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What is the proper way to braze the copper lines for a new residental condensing unit and fan coil

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  • witt7229 May 31, 2010

    thank you very much

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Hi,

Brazing refrigerant lines that are copper to copper should be done by first sizing the tubing. For example if you are brazing 1/2" to 1/2" lines together you need to swag (expand) one end with a swagging tool. This will allow them to fit together tight.

Once the joints are sized they must be cleaned, be sure to use refrigeration sanding cloth so there are no oils or contaminates.

If you are brazing copper to copper use 15% silver solder (silfos stick) and no flux. If you run into a joint that is steel to copper use 45% silver solder and flux.

Let me know if you have more questions.

Posted on May 31, 2010

  • witt7229 May 31, 2010

    do ineed to fill the lines with anything

  • Philip May 31, 2010

    You should not need to fill the lines. Once the brazing is done you will need to vacuum the lines to remove any moisture or non condensables

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Hi, this is very easy to find out. The out door unit has 2- copper lines coming out of it. A small one on the unit, 3/8" and a large one either a 3/4" or 7/8" depending on the size.2- rolls of copper called the line set are silver brazed into the fittings coming out of the outdoor unit of the same size and uncoiled and ran to the indoor evaporator coil. Again, one is brazed into the smaller open fitting, 3/8" and the other into the larger of the two. There is only one way to install these as the open fittings are made for you to put your lines into at the factory and silver braze them. They could have cut a line and did there own design, but that would be wrong. What kind of problems are you having? I have seen installers add to many joints to connect to and they would be in the way of the panels going on right, but its pretty much cut and dry, a larger suction line at each end, and a smaller liquid/discharge line on both ends. Please let me know the problem?
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Hi, when the copper lines at the condensing unit, the larger of the 2- start to form ice, you have a freon leak. The unit is new, so I would expect the leak to be at one of the welded/brazed joints. What will happen, is the indoor unit, the evaporator coil will start to ice over and block off all air flow through through the coil. I hate to tell you this, you will need to call the installer out to do a leak check on the unit. They will then need to pump it down, braze the leak with sil-phos, or silver solder and recharge the unit. This is the problem, I see this a lot on new units. Someone forgot to do a leak check on it. Being only a month old, it has to have a warranty on it, shouldn't cost you a dime, but this is the problem, indeed!! Please keep me updated on this and get them out there. It will never cool until they fix the leak and recharge it. Please don't forget to rate me on this, I know you will be kind. Keep me posted and you can contact me by my user name below. Thank you Zeke! You still have freon in the unit, just low enough to start the suction line outside to start to ice and loose your cooling.
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1 Answer

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Don't worry about the line, it is supposed to be the way it is. If you are talking about the condenser coil, located on the back bottom part of the unit, with a small fan in front of it, yes, it is supposed to be hot.

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The noises you hear, are probably the defrost coil melting the ice on the evaporator, this function is on a timer and happens 3 or 4 times a day.

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1 Answer

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Hi, all I can say it had to be a poor weld from the factory to fail like that. If the weld joint is easy to get to, you shouldn't have to replace the condenser coil. You will need oxy/act. torches and sil-phos or silver solder with at least 15% in it. If you can do this yourself, you will need the torch, a vac pump, and the skills to braze, to evacuate the system for around 45 minutes, and the gauges to charge it. If its a new unit with the new R-410a, you will need the gauges for that freon due to the high pressures. If its the R-22, you need just the regular type. If the joint is right at the condenser coil, you can remove some of the fins in that area to give you more room. It might appear to be aluminum, but its copper to copper and you should have no problems welding it. Do not use JB weld or any type of epoxy as you are wasting time and money, it will not hold!! This is high pressure in the condenser, and no patch other then a braze will hold. If you heat the area where it came apart, use channel locks to push the copper together. You may need to put a 1/2" coupling over the joint. If you feel you cant get excess to the equipment to do this, you will have to call out someone that has the equipment. If you are able to do this, great. The data plate will tell you the amount of freon to put in. I would weigh the charge in after I made sure the unit holds a vac. If it doesn't, its still leaking. Keep me posted on this and I will help as much as I can from here.
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