Moving an air conditioner


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Old 04-27-15, 07:06 PM
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Moving an air conditioner

I am thinking about moving my air conditioner from the back of my house around the corner to the side of my house, about 20 feet away. The existing lines are more than long enough to reach the new location. The lines run along the joists in an unfinished basement. Can anyone tell me what is involved in this process, how long it should take, and what I should expect to pay?
 
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Old 04-27-15, 07:20 PM
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It sounds like you are talking about a split air conditioning system. You would need to contact an HVAC company in order to have the refrigerant removed from the system before breaking the lines open.

After everything is put back in position you'd need the lines reconnected, the lines evacuated and then the system recharged.

Basically..... not a DIY job.
Pricing is difficult to estimate. I'd call at least two companies for an estimate first.
 
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Old 04-27-15, 07:31 PM
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I don't know what a split system is, but in layman's terms, I have a furnace, and an air conditioner that is connected to it that sits outside the house. And you are right, I am not planning on doing this myself, just looking for a ball park estimate in hours and dollars so I know I'm not getting taken to the cleaners.
 
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Old 04-27-15, 07:47 PM
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You have a split system. Not only will you need the condensor and lines re-routed..... you'll need the electric and servicing disconnect moved.

I don't quote any prices as labor prices are so different in many areas. Someone may stop by that can give you an idea based on your location.

I can see a 4-5 hour job there.
 
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Old 04-27-15, 07:51 PM
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Prices vary from one stat to another but I would expect a 2 man crew to cost you $150 an hour plus materials.

3 or 4 hours, some copper fittings, pipe insulation, a filter drier, vacuum pump oil, nitrogen, brazing supplies. The electrical wiring would also add $. Is an electrician giving them power or are they doing this? The concrete slab look okay? Service disconnect?

If they don't have to buy a roll of 7/8" copper and a roll of 3/8" copper and they can pump down your system it will save you some $.
 
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Old 04-28-15, 04:20 AM
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Is there a reason they can't just reuse the copper pipes and insulation that is there today?
 
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Old 04-28-15, 10:45 AM
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Yes, you can reuse the line set. Make sure they put a filter drier in.
 
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Old 05-01-15, 04:45 AM
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I got two estimates, one of which was twice as much as the other, so I'm checking into details. My biggest question is on the Freon, what kind should they be using, and how much will it take. This air conditioner is 30 or so years old.
 
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Old 05-01-15, 07:04 AM
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A 30 year old AC will have R 22 refrigerant. They should recover the refrigerant and put it back in after the move or they could pump down the refrigerant into the condenser and move it.
 
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Old 05-01-15, 08:49 AM
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If I had one that old and was going to have to spend over $500.00 just to move It's I'd be replacing the whole thing with a new unit.
That one move and one sevice call later is going to cost about 1/3 as much as a new unit that would not require the old style high dollar going to be fazed out Freon that you have now.
30 years is way beyond the expected life span and is costing you more money to run every month then a new one would.
 
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Old 05-01-15, 01:30 PM
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I moved one 20 years ago. It was a new house, the builder put the outside unit right next to my bedroom window, stupid.. ... the builder will move it for $3000, SO I called an A/C firm....they installed new line set, put in a new concrete pad outside, moved and reconnected the condenser, recharge the Freon, put in a new drier, 2 men worked about 4 hours. At the same time, an electrician came in to run a new wire and put in a new wall box/cut off (took him almost 2 hours). I was charged $950 for the AC work, $300 for the electrical work. (The hard part was to run the new line set and the new wire on an existing structure, cus this was a new house, I want it looks nice, they had to do some wood work and paint job too) This was in Texas 20 years ago. Hope these numbers help.
 
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Old 05-01-15, 03:53 PM
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I wouldn't recommend trying to move a 30 year old unit.
It is a bad gamble on a unit well beyond its expected life..

I remember when old Carrier units had accumulators in them that would rust and leak refrigerant after they were 20 or 25 years old. Our techs would advise against it but the homeowners would insist on repair over replacement. They wanted the cost of this repair deducted from the new unit when the compressor would die shortly after this open heart surgery on an old unit.

I would wait till this one kicks the bucket, or get a new system, before getting the new location.
 
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Old 05-01-15, 05:16 PM
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I agree with Joe and Houston, moving a 30 year-old condensing unit is just begging for trouble. Definitely not a good idea.
 
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Old 05-04-15, 05:29 PM
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Thanks for the advice, folks, especially since this isn't really a DIY situation. I started out thinking this was a $300 effort. I'm going to save my money for replacement time. The higher estimate was a project price, which made me comfortable, but was, well, twice as high. I actually have two units that sit side by side, so I think with the lower number I would actually be looking at $1,500 or more. Either of my units would easily heat or cool the entire house, so if I lose one in January I will have time to shop for a good deal, if there is such a thing as a good deal on a furnace in January.
 
 

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