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Pipe connections to Condenser - Best Practices?

Thanks to all of you who review and contribute to this site. I am a layman and big fan.

So as my contractor is unfurling and shaping a new factory-fresh coil of 3/8 inch pipe, I explain that the condenser is located in a high traffic area (balcony) - with people traffic, mops, brooms, vacuums, planters, etc. - so please be mindful of how he routes the pipe to avoid a hazard. Conversely, he explains to me the importance of minimizing the number of right angle bends in the run to maximize flow through the system. Satisfied, I left him to finish the job.

So this is the result...what do you think? Is this best practice? A fresh coil of pipe could not be shaped in a fashion to make it tight to the larger pipe while removing one or both elbows and still allowing unfettered access of equipment to charge and service the system? Why cut the pipe too short and finish with joints and bits so close to the floor? Is there a valid reason for this?

With your comment please also tell me whether I should be demanding it be reworked, or just live with it. The blower unit is at least fifty linear feet away from this condenser, and the pipe makes many curves and bends before it emerges at either end of the run. But my biggest fear is that someone or something may accidentally strike and fracture the connection.

Thanks in advance!


  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    I wish I had some photos I could post of the installs that that I've seen that would be a source of shame on HVAC-talk.com's "Wall Of Shame". That wouldn't even come close to making the "Wall of Shame". It might not make "The Wall of Fame", but as it goes, its not bad. At least they didn't take whatever was left in a 60' roll and just leave the left over coil next to the equipment, with liquid running through it.
  • meplumber
    meplumber Member Posts: 678
    Nothing wrong with it.

    In my very experienced opinion, the guy did a fine job with the tight criteria that you gave him.

    The braze joints near the floor are because you can't bend roll copper that tight, so he used standard refrigeration long sweep 90's.  This is an accepted practice.  Those long sweep 90's are the flow equivalent of a manual bend in the coil of pipe.

    None of us want to turn that tight, but you really gave him no choice and it appears that he did it as well as could be expected.  His braze joints show that he used the proper amount of heat as to not "Cook" the joint. 

    I would say that he did a good job.  As icesailor said, there are a lot of really poor installs out there, this isn't one of them.
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850

    And I would lay money on the fact that he reamed the tubing as well. The only thing I can see is that he could have used one less ninety but the would make access to the service valve difficult.
  • AllElectric
    AllElectric Member Posts: 9

    Thanks to all of you....I am resting much easier now (though I'll still obsess on that extra elbow for what I hope will be a very long service life of the condenser).