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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    409

    Running line sets underground

    A friend just moved into a home and the previous owner ran the lineset underground in the soil into the house.
    Well of course the system leaks. Im not sure if it is worth it to try and find a leak in the coils etc. Because even if I find one I still cant get to the buried lineset, and I assume there may be a good chance thats where its leaking from.
    I think I need to tell him his best option may be a new system. The existing system is more than 15 yrs old.
    Any of you guys have experienced linesets buried in the soil ? Im curious how durable the lineset would be.
    FYI - it was run below a concrete sidewalk.

    While Im asking, whats your opinion of leak sealers that are added into the suction line?
    Thanks,
    Bob

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    34
    We see underground line sets under foundations all the time, but they are in chases. If there are any soldered connections, and if they were done properly, the line sets are very durable. If the line set was not ran properly through a chase--you should abandon it and run a new line set when you replace the equipment.

    If the line set is the problem...it is more cost effective to replace the line set with a new system that it is to replace a line set as a stand alone repair.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    13,551
    Don't assume.

    Isolate and pressurize the line set, the evaporator coil, and the condenser coil.

    Whichever one loses pressure overnight is the one that is leaking.

    PHM
    ------




    Quote Originally Posted by Bobe5531 View Post
    A friend just moved into a home and the previous owner ran the lineset underground in the soil into the house.
    Well of course the system leaks. Im not sure if it is worth it to try and find a leak in the coils etc. Because even if I find one I still cant get to the buried lineset, and I assume there may be a good chance thats where its leaking from.
    I think I need to tell him his best option may be a new system. The existing system is more than 15 yrs old.
    Any of you guys have experienced linesets buried in the soil ? Im curious how durable the lineset would be.
    FYI - it was run below a concrete sidewalk.

    While Im asking, whats your opinion of leak sealers that are added into the suction line?
    Thanks,
    Bob
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    409
    Quote Originally Posted by Poodle Head Mikey View Post
    Don't assume.

    Isolate and pressurize the line set, the evaporator coil, and the condenser coil.

    Whichever one loses pressure overnight is the one that is leaking.

    PHM
    ------
    I can close the service valves at the condensing unit therefore isolating the condensing unit from the lineset and evap coil, but how can I isolate the evap coil from the lineset ? Its brazed on with no service valves.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,765
    cut it loose and braze it shut. install schraeder valves where needed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    Posts
    325
    Quote Originally Posted by Bobe5531 View Post
    I can close the service valves at the condensing unit therefore isolating the condensing unit from the lineset and evap coil, but how can I isolate the evap coil from the lineset ? Its brazed on with no service valves.
    Cut it and loop it. Braze on a service fitting. Pressurize.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    409
    Thanks guys. I guess this will have to wait until this heat wave in the midwest is over. For now just charge it up to get them through the heat. Dont think they like sleeping in 90 degree indoor temps.

    BTW- nobody responded to my question about the use of leak sealers / stop leak ? are they a waste of time and cash ?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,777
    Leak stop = bad juju

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Columbia, MD
    Posts
    4,483
    Don't use leak sealer crap. You will pay big time. It had ruined my equipment and tools

    If the Lineset is in the dirt underground it needs to be abandoned and rerun. Linesets underground need to be in some kind if conduit or chase

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Western, KY
    Posts
    3,261
    Don't use the leak stop... ever

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Sonora, California, United States
    Posts
    1,185
    Quote Originally Posted by gravity View Post
    Don't use leak sealer crap. You will pay big time. It had ruined my equipment and tools

    If the Lineset is in the dirt underground it needs to be abandoned and rerun. Linesets underground need to be in some kind if conduit or chase
    Im doing a large maintenance job right now and I got some systems, 4 of them I think that I noticed have line sets ran under the foundation with no chase. I would guess there is 6 to 8 feet under ground with 2 of them and the other 2 are clear up on a hill probably got 15+ feet under ground. now im curious to see how screwy my numbers are gonna be!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    33
    the chances of a leak in a line set underground are exactly the same as the chances of a leak in a line set above ground. not impossible or even rare but most likely the leak is in the coil. IMO there should be no joints underground ever. On the other hand IMO there should be no joint in a finished wall ever. what is the reality? it happens. hope your leak is not buried.

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