Central A/C connections and reconnection?


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Old 02-24-13, 07:14 AM
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Central A/C connections and reconnection?

I'm replacing T1-11 siding (sheet exterior plywood) and I'm wondering if I have to go thru the trouble of cutting it to fit around the plumbing to my outside central A/C unit - or if I can cut the connections and reconnect thru the siding after it's installed. Below is a photo of what's coming out of the wall.

There's (1) a thin copper (?) tube/pipe with (2) a wire that I think is a ground running along it, (3) these are both taped to a larger-diameter pipe - maybe 1" - with a sheath of foam insulation around it and (4) a pipe running underground that I don't know the purpose of - goes straight down from the half-painted red faucet handle in the foreground. The two capped tubes in the background were from a heat-exchange deal from previous unit that I capped after this new unit was installed. (Also in the photo but unrelated to this question are the PVC drain from the air handler, a hose bib with green Y-connector, and the power supply conduit).

My questions are:
  • Can the active plumbing connections be cut (by me) and reconnnected also by me, and would there would be any recalibration or adjustment of the A/C unit after I reconnect them (i.e., will I have to call a pro)?
  • Is the red faucet handle with the pipe going into the ground related to the A/C and can it also be disconnected and reconnected?
  • Is it worth all this trouble or should I just try to piece the siding around all this stuff? Which causes lots of rot problems as you can see . . .


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Old 02-24-13, 08:44 AM
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One more question - if you look on the wall behind/below the hose bib and next to the taped conduit/pipe cluster there's a little 90 degree nipple pointing down coming out of the wall painted the same color as the wall. Any idea what that is?
 
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Old 02-24-13, 09:10 AM
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The AC unit would have to be recharged with refrigerant by a licensed AC serviceman anyhow, so may as well have them cut the pipe and reconnect it.

The small elbow may be your condensate discharge. You should see plastic tubing inside running to a small reservoir/pump unit near the air handler.

Not sure what the red handle is. Do you have a sprinkler or drip irrigation system or water faucet out in the yard somewhere?
 
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Old 02-24-13, 09:17 AM
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That little right angle fitting all by itself could be the condensate drain line for the air conditioner.
You can not disconnect and reconnect the freon lines yourself. You would have to have the freon evacuated before disconnecting and then recharged back into system. You would need an HVAC guy or company to handle that part.

I also responded to your other post about removing a copper line. It looks like you have several plumbing items that need to be removed and reinstalled. It might be easier to have a plumber do all the soldering work in one shot. (except for the A/C work)
 
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Old 02-24-13, 10:29 AM
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CrispyB: The small elbow may be your condensate discharge. You should see plastic tubing inside running to a small reservoir/pump unit near the air handler.

I'm pretty sure the PVC pipe is the drain from the air handler overflow reservoir.

 
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Old 02-24-13, 10:33 AM
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PJMax: Not sure what the red handle is. Do you have a sprinkler or drip irrigation system or water faucet out in the yard somewhere?

Nope. I guess I could turn it off and see if it affects anything. But it's pretty definitely not part of the A/C lines, huh?
 
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Old 02-24-13, 10:39 AM
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No.....the red handled valve is definitely NOT part of the A/C system.
 
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Old 02-24-13, 01:57 PM
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It would be best to have a contractor remove the a/c and reconnect it. If you have them pump back the system and then you cut and rebraze the lines back together and then have them recharge the system, you will not get any warranty or gurantee that your brazing is leak tight. If they do it, then the brazing is their responsibilty.
 
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Old 02-24-13, 07:54 PM
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CrispyB
The AC unit would have to be recharged with refrigerant by a licensed AC serviceman anyhow, so may as well have them cut the pipe and reconnect it.

hvactechfw
It would be best to have a contractor remove the a/c and reconnect it. If you have them pump back the system and then you cut and rebraze the lines back together and then have them recharge the system, you will not get any warranty or gurantee that your brazing is leak tight. If they do it, then the brazing is their responsibilty.

Those answers make sense but I'm not sure about the part about having them cut the pipes. It seems like it's either going to mean two trips for the contractor or having them wait around while I install the siding = $$.
  • Can't you talk me through disconnecting it?
  • Roughly how much should all this cost anyway?
 
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Old 02-24-13, 08:16 PM
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In this forum we don't discuss the actual freon parts of the system as it must be handled by an HVAC contractor that is licensed to handle the freon.

In your case......you need to call an HVAC company to do that work. They will come and pump the freon out of the system and store it in a drum. Then the connections can be unsoldered. After your work is completed they must come back, resolder the lines, evacute the system and then recharge it.

There really is no way you can do that yourself.
As far as a cost....you would have to call up a company and ask them.
 
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Old 02-24-13, 08:25 PM
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Thanks, fair enough. I have a feeling I won't like the price . . . I'll probably be doing some creative jigsaw work piecing the siding around the A/C holes.

Wish I knew what that little nipple was tho before I start. I wonder if it has something to do with the defunct heat exchange gadget. Here's a closer photo, appendage in question is in the lower left:

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Steve
 
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Old 02-24-13, 09:05 PM
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To clarify about the nipple, I'm certain the long PVC pipe with the upfacing 90 degree bend is what is draining condensation from my air handler. It drips regularly, more so when it's humid out, and I suck algae stuff out of it with a shopvac periodically. I've never noticed anything coming out of the nipple. Would there be two discharge pipes for condensation or are we talking about the same thing?

CrispyB: The small elbow may be your condensate discharge. You should see plastic tubing inside running to a small reservoir/pump unit near the air handler.
 
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Old 02-24-13, 09:59 PM
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I see the fitting. I would just be guessing at its function. Maybe when you take the siding off you'll see where it goes. At this point.....it may not even be in use anymore.
 
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Old 02-25-13, 03:07 PM
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That nipple or elbow could be the discharge from the water heater safety valve.
 
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Old 02-25-13, 06:11 PM
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Aha, that would make sense with the old A/C heat exchanger since it would follow the same route to the water heater. So is this something I should keep or is it something that's not needed with the heat exchanger gone? If keep, how would I verify that's what it is?

When I take the siding off I doubt I'll see where it goes since the water heater is about 30 feet away diagonally across a room. I'm not stripping the entire house, just the gable ends so I won't be able to trace along the pipe.
 
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Old 02-25-13, 07:05 PM
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Go to the water heater and locate the safety valve. Pull the handle and let it blow for a couple of seconds and then go of the handle allowing the valve to snap shut. Go out and look at the pipe coming out of the siding and see if there is a puddle of hot water.

Before pulling that handle on the safety valve, make sure the discharge pipe doesn't just end near the floor or you will get quite a surprise.
 
 

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