06:03 PM   #5
Member
 
WaldenL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Nassau, Long Island, NY
Posts: 349
Rewards Points: 268
Default

Moving AC Compressor Pipes 2'


Kills me that moving the pipe so little will cost so much... We'll have to see what Slomins says tomorrow. From a DIY point of view, this clearly isn't!

The system is about 10 years old. Works great, and they did a clean install, it's just that the pipe is now in the wrong position for our new window. Don't really want to change where the window is going, so the pipe has to move. IIRC, the pipe is soft copper tubing... maybe he can bend it where it needs to go and I'll get lucky... It would be nice to get lucky at least once on this project.
WaldenL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2009, 06:15 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 291
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Moving AC Compressor Pipes 2'


Quote:
Originally Posted by WaldenL View Post
IIRC, the pipe is soft copper tubing... maybe he can bend it where it needs to go and I'll get lucky... It would be nice to get lucky at least once on this project.
Copper refrigerant tubing starts out soft but as it get's old it turns brittle. (I'm curious what causes this?)

If you have plenty of slack in the line maybe the tubing can be moved but the bending needs to be very gentle or it'll kink like an old garden hose. A good tech. will have tools to do this bending.

Good luck. Opening a perfectly good hermetic system should only be done as a last resort.
hennyh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2009, 06:16 PM   #7
Hvac Pro
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 10,112
Rewards Points: 862
Default

Moving AC Compressor Pipes 2'


2', 12', 22' the labor is the same. Only a bit more $$ for copper. Such is Life.
yuri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2009, 06:21 PM   #8
Hvac Pro
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 10,112
Rewards Points: 862
Default

Moving AC Compressor Pipes 2'


Henny, it is oxidation: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-oxidation.htm

Yoyzies favorite site. LOL
yuri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2009, 06:44 PM   #9
Member
 
biggles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Long Island
Posts: 3,630
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Moving AC Compressor Pipes 2'


too bad they didn't loop the soft copper in the attic as in line set installs then they could feed it out for the left turn then down around the window future.now they will have to swet/couple in pieces on the suction and the liquid lines with new lenghts..recovery...vacuums and recharge is all time that makes up the bill,with the material being nothing a tech doesn't already have in his truck.nobody in the neighborhood with a service truck in the driveway?that is a nice side job "cash only" for a local guy if they exsist. if Slomins does it first thing tell them to "valve off" the service valves at the condenser to keep it(compressor) positive with the exsisting charge during all the work so the recovery is from ther thru the entire piping run and the evap section.
biggles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2009, 08:28 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: West Michigan
Posts: 440
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Moving AC Compressor Pipes 2'


Just have them pump the freon into the condensing unit vs reclaiming. It is faster this way and won't require a lot of added freon during recharge. I would insist on a new liquid line filter drier and a deep vacuum.
SKIP4661 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2009, 09:46 PM   #11
An old Tradesmen
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 26,525
Rewards Points: 4,688
Default

Moving AC Compressor Pipes 2'


Quote:
Originally Posted by SKIP4661 View Post
Just have them pump the freon into the condensing unit vs reclaiming. It is faster this way and won't require a lot of added freon during recharge. I would insist on a new liquid line filter drier and a deep vacuum.
And of course. If the factory filter drier is inside the cabinet. It has to be recovered to remove that filter drier.
beenthere is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2009, 09:59 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 291
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Moving AC Compressor Pipes 2'


Quote:
Originally Posted by yuri View Post
Henny, it is oxidation: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-oxidation.htm

Yoyzies favorite site. LOL
Thanks! I've always wondered if it's the refrigerant on the inside, the constant change of temp or just normal aging (oxidation).
hennyh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 08:06 AM   #13
Member
 
hvaclover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Suburbs of Detroit Mi
Posts: 3,704
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Moving AC Compressor Pipes 2'


Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
And of course. If the factory filter drier is inside the cabinet. It has to be recovered to remove that filter drier.

Coleman cubes are the worse for LLFD. Just FYI.

I would have new freon too. It's a prudent move from a service stand point just to make sure no impurities have been entrained.

IMO this is a wise course of action since the system will be open to atmosphere.
__________________
Just slow, not stupid.
hvaclover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 10:23 AM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 291
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Moving AC Compressor Pipes 2'


Quote:
Originally Posted by hvaclover View Post
I would have new freon too. It's a prudent move from a service stand point just to make sure no impurities have been entrained.

IMO this is a wise course of action since the system will be open to atmosphere.
That will probably add several hundred $'s to the price on a 10 year old system. (assuming 10-15 lb capacity)

Don't you trust the filtration system in the recovery machine?

Just curious.
hennyh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2009, 10:54 AM   #15
Member
 
WaldenL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Nassau, Long Island, NY
Posts: 349
Rewards Points: 268
Default

Moving AC Compressor Pipes 2'


Say I was to get a new compressor, would that require new piping? I'm just wondering if I'm being shortsighted here. Instead of paying, say X for exactly what I have, just moved a little, could I pay 2X and have a new compressor w/moved pipes? I have no idea where the cost is in an AC unit. Or would it be more like 5X? Or would a new compressor use existing pipes anyway, so it's a moot point.

Advertisement

WaldenL is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help moving kitchen sink pflaxman Plumbing 2 09-22-2009 01:19 AM
Kitchen backsplash with moving foundation khaecker Remodeling 5 06-07-2009 02:50 AM
Moving Header Supports Star Building & Construction 3 09-25-2005 01:50 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts