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Thread: Why copper?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Edmond, Oklahoma
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    Why copper?

    Had a question from a homeowner which kind of caught me flat footed while installing a couple of mini-splits last week. His question was:

    "Why do they still use copper tubing for the linesets?"

    I have a number of guesses:
    chemical compatibility with refrigerants
    burst strength due to the high pressures involved (relative to gas & water lines),
    ductility/ease of installation
    to answer this question, but wanted to hear from others on this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    2,594
    Because of the failed flex hose that they were using in the 90's.
    My name is TooCoolforschool and I am a chronic over charger.

  3. #3
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    Because it is the most economical solution . Sure there are other materials that will perform as well , but at what cost ( labor and special tools considered ).

  4. #4
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    East Texas
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    Copper - user friendly brazing ability.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2005
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    Atlanta GA area
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    Steel corrodes... Aluminum breaks and kinks too easily... Alloys are expensive... and non-metal products burst.

    Personally... since mini's (most apps) are low pressure (TEV is in the outdoor unit)... a non-metal solution would be nice (easier to install).

    Now on conventional splits... the LL can run pressures in excess of 600PSI... I would not want my co to have to back a rubber hose that burst.

    And then there is the brazing issue... best and most leak-free method of connecting I can think of.
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  6. #6
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    Sterling Heights, MI
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    Sounds like an engineer who thinks he has all the answers . What was his alternative material? Was he looking for the red and blue PEX like in the house? Copper is what is offered and has a lot of engineering, testing and use behind it, and it has basically been that way since we started converting ice boxes to mechanical refrigeration. It's not like you can fabricate the coils, housings, etc. to make your own custom equipment. He should have researched his equipment better so he could get the material of his choice. LOL.
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  7. #7
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    Jan 2013
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    Frederick, MD
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    Not that I endorse it but there is Aluminum line sets available. There is also a soldier that will join it to itself as well as join it to copper or brass. I know this because my company used this material for about a year. We are a new construction company so we did use it in a mass production type system. And it does actually work. I think the biggest problem is getting guys who are accustom to silver solider and copper to make the transition to something new. I have even seen mini split line sets made of Aluminum.

  8. #8
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    Copper is not only a good conductor of electricity, but of ______ as well... And afterall, we are in the business of conducting, or transferring _____; aren't we?

  9. #9
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    Copper Pipe advantage and disadvantage
    Copper is probably the most commonly used plumbing materials in the United States today. This plumbing material offers long term durability and stability yet is soft enough to resist shattering upon impact. Its so durable in fact that copper pipes can even be used outdoors in both above and underground setting. Another advantage to copper plumbing is its natural ability to resist the growth of bacteria. This is important because it helps to ensure that your water supply is clean and safe to use. And finally, copper has a very high melting point and is able to resist deformation. This means that during a house fire, the plumbing may remain intact and could possibly be reused.
    Despite all the great things that copper has to offer, there are a few disadvantages. The first notable disadvantage is the fact the copper is expensive to purchase and install. Installation of this plumbing requires soldering equipment and the skills of a trained plumber. Copper pipes can also be subjected to major corrosion if the water it contains becomes too acidic. In addition to this, copper pipes can leave water with a slightly metallic taste.

  10. #10
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by hurtinhvac View Post
    Copper is not only a good conductor of electricity, but of ______ as well... And afterall, we are in the business of conducting, or transferring _____; aren't we?
    On the lineset?

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