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Lineset Leaks

124

Comments

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,469
    Oh, so the leaking ones were never tightened completely....
  • hvac_life
    hvac_life Member Posts: 9
    @ChrisJ I have found out on myself to strictly follow the code as liability is something that is getting more traction on both commercial and residential projects. I tried and figured that customers they are willing to pay little extra for a certified and safe product, if explained properly.
    We are talking about $35/$40 difference on a 1/4" and 3/8" combination of insulated tubing which is irrelevant compared to the cost of ductless install.
    I always make sure that my wholesalers have certifications from the manufacturer and not everyone has those. Everyone can stamp the insulation with fake info but I would not take the risk to declare falsehood and jeopardize the brand.
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,679
    I think most pros do old school line sets, no pre charge stuff whatever that means 😀. I’ve seen old 70s ac systems with excess ac line rolled up at the ceiling. I’m not sorry I missed that era 
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,505
    GW said:
    I think most pros do old school line sets, no pre charge stuff whatever that means 😀. I’ve seen old 70s ac systems with excess ac line rolled up at the ceiling. I’m not sorry I missed that era 
    You know you are.



    Of course, equipment used to go 30 even 40 years back then.  Now you're lucky to get a fraction before a coil leaks or cap fails.


    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
    GW
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,679
    I’d be famous if I could wiggle my hips like that 
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,703
    GW said:

    I’d be famous if I could wiggle my hips like that 

    and in the hospital in traction! B)
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,679
    Hahhaaaa I can still wiggle, just not like that. I'm still limber for a 54 yo
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    pecmsg
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,679
    20% cost increase since January. Thanks Inflation 😀. I’ll be sure to pass it on 
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,350
    If you go to the "Copper Developement" web site they have all kinds of copper tubing information.

    As someone else mentioned the copper is supposed to be made to ASTM standards.

    Also, type ACR is the same as L copper it just gets a more thorough cleaning and nitrogen pressure.

    It has the same wall thickness.

    Curious if the white line sets are made to ASTM standards and have the same wall thickness. Are they coming from China???
  • hvac_life
    hvac_life Member Posts: 9
    @EBEBRATT-Ed The difference is between ASTM B743 and ASTM B280 standards. ASTM B743 standard is used by most of the manufacturers (mostly Americans!) and it is not compliant for ductless. It is 10%-12% less thick than the ASTM B280 which must be used for all ductless installs.
    All said and done, no one is going to know the difference until there is a problem. But when there is a problem .. we do not have any justification because the homeowner/customer can claim that the installation was not performed by the book.
    I've found out for myself and it was not nice. I completely switched to a higher quality, certified product and it feels way better!
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,505
    I guess my issue is these leaks are apparently from holes forming in the copper, not from the tubing ballooning or splitting open like a hot dog.

    Wall thickness of the tubing shouldn't have a huge effect on holes forming. That sounds like formic acid or similar. As others have said, the rubber reacting with the copper and moisture.

    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
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,505
    To add to my previous comment...

    Expecting guys in the field to somehow make a 100% moisture proof seal around all lineset insulation is unreasonable and unrealistic. Not only that, let's assume you did, and that day there was a dew point of 80F? That moisture is forever trapped in there if you somehow pulled off a perfect seal everywhere.

    Defective product IMO.
    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
    lawtoolguy
  • hvac_life
    hvac_life Member Posts: 9
    @ChrisJ That's exactly why I started to utilize the new line sets provided with coated copper. No contact between the metal (copper) and the exterior environment = no corrosion.
    I never trusted the fact to seal the end of the line sets as solution, I agree with you.
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,703
    why is it unrealistic?

    it’s done in markets all the time. Low temp gets 1/2 or 3/4” walk insulation, seams and ends glued and sealed. 

    It’s called the proper way. 
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,505
    edited August 2021
    pecmsg said:

    why is it unrealistic?

    it’s done in markets all the time. Low temp gets 1/2 or 3/4” walk insulation, seams and ends glued and sealed. 


    It’s called the proper way. 

    Well, if you put armaflex on a copper pipe when the dew point is 80F as I said previously, and seal the ends, what happens to the moisture that's in between the tubing and the foam?

    If moisture and condensation are truly what's causing the insulation to attack the copper, how will that solve the issue? That tubing will still be wet any time it's running, forever. Albeit minimal water, its still an issue. In fact, it could be more of an issue than if it was left open especially if it's open on conditioned side allowing air with a lower dewpoint in.


    That's my opinion.

    BTW, I used 3/4" insulation on my AC suction line and 1/2" thick on the liquid line and I used the black glue (Messy disaster in my hands) to seal all joints.
    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
    lawtoolguy
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,703
    Moisture and the chemicals in that insulation is what the issue was!
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,505
    edited August 2021
    pecmsg said:

    Moisture and the chemicals in that insulation is what the issue was!

    Ok..........
    And by sealing the ends completely you'd be trapping the moisture in there, forever.

    So how does that fix the problem? Unless you're going to setup and pull a vacuum on the gap between the insulation and the tubing?

    Unless you still agree that it's still a defect from the manufacturer?
    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
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,703
    What moisture. The copper and armorflex is the same temperature during installation!
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,505
    pecmsg said:

    What moisture. The copper and armorflex is the same temperature during installation!

