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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    4
    First time poster. I participate at the Fine Homebuilding forum, and they suggested I ask my question here.

    I am a remodeler in San Antonio. I am working with a client on the finishout of a condo unit. We are one of the first in the building so there's some options available. It's a multi-story building, we are on the third floor. The first and second floors are bigger, so there is a roof over the second floor. Every apartment will have its own a/c units. The building archy wants all of the units placed on the second floor roof. The problem is that there will be a couple right outside my clients bedroom window and living room window. The windows are single pane glass and can't be changed because they are historical.

    The west side of the third floor has no windows, it's all brick. So we have suggested to the archy that all the a/c units be placed on the west side to keep the noise out of the bedroom. And my client has offered to pay the additional cost of the longer freon and electrical lines. The archy says no, the freon lines will be too long.

    The building is requiring that all the units be Trane XB, XR, or XL. The vertical distance will not change. So the worst case will be the first floor units, which will have a vertical rise of about 25 ft. The distance across the building will be about 75 feet, so the freon lines could be as much as 100 ft long. Is that too long? Where can I findd some definitive information? I looked at the Trane website but could not find any technical info, just lots of pretty pictures.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    It can be done,you should look for "Long Lineset" info. on the Trane site.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold.calm
    Posts
    5,438
    For a job like this you should contact Trane directly. There the ones that will cover the warranty let them advise.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Waco, Texas, USA
    Posts
    6,153
    Why is archy telling you what to do? Don't you have a licensed a/c man on the job? Or is this another illegal install?
    "And remember my sentimental friend......that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others" - Wizard of Oz.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Waco, Texas, USA
    Posts
    6,153
    Since the worst case is the first floor that means you are suggesting the condensing units are mounted on the third story? What on the outside of the bricks on angle iron stands or something? Will we need a 30 ft. ladder to change a contactor & add refrigerant?

    Are these heat pumps? Gas heat?
    "And remember my sentimental friend......that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others" - Wizard of Oz.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,929
    100' shouldn't be a problem. The instructions should tell you on line sizing.

    The XB is noisy, the XR is better, the XLi is the quietest. Some of the units have scrolls which can transmit noise in the lineset. Isolate them carefully.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    6,579


    Sounds like there will be some long vertical risers. Therefore, somebody should pay attention to the need for suction line traps.

    Also, will these be R-22 or R-410A units? They handle oil return differently.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Waco, Texas, USA
    Posts
    6,153
    Trane doesn't require traps. I would like to see LL solenoid valves, txvs, sight glasses @ indoor section, and start kits at least.
    "And remember my sentimental friend......that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others" - Wizard of Oz.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    4
    No, this is not an illegal installation. Everything is completely above board. In fact, the building next door is the city permit office and building inspection department.

    Let me try to explain the structure again. It's a 6 story building. The first and second floors have a much bigger footprint that the "tower" portion. It's a historical building, so they want to preserve the exterior appearance as much as possible. The 3rd and 4th floor units, and the first & second floor west side units, will be placed on the windowless side of the roof. It's the east side first & second floor units that will be a problem. None of the units have been installed yet, cuz they are just now selling the apartments.

    Access to the units will not be a problem ... sort of. Worst case, they will be able to go through my clients apartment and out a window onto the roof. It's a large flat roof, so working space is not a problem, and one window was desiogned for roof access when the building was built 50 yrs ago. Well, worst case relates to my client. If they need to change out a unit, it could be easily reached by a truck crane ... the only thing between the street and the roof is a 4 ft wide sidewalk.

    The building archy is calling the shots because he has the authority. They have master planned the building, and no one wants to budge. One of the things that we are really arguing about (me and the archy) is that they do not want any exterior wall penetrations. So, they have received a variance from the city for certain things, including not being required to ventilate the bathrooms and the laundry room, and the cooktop. The clothes dryer is supposed to be the condensing type, and they plan to just dump the bathroom exhaust into the living space. he says that, if the a/c is planned and ducted properly, it will be able to conteract the humid steamy shower exhaust. Yeah, right. So in about 3 yrs when mold starts to take over, I guess everyone will be retrofitting exhaust fans.

    Anyway, thanks for the responses. Sounds like it's a do-able situation, with some restrictions.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bartlett, IL
    Posts
    6,619
    Originally posted by eh2572

    The building archy is calling the shots because he has the authority. They have master planned the building, and no one wants to budge. One of the things that we are really arguing about (me and the archy) is that they do not want any exterior wall penetrations. So, they have received a variance from the city for certain things, including not being required to ventilate the bathrooms and the laundry room, and the cooktop. The clothes dryer is supposed to be the condensing type, and they plan to just dump the bathroom exhaust into the living space. he says that, if the a/c is planned and ducted properly, it will be able to conteract the humid steamy shower exhaust. Yeah, right. So in about 3 yrs when mold starts to take over, I guess everyone will be retrofitting exhaust fans.

    Anyway, thanks for the responses. Sounds like it's a do-able situation, with some restrictions.
    Another case of aesthetics being more important than the mechanical aspects, unbelievable....what a mess!!!

    Good luck, I think the lineset issue is just a small portion of the problems with this build.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    4
    Actually, this will probably be a nice project. They took an old candy factory -later office building, and converted it to apartments. And the owner has spent quite a few dollars to do it right. The building is very solid, 12" thick exterior masonry walls, about 8" thick concrete floor.

    The reason I asked the question here ... it's me and the a/c sub against the archy. I don't have a sub selected yet cuz this will be my first project with a Trane unit, and we are still in the design phase. I don't feel right calling an a/c contractor and asking detailed questions without having a business relationship. And I need to get answers soon so I can convince the archy to make a few changes before anyone else starts to install their units.

    Can anyone give me a clue as to how much additional cost there would be to extend the lines another 60-70 feet? I don't care about the basic installation cost, just the upcharge for going further. The lines will be run in the second floor ceiling, which currently is wide open.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    962
    How can you ask what the upcharge would be if you don't have a price for the whole job yet? You need to get your HVAC contractor on board.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    The units you are going to have trouble with are the ones pumping up to the 3rd and 4th floor. Heat pumps are not very receptive to long lines with vertical seperation when below the indoor units.

    Anyone got a spec sheet for these units?

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