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Old 06-20-2013, 05:23 PM   #1
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Return line is sweating in attic


My heatpump air handler is in the attic and the unisulated return line (the small one) is sweating and almost dripping in the insulated attic during hot summer days. Is it ok to insulate that line ? like the other line is insulated. Every line set I have ever see for residential has the big one insulated and the small one uninsulated. This is not causing a problem exept I think it is raising the humidity level up there during the hot day . When I check the humidity in the night or morning it goes back down. 45% in the morn and as high as 65% at 5 oclock when it is sunny and hot. I am in North Ga. Thanks

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Old 06-20-2013, 05:27 PM   #2
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Return line is sweating in attic


That would tell me there's not enough venting in the attic.
Need a ridge vent and soffit vents.

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Old 06-20-2013, 06:04 PM   #3
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Return line is sweating in attic


You are right JoeCap there is no venting because it is insulated semiconditioned attic . Since I closed my attic in July of 2010 my electric bill has been half and I am total electric. It stays no lower than 65 all winter and goes up to 85 in the summer for a short time around 3 to 6 oclock . The line does not sweat outside going up the wall so I think it is due to the semiconditioned atmosphere in the attic. Is the line supposed to be uninsulated for a reason ? is my question and will it hurt to insulate it. Thanks again

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Old 06-20-2013, 06:17 PM   #4
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Return line is sweating in attic


The small line shouldn't be sweating if it's a standard split system heat pump. Is it attached tightly to the larger insulated line? Sometimes if they are pulled really tight together the compressed insulation on the larger lines reduce the effectiveness of the insulation in those/that spot and you'll get sweating. With the smaller line there it will show up on it. Just a thought.

Make and model numbers?
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:37 PM   #5
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Return line is sweating in attic


Amana RHE30C2A outside/ air handler goodman ARUFO32-00A-1 in attic . I am very happy with the performance/efficiency we are 73 all summer maybe one 100.00 to 120.00 electric bill july or august. Only 1500 sf house on 1500sf basement with this unit doing the upper level only where we live. The unit downstairs is smaller and is going to die of not enough use. Thanks
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:48 PM   #6
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Return line is sweating in attic


the small line is sweating from where it come into attic to the air handler equaully I separated 4' of the naked line from the insulated line and put 3' too large 1/2'' pipe insulation around the sweating line and taped the ends to see what happens. This unit is putting out 60* at all vents which seems a little high but that is what it put out a few years ago when my HVAC man was here and had charged the unit properly.

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Old 06-20-2013, 07:12 PM   #7
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Return line is sweating in attic


insulate it. on a regular non heat pump system the return line is insulated to prevent exterior heat being added to the return cold vapor and to prevent condensation from dripping all over the place. that line is the big line non heat pump. In a heat pump the refrigerant reverses direction thus the little line now is the cold vapor return line. will not hurt in any way to insulate it. do it, be done with it.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:26 PM   #8
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Return line is sweating in attic


The small line is the liquid line, weather the heat pump is in cooling or heating mode.

Joe, sounds like you have a restriction in your liquid line somewhere. Or, its low on charge again.

If your attic is at 85F and at 65%RH, the copper line would have to be cooler/colder then 72F in order for it to condensate.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:39 PM   #9
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Return line is sweating in attic


the liquid line temp from feel should run the same out of the condenser right into the air handler locate the LL dryer outside the condenser.if the line is cool not even warm on a hot dayacross that attic.the attic temps not considered something is causing a refrigeration effect and the swetting soft copper crimped or stepped on
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:45 PM   #10
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Return line is sweating in attic


Quote:
Originally Posted by biggles View Post
the liquid line temp from feel should run the same out of the condenser right into the air handler locate the LL dryer outside the condenser.if the line is cool not even warm on a hot dayacross that attic.the attic temps not considered something is causing a refrigeration effect and the swetting soft copper crimped or stepped on
I had an internal liquid line drier on a Goodman 5 ton straight cool that was plugged. Not cooling, low head pressure and discharge line cold to the touch but that was because the restriction was before the service valve, in the condenser.

Twit last company installed a warranty compressor without replacing the drier.

Good call, biggles.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:48 PM   #11
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Return line is sweating in attic


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The small line is the liquid line, weather the heat pump is in cooling or heating mode.
class is in session. How so? It stands to fact that a 3/8's line in vapor return would be under a heck of a lot of pressure which makes sense as to what you say, but for my education please explain. I'm not too heat pump savvy, obviously. Do tell. Thanks.
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:06 PM   #12
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Return line is sweating in attic


Only the direction of flow changes in the line. The large line becomes the hot gas line. The liquid line is still the liquid line, flowing toward the outdoor unit, instead of flowing toward the indoor coil.
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:21 PM   #13
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Return line is sweating in attic


Restriction or crimp in line sounds interesting since the outdoor section is in even more humid and hot enviro than the attic space and it is the same temp 70-71 but dry .And it makes since that a crimp would be where the guys made the turn though the sofit where I can not see it.. What does the drier look like I don't see one I thought it looked like a inline old style fuel filter.
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:24 PM   #14
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Return line is sweating in attic


The lowes bought wrong kind of insulation and wrong size is not working where I tried it when i open the slit and look in it is just as wet.
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:45 PM   #15
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Return line is sweating in attic


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Originally Posted by Joe Boulware View Post
Restriction or crimp in line sounds interesting since the outdoor section is in even more humid and hot enviro than the attic space and it is the same temp 70-71 but dry .And it makes since that a crimp would be where the guys made the turn though the sofit where I can not see it.. What does the drier look like I don't see one I thought it looked like a inline old style fuel filter.
it does. it'll be a big can exposed in the line. that very well could be clogged too, causing your situation.

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