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  1. #1

    Refrigerant Liquid Line Size?

    I am in the process of getting bids to replace 3 separate split heat pump systems in my house. Four guys have come to the house representing different companies (Trane, Carrier, Lennox, Bryant). They have looked around and presented me with a proposal. The fifth (and hopefully last) guy came today (the local American Standard distributor) and for the first time I was told that the size of the refrigerant liquid line that is currently installed in my house is 1/4" and that most all new systems use 3/8" (he said he thought Trane may still have a system that uses 1/4").

    As I said, I have three separate systems. Replacing the line set on one of these is no problem. Replacing the line set on the other two are big and bigger problems due to the location of the air handlers. The HVAC guy left a bit ago to make some calls to get some options and said he would get back with me tomorrow.

    In the meantime, I would like to solicit some comments on possible solutions. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Oregon
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    853
    Have them follow the manufacturer's specified line size recommendations. Take no shortcuts.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    6,285
    When they do a load calculation and come up with the size of the equipment that will be needed for your home then they can tell you what is needed as far as line set sizing. As stated above follow the manufacturers recommendations because not doing so is a waste of time and money that was spent developing those guidelines. Both line sizes are important and there are some pretty crafty ways out there to run line sets. Copper is obviously expensive so running 3 line sets' isn't going to be cheap but in the long run it's what you need to do if you go to newer equipment and want to do it right.

  4. #4

    Proposal for Replacing Old HVAC

    When I am presented with a written proposal from four different reputable HVAC distributors/installers to replace my three split heat pump systems, that reference model numbers, et al. and am told that it is inclusive of all installation costs, can I safely assume that it also includes replacing all current line sets? Even the ones that are impossible to get to? I didn't ask. Is this something I should inquire about? As always, thanks!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    6,285
    I would imagine it would say "instillation of new line sets" or something to that effect. When you say impossible to get to does that mean it can't be run any other way?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by BigJon3475 View Post
    I would imagine it would say "instillation of new line sets" or something to that effect. When you say impossible to get to does that mean it can't be run any other way?
    Impossible to me, but maybe not to you guys. I will see what the American Standard guy that was over today says when he comes back with his proposal tomorrow. The other four guys that were here were sales reps. from larger companies here in town. The guy that was over today is from a father/son outfit here in town that has been in business since 1974. He is the one that will actually be doing the work. He is also the only guy that has been over that mentioned replacing the line sets, and due to the location of one system servicing the enclosed garage (added on 2-years after the house was built), he would need to remove sheet-rock from a section of the wall in the laundry room. I wonder if the other guys plan to make a hole in my wall?!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
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    5,060
    Depending on what size equipment is on the 1/4 inch line. Two ton r22 up to 60 total equivelent feet and R410 up to 140 TEF for 1 1/2 ton.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by second opinion View Post
    Depending on what size equipment is on the 1/4 inch line. Two ton r22 up to 60 total equivalent feet and R410 up to 140 TEF for 1 1/2 ton.
    I am told I have a 1/4" liquid line and a 5/8" suction line currently installed and will need a 3/8" and 3/4". The current systems are 1.5 ton and each will be replaced with a 1.5 ton system (and I would prefer to use R410). One system has a line run of about 25 feet with a 12 feet rise = ~37 total feet and the second system has about a 10 feet run with a 12 feet rise = ~22 feet.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    6,285
    Quote Originally Posted by WayDownSouth View Post
    I am told I have a 1/4" liquid line and a 5/8" suction line currently installed and will need a 3/8" and 3/4". The current systems are 1.5 ton and each will be replaced with a 1.5 ton system (and I would prefer to use R410). One system will have a line run of about 25 feet with a 12 feet rise = ~37 total feet and the second system has about a 10 feet run with a 12 feet rise = ~27 feet.

    Which brand is that for? Different brands might have slightly different requirements. Those are fairly short runs.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by BigJon3475 View Post
    Which brand is that for? Different brands might have slightly different requirements. Those are fairly short runs.
    I currently have Comfortmaker equipment installed and am leaning towards replacing them with American Standard (Heritage 14 Heat Pumps and Air Handlers w/R410A).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    6,285
    Quote Originally Posted by WayDownSouth View Post
    I currently have Comfortmaker equipment installed and am leaning towards replacing them with American Standard (Heritage 14 Heat Pumps and Air Handlers w/R410A).

    Everything I see ( I dont have the actual instillation instructions though) says that the 1 1/2 ton systems use 1/4 for liquid line and 5/8 for suction. However in the instructions it will probably state if line set is x amount of feet you need this size line set. You have at least one system that has a pretty short run. However the other one may need the bigger line set. If your contractor says you need it then he's probably right.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Chester County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    15
    I also have 1/4 inch lines. It is entirely cost prohibitive to replace my line set. I cannot obtain consistent information from contractors.

    I have already decided that I must stay with R-22 and not switch to R-410 because of the size of the lines. How and where do I learn, accurately, which heat pumps can be used with my 1/4 inch lines?

    What are the consequences of using 1/4 inch lines with heat pumps whose specifications are for 3/8 inch lines? My replacement heat pump will be 2 or 2.5tons.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by StuSuss View Post
    I also have 1/4 inch lines. It is entirely cost prohibitive to replace my line set. I cannot obtain consistent information from contractors.

    I have already decided that I must stay with R-22 and not switch to R-410 because of the size of the lines. How and where do I learn, accurately, which heat pumps can be used with my 1/4 inch lines?

    What are the consequences of using 1/4 inch lines with heat pumps whose specifications are for 3/8 inch lines? My replacement heat pump will be 2 or 2.5tons.
    The refrigerant line size is based on what size equipment, total equivalent line length, location of compressor (above or bellow), type of compressor, and vertical lift.

    There are a lot of ways to run replacement line sets, some take a little thinking but I have yet to find one that was impossible. DO NOT COMPROMISE THE EQUIPMENT BY NOT RUNNING THE CORRECT SIZE. Not only the efficiency is affected by wrong size but premature compressor failure is prevalent.

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