extending refrigerant lines on a split A/C system

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Old 05-27-15, 07:50 AM
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extending refrigerant lines on a split A/C system

I want to create large storage cubby-holes in the wall of a closet that faces attic space. But, the A/C refrigerant lines are behind the wall I want to remove. So, I want to cut the refrigerant lines (and control wire) and splice in enough slack (about 6 feet) so that I can route them in a different way. Since coolant is involved, I recognize this is probably a job for a pro. But, how hard is this, and what I am I missing?

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Old 05-27-15, 08:31 AM
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For a Pro it's not a hard job. For a DIY project I wouldn't recommend it. The tools and equipment you would have to buy would far exceed the cost of having a Pro do it.
 

Last edited by skaggsje; 05-27-15 at 08:32 AM. Reason: correction
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Old 05-27-15, 02:01 PM
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Definitely not a DIY job, at least in the US. For starters you would need to either remove or "pump down" the refrigerant in the system to the condenser, cut the tubing, silver solder the extension tubing while purging the tubing with dry nitrogen to prevent oxidation. After reconnecting the tubing you would then use dry nitrogen to pressurize the system and check for leaks. If no apparent leaks you would then "pull a vacuum" on the system and hold it long enough to remove any water vapor and as a secondary leak check. Once all that has been done you would release the refrigerant back into the system (if pumped down into the condenser) or replace the refrigerant initially removed. Since you added to the length of the system you would have to add a calibrated amount of new refrigerant to bring the system back to the optimal charge which you would check with various pressure gauges and thermometers.

As you can see it takes a lot of specialized equipment AND the knowledge of how to use it. I've been retired for ten years now and it has been a lot longer since I did any of this kind of work but I am seeing at least three to five bills for this job. How badly do you want this additional storage space?
 
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