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Remove and relocate split air conditioner

Hi, i need to remove and relocate 12000BTU split air conditioner without releasing gas (if possible) from the system without calling a contractor to regas the unit. I am very technicaly minded, i installed the system myself without any problems 1 year ago.
Tech. assistance in this matter would be highly appreciated.

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  • ruicabanita Feb 02, 2009

    I need to remove a cheap 9000 BTU split AC unit. It's too cheap to call for a technician.
    Is there any problem if I simply turn off the valves on the external unit and disconnect the tubes, loosing some of the gas? Will the remaining refrigerant be enough to purge the air from the tubes and make the unit work properly once it is reinstalled?
    I have no special equipment such as air pumps...

  • coetzee_phil Nov 14, 2009

    Thank you!
    Can you pls explain why running a vacuum pump is recommended, and how is this procedure done?




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The simplest way of explaining this is as per the following. On your outdoor compressor unit there should be two pipes, one smaller diameter [high pressure] and a larger diameter pipe [low pressure]. Turn your A/C on inside the house and then shut off the smaller diameter pipe. Run the unit for a around 3 to 4 minutes and then check if the cooling is reducing from the unit inside the house. When you feel room temperature air [not cool] being emitted from the indoor unit shut off the larger diameter pipe and turn off unit. Isolate electrics, disconnect A/C piping and immediately seal the piping with good quality tape to prevent egress of dirt. When re-installing a quick purge of gas is usually only required to clear the lines if they were sealed properly and kept clean. Ideally running a vacuum pump is recommended but if care was taken then it may not be needed, as in many of my installations.

Posted on Nov 13, 2009

  • Johnny Reb
    Johnny Reb Nov 20, 2009

    Hi Phillip,

    The vacuum is required to draw out any moisture and contaminates out of the copper lines. When I disconnected my last unit, I was very careful with the cleanliness of the lines and sealed them immediately. Therefore, when I re-installed the unit a short time later, a purge of gas was only required to ensure the lines were clear, and I did not need a vacuum pump.However if you have picked up a unit of unknown source or had one lying around for some time then I would recommend running a vacuum pump to ensure all moisture and contaminates are gone for at least a min of 20mins [the longer the better obviously]. Be aware that the copper piping used is a special refridgerant type ie. polished on the inside. Any work done on these pipes must be followed by deburring the areas worked on before any flaring can proceed. You cannot afford to have even the smallest contaminate such as filing of copper in your system because it could lodge in your TX valve etc. Utmost cleanliness and moisture free are keys to a fault free system. The way to run a vacuum pump on a system is to connect it to the low side [bigger pipe] of the service port on your out door unit via a set of refridgerant gauges. The service valve would have a cap that needs to be removed.The gauges must suit the unit and I have noted that my old set of gauges do not fit the newer units. A set of gauges in this exercise is good because you can monitor how much vacuum you are pulling and then check if there are any leaks in system via these gauges. Unless you have the appropriate gauges and pump, it might be best to pay the service call and get someone who has the right equipment for the final stage. If you had completed all the other work, then this part of the job should not cost too much.


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If the unit has king valves you can close the liquid line and pump the refrigerant into the condensing unit. Do not pump the unit into a vacuum. Any remaining refrigerant should be properly recovered by a EPA licensed tech.
Move the unit, reconnect (taking care not to allow any moisture or contamination into the lines) and evacuate the refrigerant lines and the evaporator down till it holds 500 microns for 10-15 minutes.
The refrigerant can then be released back into the system.
Hope this helps.

Posted on Jan 09, 2009

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Matt is correct! your compressor could possibly be a scroll. DO NOT RUN THIS INTO A VACUUM!

Posted on Mar 05, 2015

Testimonial: "Thanks a lot for the info, helped a lot though, better late than never. Regards Phillip"

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