My 2nd line set stolen in 2 months, any solutions?


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Old 07-23-12, 01:28 PM
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My 2nd line set stolen in 2 months, any solutions?

For the 2nd time in 2 months I have had the copper lines that connect the condenser unit to the furnace stolen, so I have to replace a 50' line of soft copper and about 9 pounds of refrigerant(about $100 per pound), is there any other material that I can use like pex, to encourage the thiefs to go elsewhere. I'm not talking about the coil, just the line between the unit and the air handler.
Any insight would be appreciated.
 
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Old 07-23-12, 03:24 PM
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I'm wondering if some type of security alarm wouldn't be better. Not sure if or how it would work but I think that's the direction I would go.
 
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Old 07-23-12, 03:43 PM
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Too bad you can't hook an electric fencer up to it.
 
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Old 07-23-12, 04:24 PM
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If they are outside in a straight line...maybe you could get one of those covers they use for retrofit installs?
 
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Old 07-23-12, 04:57 PM
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Im amazed they didnt take the condenser. Must be an aluminum condenser coil. Maybe a gutter placed over the lineset or maybe you could bury the lineset. Or perhaps you could paint the lineset with something sticky or some kinds of paint that makes the copper worthless.
 
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Old 07-23-12, 06:04 PM
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install an alarm for low pressure in the system? How much of your lineset is exposed? You should not have to replace the entire thing from outside all the way to the inside unit. You can install a fence around the unit. You could setup a camera system to identify the thief?
 
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Old 07-23-12, 06:15 PM
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Funny you should say that, they came back for the condenser last night.
 
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Old 07-23-12, 06:22 PM
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Move...sell the property...make a pot of coffee and buy a shotgun.

Gawd, I hate thieves almost as much as liars!
 
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Old 07-23-12, 06:26 PM
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They broke through the window and cut 46' of the 50' of copper from the basement all the way to the condensor. That is why I am wondering if the line set has to be copper or not.
 
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Old 07-23-12, 06:28 PM
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I'm wondering if some type of security alarm wouldn't be better
Like a chain link fence and a couple Rottweilers?
 
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Old 07-23-12, 06:30 PM
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yes, it must be copper...............
 
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Old 07-23-12, 06:33 PM
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What if you slid some pex or other type of hose over the copper to fool them into thinking it's not copper?
 
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Old 07-23-12, 06:35 PM
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google search air conditioner alarm.
 
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Old 07-24-12, 04:10 AM
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Wow, that is crazy.
I would go with painting it. Find out from a scrap yard what paint would render the copper valueless, but not destroy the actual copper.
If these guys are simply grab and sell guys, painted pipe is not worth their time. If they have the equipment and time painting might not do much.
 
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Old 07-24-12, 04:47 AM
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I mentioned this thread to a co-worker and he had two suggestions.
The first, move.
The second was to use molded insulated copper lines. The only way to get that crap off is to burn it and even that, it'll degrade the copper resale value. It'll also make a whole lot of black smoke, which anyone in the city couldn't be bothered to deal with.
 
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Old 07-24-12, 06:10 AM
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Maybe a small pond and a couple of alligators next to the AC?
 
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Old 07-24-12, 09:15 AM
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Keep your eyes and ears open.They may come back for the new equipment you buyI hope you catch them.
 
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Old 07-24-12, 10:01 AM
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I think I would address the general security of your property. Anyone who knows to steal the copper lines is going to know that the replacement is copper. Painted, insulated or whatever and I doubt a slightly lower scrap price is going to make a difference. If they are there, they are taking it. Without general security your replacement unit, it's lines and anything else in your house are likely to be stolen. At this point I think you have been made as an easy mark and need to step up your game.

I think an alarm system is in order as well as a fence. I first chuckled at the idea of using an electric fence charger on the copper lines but electric fencing in addition to a traditional fence around the property might be an option. My 4 joule charger leaves an impression and my neighbor raises buffalo and believe me you DO NOT touch his fences. The chargers are not cheap though so I'd start with more traditional security measures.
 
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Old 07-24-12, 12:19 PM
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Get a lockable disconnect so they have to take the condenser hot
 
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Old 07-24-12, 12:22 PM
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There is a gun and firearm form on this site.
 
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Old 07-24-12, 02:03 PM
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Ya, Smith and Wesson is probably the oldest security system
only problem is it only works when you are there

It's been a few years but I installed a security system on my house and shop for about $200 [parts only] I see 4 cameras and recorder on sale fairly often for about $300.
 
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Old 07-24-12, 07:18 PM
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Thank gentleman for all of your replys. The first thing I'm doing is going to put the condenser on the roof and spray paint it a rust color so it looks like I bought a used one. I like the idea about making the copper less appealing so I'm going to tar the line and then wrap it in insulation and of course, I have to get an alarm. The funny thing is, this house is in a relatively good neighborhood.

I thought the idea of sliding pex over the line set was great idea, maybe I will do that where the line goes into the basement. This is all happening to me because nobody lives in the house right now, I'm hoping that in a few months with cars in the driveway, I will be left alone.

PS That air conditioning alarm looks interesting, I wonder if I can incorporate it into a VISTA-20 unit.
 
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Old 07-24-12, 07:26 PM
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any alarm can be used that can use a dry contact relay installed to a low pressure switch.
 
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Old 07-25-12, 03:37 AM
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If nobody is living in the house I would wait until the last minute to replace the ac.
 
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Old 09-02-12, 09:38 AM
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Finally finished. Put the new compressor in a mean looking cage. Took all the insulation off and exposed the copper lines. Sprayed a ton of black ruberized coating that I got in a big box store. It is similar to that informercial stuff that they spay on a screendoor ans then float the sreen on water. Then I put the insulation back on the pipes while the coating was still wet. It will be tough to get the coating off, but worth it.
 
 

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