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Old 06-29-2020, 04:19 PM   #1
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Seeking advice on central AC installation


Hi,

We're replacing our furnace and AC, to save some cash I plan to get everything in place myself and just have an HVAC person come in to finish connecting everything.

I've got a couple options for how to run the AC coolant lines but I was hoping to get some input on which way to go.

In the photo, you'll see where I plan to put the AC and the two options I'm considering for running the coolant and electrical lines.

1 Would come out in between the floor joist and 2 would come out a couple feel below the floor joist. For one I would have to cut a hole but I feel like it is the better choice. 2 would use an old foundation vent but would require more copper piping and it would come out in an awkward spot in our crawlspace which would require extra mcguivery.

I'm thinking 1 ins the correct option but I'd love the input of someone who does this.

Thye other photo is of our old furnace, the new one will be quite a bit shorter but pretend it's the new one. The coolant lines need to go back behind the furnace and into the other crawlspace. As indicated by the organ lines I'm thinking of putting the lines from the coil out the front and then routing them behind and out. I could also put them just going out the back but it wouldn't be a nice spot for the HVAC guy to have to work on. Which would be correct?

Also, I'm not sure what to use as hangers for the coolant lines, not seeing anything when I search Home Depot. Do you just use plumbers strapping or is there something else?

Lastly, does anyone know what the minimum mounting height of the electrical disconnect needs to be? I'm in Ontario Canada, I think it's usually around 3' off the ground but I'm not really sure.

I would greatly appreciate any advice you guys could offer.
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:29 PM   #2
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Re: Seeking advice on central AC installation


Try keep the bends sweeping as it is very hard to make them 90 deg w/o a professional tube bender.

There may be some welding involved so try not have any joints/connections in a crawlspace.

You may be able to get info about the elec code online or from whoever gives out elec permits for your area. I would say 3 feet would be fine and usually you can buy a " whip kit " which is 3 feet long and has the wire and cable in one unit/pre-cut and bagged.

#1 location looks better and you may be able to buy a " spring bender " which slips over the larger line and helps you not kink it. I am not sure how easy it is to get DIY tools in Canada but you could get it from the US>

VERY few HVAC wholesalers like to sell to DIYers in Canada and most don't take cash or cheques anymore. Just business accounts with contractors and direct billing.

Are you 100 % sure you can find a HVAC contractor willing to do your final hook up. Most don't want to as they feel you are stealing their work by installing it yourself. I would want to line one up B4 doing the install so you don't find out no one wants that kind of job.
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Last edited by yuri; 06-29-2020 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:08 PM   #3
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Re: Seeking advice on central AC installation


Hi Yuri,


Thank you so much for the reply.


Regarding bending, is using 90 degree couplings not allowed anymore?


If the HVAC guys charged reasonable rates I would definitely get them to do the whole thing but I don't have $2000 to pay them for a $200 worth of materials and 2 hours of work. It's my home, it's my right to do the work, if anything they are stealing money from me by insisting that they should have to do it. I spoke to one HVAC guy here who quoted me a price for finishing it up, still way more then I think the job is worth but what can you do?


The Wholesaler I purchased the AC and furnace from was great, sold me almost everything I needed including the lines, disconnect, insulation etc.


Any suggestions regarding the coolant line hangers?


Thank you again, I really appreciate the advice.
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Old 06-30-2020, 07:48 AM   #4
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Re: Seeking advice on central AC installation


You can use 90 deg elbows but you have to weld them in. We try to have as few of them as possible as they add resistance and could leak.

I would use perforated copper strapping as it does not rust. Steel strapping if it gets sweating on the cold line in a bare spot will rust and corrode the copper. HDepot should have copper strapping or nylon coated steel strapping.

It may take them 3 hours to weld the lines and purge them and properly adjust the freon level. If you have found a willing contractor then good for you.

Sit the outdoor unit on a bed of crushed rock with a metal edging around it. You can use cedar boards for the edging to keep the rock from washing/falling out. Use concrete sidewalk blocks or some wholesalers have a pre formed fibreglass/concrete looking pad.
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:43 AM   #5
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Re: Seeking advice on central AC installation


Thanks again, Yuri.

The wholesaler gave me a styrofoam filled fake stone pad, it seems a bit small for the unit though, it should fit but only just. I had planned to embed it in crushed stone, I know it being level is very important.

What distance away from the house is considered ideal for the AC unit?

Also, do you think I should route the coil lines out the front of the furnace? It would make it a lot easier for the HVAC guy to work on but would at 2 90's to the run. The back could go straight out but would be unpleasant to work on. I guess I can always just leave the ducting unattached and let the tech decide where he wants it.

Last edited by Dav3; 06-30-2020 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:10 AM   #6
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Re: Seeking advice on central AC installation


I would keep it the width of a man away from the house so you can wash the outdoor coil easily plus remove any covers.

There may be a thermostatic expansion valve/ TX valve which needs attaching to the front of the coil and the small liquid line attaches to it. He needs to access it to hook it up.

Depends on the brand as some are internal.

I would route the lines out the front and he can bend the lines or add a couple of elbows or let him decide how he wants to hook it up.

Stay away from any crawlspace work unless it is just running lines with no joints in them and a one shot deal.

You also need to drain the coil into a floor drain or use a condensate pump and pump it outside or to a drain pipe somewhere.

Try keep that drain as short as possible as they can plug with algae later and need cleaning.
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Last edited by yuri; 06-30-2020 at 09:13 AM.
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