Kink in Suction line help


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Old 07-03-12, 02:40 PM
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Kink in Suction line help

Hello all,

I had a complete Central Air replacement with a new 5 ton r410 straight cool system. The Air Handler is in the attic above the 2nd floor and the 5 ton condenser is at ground level. The installer left a parting gift in a form of a kink in my suction line which I discovered later. The kink is at the opening in my attic from the outside siding of my home. Total Line set length is about 44 feet. I took pictures and showed it to the installer and was told as long as the Ac is running fine then there is no reason to fix the kink. The problem is, how do I know if my AC can operate better or not if the kink was not there?

Here are the pictures of the 1 and 1/8th suction kink:
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The system is a Goodman brand 16 SEER and is equipped with overheat controller protection for the compressor and as far as I can tell it never overheated (shut-off prematurely). The house seems to cool down to a good 70 degrees when it is about 86-89 outside on low speed most of the time.

Things I have noticed with the suction line:
1) On the outside suction line (past the kink) there seems to be alot of water pooling on the ground near the suction's elbow. Keep in mind that the suction line is well insulated and is covered with a line-set cover kit all the way to the attic opening.

2) On the opposite side of the kink going to the air handler, there's minimal sweating but suction line is cool to the touch. Take into consideration that the attic sometimes is hotter than outside.

My questions for you are:
1) Is there some way that I can determine whether I actually need that kink fixed? I was thinking maybe just doing a thermometer reading on the surface of the suction line on both ends and see if there's a big temperature difference?

2) I wanted a second opinion and hired another tech who showed me the pressure reading on the condenser side and it was holding constant at around 120 psi. He told me that as long as the suction line isn't iced up then there is no reason to fix the kink. He further explained that since I have a 1 and 1/8th suction line and my Goodman system only required a 7/8th suction line, having that kink fixed wont make a difference. Does his theory hold true? Granted, it doesn't ice up but what if the kink is robbing me from SEER performance?


Any suggestions on my kink issue? Should I leave it alone or fix it?
 
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Old 07-03-12, 05:00 PM
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No matter what they say, get it fixed, so it won't bother you for the next 10 years.
 
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Old 07-03-12, 05:35 PM
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Makes you wonder what other screw ups you haven't found.
 
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Old 07-03-12, 05:47 PM
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Re

Indeed! It is bothering me! No matter how many positive excuses the techs give me, I still want that kink fixed. Thanks.

Yea I found some other screw-ups but that's for another thread. Such as a 14 inch round flex take-off to a 12x12 rigid supply trunk. Also, one 16 inch flex return which is attached to a 24x30 filter plenum box by stairs on 2nd floor. Only one return. This air handler is rated 2000 cfm and has high medium low settings. I doubt it can throw 2000 cfms to my 12x12 rigid supply trunk from the starter 14" flex so I set it to medium cfm which is around 1500 cfm. Nevertheless, the t-stat overrides my settings if the condenser needs to run on high mode which triggers the air handler to run on full blast at 2000 cfms (which is quite air-noisy). No P trap. I fixed the P trap issue with a waterless spring trap for primary and secondary drains. A few more, but you get the idea. I tried to fix watever I could but this kink I cannot fix myself and need to hire an honest Abe which I haven't found yet.
 
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Old 07-04-12, 08:00 AM
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That kink is in a terribly difficult spot to fix. I can understand why nobody wants to do it. But really I cant believe installer wont fix it.
 
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Old 07-04-12, 02:42 PM
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Terrible spot yes but it is doable. The easiest way I could see to fix this is if the suction is disconnected at the bottom by condenser, then the line is pulled up to the attic for more pipe length then either connected with a coupler or 45 elbow.

Anyone heard of shark bite couplers and whether they make it for 1 and 1/8th copper line? Basically shark bite couplers don't need brazing and are a permanent fitting.
 
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Old 07-04-12, 03:00 PM
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Sharkbite is not for refrigerant lines....(AFAIK)...they are for water only. They can't take the pressure of an A/C system.

Correct repair is probably to cut the section and braze in a new one.

If they refuse to do that for whatever reason...then get an extended warranty on the problem in writing. Might not be worth the paper it's written on if the company goes under or changes hands though.
 
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Old 07-04-12, 06:35 PM
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Such a deep kink is not acceptable; just because a system is cooling doesn't mean it's working properly.

Another dealer could deny you warranty coverage if the compressor fails as a result of that poor install. It's a good idea to get it fixed even if the repair isn't free.

They may have screwed other things up, including but not limited to...

1. Evacuation (taking the air/moisture out of the system)
2. Matching outdoor unit to indoor coil/air handler
3. Setting the blower speed properly
4. Charging - may have too much or too little refrigerant
 
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Old 07-04-12, 07:21 PM
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thanks guys. I'll definitely get the kink fixed. It's always in the back of my mind. I'm holding off on opening extra unfaced insulation batts in that area until kink is fixed since that's my next project.
 
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Old 07-04-12, 10:44 PM
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Muggle,

Before the system started up the first time, I believe the installer ran a vacuum pump for about 4 hours while he prepared the take-off and round ductwork to my pre-existing 12x12 supply trunk.

What should I be looking out for when I do find someone to fix the kink? Will the tech have to vacuum pump the entire system again for 4 hours? Also, should I have the tech replace that 2 month old liquid filter dryer after the kink is fixed? I heard everytime you "open" the system piping the filter dryer needs to be replaced. Is this true? I just want to be a little more weary this time since this is becoming very expensive very fast and I can't keep having different techs coming back. Please let me know what I should be observing and the proper timing this should all take. I understand you cannot go into detail on some subjects like the refrigerant so please be general.
 

Last edited by Pastalover; 07-04-12 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 07-05-12, 11:48 AM
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Procedure:

Pump the refrigerant into the outdoor unit. (called pumpdown)

Cut out and replace the damaged section

Replace filter drier

Fill system with nitrogen and check new joints for leaks

Vent nitrogen and pull a vacuum

Release refrigerant back into system and check charge (this involves measuring the line temperatures, not just pressures)
 
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Old 07-05-12, 02:22 PM
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Is it absolutely necessary to replace that 2 month old liquid filter drier? It's actually located inside the condenser unit's cabinet so it might be a little difficult to get to and replace.
 
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Old 07-17-12, 01:05 PM
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Can anyone give me any input on the filter dryer question? I still haven't found a tech to fix the kink problem. I guess it's too difficult for them or it's the fact that it is just a small job and small return so I'm considering Sears repair.

My current observation on the outside line is that it sweats ALOT even when the pipe is covered with black insulation and also a white siding cover kit.
 
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Old 07-18-12, 01:40 PM
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You can keep the old dryer, make sure cover the opening, don't let moisture get in.
 
 

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