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Lineset Leaks

Is anyone having issues with white linesets leaking? By that I mean the tubing and not the connections. So far I have replaced 10 linesets (20 individual lines) and have many more pending. These lines were manufactured in 2014, 15, and 16. It takes 2 to 3 years for the leaks to show up. I am an infrequent visitor, but have posted on this site in the past and am aware it is more oriented towards hydronics. With that said, I will not at this time name the manufacturer. Please note it is white pipe with white insulation as opposed to white pipe containing dark insulation. I have many more details but at this time I am just trying to determine if it is only me and a few others that got this stuff or if it is wide spread.
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Comments

  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 7,524
    I am assuming the tubing is leaking and not at any joints??


  • GWGW Member Posts: 3,790
    Shrub we had two leakers thus far. One cost us some huge hours (my guys were stumped). The second one we identified and fixed in a fraction of the time. I think I posted a video here or somewhere a while back, took the line back to our shop and I pressurized it, bubbled it
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • GWGW Member Posts: 3,790
    Ed yes see second sentence
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 3,555
    Yes, the installation dept where I work almost went nuts with those line sets. Contact the manufacturer and get refunded.
  • GWGW Member Posts: 3,790
    I'm unsure what you mean by white pipe though. That's a new one on me
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • ratioratio Member Posts: 2,606
    It has a hard(er) white plastic jacket over the actual insulation. One flavor has a texture, like knurling; but I think l I've seen a smooth covering too. It does seem to last better than Armaflex™ when you're pulling it. I suuure hope it's not a systemic problem…
  • DZoroDZoro Member Posts: 1,037
    @Big Shrub, the white pipe, are you referring to the actual copper tubing as white tubing, or the white jacket over the copper tubing?
    D
  • Big ShrubBig Shrub Member Posts: 18
    Gary, I guess I am not the only one with leaks. I got reimbursed for the first few, but not my last one. I have over 9,000' of this stuff out there. I posted on HVAC-Talk and only 1 so far with leaks. I too went nuts with the first few systems losing refrigerant. Now we go to the piping first. I have a collection of nasty looking copper.
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 3,555
    This is copper line sets for ductless with white insulation.
  • pecmsgpecmsg Member Posts: 1,572
    I wish he would just say what manufacture it is...

    Id like to know if I have any out there!
  • Big ShrubBig Shrub Member Posts: 18
    I hope we got the color thing cleared up. It is regular ACR soft copper with continuous white insulation. There are a couple of different manufacturers. Those familiar will know the difference.
  • pecmsgpecmsg Member Posts: 1,572
    So your saying ALL manufactures are having this issue!
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,333
    pecmsg said:

    So your saying ALL manufactures are having this issue!

    I didn't see him say that.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • pecmsgpecmsg Member Posts: 1,572
    Big Shrub said:

    I hope we got the color thing cleared up. It is regular ACR soft copper with continuous white insulation. There are a couple of different manufacturers. Those familiar will know the difference.

    ChrisJ said:

    pecmsg said:

    So your saying ALL manufactures are having this issue!

    I didn't see him say that.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,333
    pecmsg said:

    Big Shrub said:

    I hope we got the color thing cleared up. It is regular ACR soft copper with continuous white insulation. There are a couple of different manufacturers. Those familiar will know the difference.

    ChrisJ said:

    pecmsg said:

    So your saying ALL manufactures are having this issue!

    I didn't see him say that.
    I didn't realize there were only two manufacturers of that style.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 7,524
    edited January 2019
    OOPs, guess I can't read.

    Remind me of a high pressure gas job that wouldn't hold test pressure. After spending days soaping every joint it was the 'foreign" pipe leaking on the seam.

    That's a bad situation
  • GWGW Member Posts: 3,790
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • Big ShrubBig Shrub Member Posts: 18
    Nice video Gary. I have had the same type of failure many times and I only test in the shop at 100 psi.
    Social media has been the downfall of many a good man and sometimes a good company. I will not publicly be pointing fingers at any manufacturer, supply house or anyone else. Just trying to save you all some aggravation. If you have leaks and white insulation, don't be tearing equipment apart looking for leaks until you thoroughly test the tubing - especially if it is dated 2013 thru 2015.
    ChrisJSuperTechSteve Minnich
  • Big ShrubBig Shrub Member Posts: 18
    So far it is 8 different 164' rolls that had leaks.
  • clammyclammy Member Posts: 2,555
    I have just a few systems in using said insulated piping but I have noticed one manafactures states on the box that it’s 10 year warranty against leaks or failure of tubing what ever the legally means .never saw that on any piece of any type of copper tubing acr or whatever that I have ever purchased .on another note where all the leaks concerned on longer line set lengths usually I’m getting 50 to 100 ft line sets .i guess every business needs return business weather good or bad .i have only seen that on mini split line sets a few guys I work for use pre insulated sets for there ref lines I see no warranty statement on them but I will say the annealing on the tubing sucks very brittle I complain every time I do a set w this junk personally I either use straight hard or rolls of uninsulated acr and use 1/2 wall armoflex to insulate but never a kink . I really like that coated insulation does not seem to be effected to uv deteration like armoflex and handle weather exposure a lot better over time peace n good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • MikeMike Member Posts: 94
    I've used those lines etc a number of times. Haven't heard of any leaking. I like the insulation, the way it looks. But that's about it. The tubing kinks very easily. And I believe the wall thickness is much thinner. I'll be using the line sets with the armaflex.
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,123
    We have had one 1/4" roll be bad. Same shiny white insulation, not the knurled looking stuff. This line was used on several consecutive installs and every one of them leaked after a year. Once we figured it out, we changed all that 1/4". Same as Gary posted, leaks all over the seam in the copper.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 7,524
    must be chinisium junk
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,123
    Made in Italy actually, at least that is what the white insulation says on it. Dont know if the copper is as well.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • woodrowwoodrow Member Posts: 33
    something else to look foward to in the ac buisness
  • GWGW Member Posts: 3,790
    Let’s give this a whirl, 164’ black

    Getting my fanny handed to me in the white lines
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,123
    Looks like the same stuff as the white ones, just black.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
    SuperTech
  • Harvey RamerHarvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,215
    I have a lot of white linesets out there for years now. Haven't had any leaks. It must be manufacturer specific.

    I have heard that it has to do with the manufacturing process of the insulation. Word is that some used propane to expand the foam insulation. When you get water in between the insulation and the copper, there is a reaction from the residual manufacturing chemicals that apparently creates some nasties capable of corroding the copper.

    One sulotion is to seal the end of the insulation jacket to prevent moisture ingress.
    Ramer Mechanical
    ramermechanical.com
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    Steve Minnich
  • GWGW Member Posts: 3,790
    These black sets must be 30% heavier, very noticeable.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • cknepper1cknepper1 Member Posts: 1
    These line sets are manufactured by the company P.D.M. and we are having some bad issues with them, too. Our supplier has agreed to replace the lineset for free (we don't have to buy the line-set from them) and kick in $200.00 towards the labor but we are charging the remainder of the work to replace them to the homeowner. For less than we normally would do the job, of course.

    P.D.M. has given us a tiny amount of money (hundreds of $) but we installed these line-sets for YEARS so the issue is coming up over and over and over as time goes on.

    I am interested in getting a group of contractors together to file a lawsuit against P.D.M. They sold a defective product for years and now they want to run away from the problems they have created for the end user.

    If there are any other contractors who are interested in dealing with this issue, please contact me.

    We started using them in June 2015 and we told that the problem continued with the manufacturing of these products until the fall of 2017.

    We discovered this issue in September of 2019 and have had 10 line sets that needed to be replaced, thus far. That is over 1 per month showing up as defective since we found the 1st one last fall. We installed hundreds of these line sets in before we knew there was an issue with them. I suspect all of them will eventually fail.
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 3,555
    White insulation with yellow writing? I don't know the brand but they gave the installers and owners fits.
  • JCSJCS Member Posts: 1
    Had another leaking line today, not at the connections but pin holes through the tubing. Makes at least 3 for us. Contacted the distributor today and he asked if we sealed the ends of the insulation. They sent me a current copy of the line set manufacturers installation instructions where in it was "recommended" to seal the ends of the insulation to the copper. I found this interesting as when compared to an older version of the same doc there was no mention of sealing the ends. Think of how much of this product has been installed since its arrival in the market.
  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 1,977
    i would stop buying those linsets and make sure i'm getting full thickness tubing. i would buy the tubing and insulation separately if necessary to get the correct tubing, it will be cheaper than having to fix a couple in the long run.
  • GWGW Member Posts: 3,790
    It’s a big pain. Single zone system? Not earth shattering. Multi zone? That’s going to be a pain. Branch box system, that’s really gonna stink.

    I heard of a contractor in Massachusetts (I think) that installed 90 ceiling cassettes in a nursing home. Two huge VRF systems. Total dead charge. Leaning line sets. Now that, my dear heating and cooling professional people, is a bad day
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 7,524
    not a vrf fan. the leak potential could be a nightmare
    SuperTech
  • clammyclammy Member Posts: 2,555
    There’s a reason why they use indirect cooling over direct expansion cooling in commercial buildings unless your gonna get in massive exhaust systems that will need to meet code to remove total charge lose to one small area . It’s one weak link in it s amour and lets not forget bringing in fresh air and all that jazz that comes w semi large office spaces . They have there place and there’s loads of pluses but if approached about installing a large vrf system I would ponder those issues but this is me and I know the same can be said for all direct cooling systems including ducted splits ,rooftops and self contained terminal units . Some just take the job for the money and worry bout the rest later or until it becomes a issue . Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,123
    It seems that since mini-splits really became a "thing" and the pre insulated linsets followed it's been a race to the bottom for some.

    The old refrigeration days of brazing and nitrogen, and putting on your own insulation we didnt see these problems with soft copper. I've run miles of 5/8 and smaller soft copper and have yet to see an issue.....but......that would all be liquid line for the most part and not subject to condensation like the mini-splits see (both lines) during cooling. Let alone the stupid high pressures the linset sees with 410 during heating.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,123
    Mini-splits with propane and ammonia....that'll solve all our issues! No more copper to worry about lol......or.....the explosion issue with LP lol...
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • pm1680pm1680 Member Posts: 1
    We first noticed this issue about 2 months ago on a project with 300+ VRF Systems originally installed beginning of 2018. We had since then had this issue repeat on 2 different projects.
    what is interesting is that all problems were exterior to the building and on the High pressure (thinner line) side of the system.
    I wonder if anyone has had this issue within a building/covered walls or ceilings &on the low side of a system.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,333
    pm1680 said:

    We first noticed this issue about 2 months ago on a project with 300+ VRF Systems originally installed beginning of 2018. We had since then had this issue repeat on 2 different projects.
    what is interesting is that all problems were exterior to the building and on the High pressure (thinner line) side of the system.
    I wonder if anyone has had this issue within a building/covered walls or ceilings &on the low side of a system.

    Wow I get annoyed when my own stuff fails.
    I can't imagine 300+! Who pays for that!?! Is that the installers loss at this point? That's sickening to even imagine.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment

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