    I'm not sure what to say at this point.
    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
  • hvac_life
    hvac_life Member Posts: 9
    Out there there is a line sets product offered with coated pipe and tough jacketed insulation. The copper pipe is now coated = isolated = no contact with moisture/chemicals/oxygen = no corrosion.
    That's what I have been using.
    ChrisJ
  • heathead
    heathead Member Posts: 234
    I have used it and time will tell. I am surprised that the factory crimped ends where not sealed air tight. Is the spec for refrigeration piping call for it being sealed, kind of like bare copper with rubber plugs and filled with nitrogen. I would feel better if sealed from factory, not just crimped a little and not sealed.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,469
    it has to be cleaned and sealed to meet the specs for refrigeration tubing
  • joanandrewjamie
    joanandrewjamie Member Posts: 1
    I, a homeowner, contacted my system minisplit provider who said the manufacturer of my white linesets used a lubricant in the manufacturing process to help the insulation go onto the copper tubing. Turns out the lubricant produced a weak acid when exposed to moisture. The acid then corroded the copper tubing. I would guess my lineset was produced back in the 2014 -2016 time period. Supposedly, the manufacturer declared bankruptcy due to the problem.
  • lawtoolguy
    lawtoolguy Member Posts: 2
    I just put up a video on YT showing the first 35 ft I had to pull out of my house. Another 150 plus ft to go. Waiting on a call back from my supplier but I wont hold my breath. As a consumer I'm tired of poor product testing and using the end user as a test environment. Where are the government agency's that are paid to protect the consumer and businesses. This one 35 Ft of line set has leaks all along its length on the 3/8 only. The 1/4 is just as dark and stained but not leaking. To me it looks like the same off gassing issue from spray foam reborn as insulation for line set failure. I'm guessing the Off gassing is reacting with moisture to create the corrosive environment. I'll post a link to video but skip towards the end if you don't want to here me rant.

    youtu.be/1H7HV58zglA
  • lawtoolguy
    lawtoolguy Member Posts: 2
    edited January 2022
    hvac_life said:

    Out there there is a line sets product offered with coated pipe and tough jacketed insulation. The copper pipe is now coated = isolated = no contact with moisture/chemicals/oxygen = no corrosion.
    That's what I have been using.


    Not sure taking the same failed product and wrapping it in a coating to fix a known issue is good business. Not when I have facilities with 20 year old copper line sets still plugging away. Kind of like wrapping a terd in plastic and calling it a piece of candy. Crazy thought test this new product over say a 5 year period before throwing it out there.
    pecmsg
  • notesandbeats
    notesandbeats Member Posts: 3
    edited August 2022
    I'm glad this thread is still going. I had a 5 head Mitsubishi mini split system installed 5 years ago with the failing white lineset. My installer knew that my system was failing 2 years ago. Last year he put tracer dye in the ANNUAL recharge and we now see that there are pinhole leaks all over the system.

    A senior tech came out today to examine it and the upshot is they want 3/4 the cost of the whole system to pull out the old lineset and replace it with a new one. I'm not an expert, but that sounds insane to me. He told me the lineset has only 18 month warranty. The Mitsubishi units have a 12 year warranty, but the lineset has 18 months? Why on earth would they install a system like this? I paid a lot for a system that works. Now, they don't stand behind the work and instead want to charge me 3/4 of the system cost to make the system run correctly?

    Tell me I'm dreaming.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,350
    Pretty near impossible to seal the insulation to the copper 100% I don't care how hard you try. Agree with @ChrisJ
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 977
    @notesandbeats

    The contractor should not be held responsible for a manufacturing defect... Your contractor is "standing behind the work" it's the manufacturer who is shirking responsibility. How the lineset manufacturer has gotten out of paying to replace these is beyond me, but that's been the story from everyone I have talked to. I was lucky enough to not sell any of these, but I have heard many many contractors in our shop upset about this as well. You should also remove the pricing from your comment as we are not supposed to discuss that here. You could and probably should, seek a second quote at least, if not a third.
  • notesandbeats
    notesandbeats Member Posts: 3
    GGross said:

    @notesandbeats

    The contractor should not be held responsible for a manufacturing defect... Your contractor is "standing behind the work" it's the manufacturer who is shirking responsibility. How the lineset manufacturer has gotten out of paying to replace these is beyond me, but that's been the story from everyone I have talked to. I was lucky enough to not sell any of these, but I have heard many many contractors in our shop upset about this as well. You should also remove the pricing from your comment as we are not supposed to discuss that here. You could and probably should, seek a second quote at least, if not a third.

    I have edited my post. Thank you for the direction.

    Why would an installer choose a lineset with only an 18 month warranty when the rest of the system is so much longer? The lineset they want to replace it with has a 10 year warranty. Why wasn't I at least given a choice to use the 10 year warranted product? Nonsense.
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,703
    That’s a discussion to have with the I so contractor. 

    I’ve never used it but followed it over the years. 
    I still use Muller copper and armor flex it on site. 

    More money but I have full control over quality!
  • notesandbeats
    notesandbeats Member Posts: 3
    The only answer I've ever gotten from the installer is "that's what the supply house had." Am I to believe that was the only choice? I think they also said once that it was easier to pull through the house because the jacket was less likely to rip than the black insulated line.
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 977
    @notesandbeats
    Those were extremely popular linesets at the time. So much so that guys would purchase all their equipment from us, and then drive 5 minutes to our competitor just to get the linesets. I really didn't get it then and don't really now either. Prior to this issue I think not many contractors would know there was so little warranty on something that is so nearly permanent in the home, I certainly didn't and I sell thousands of linesets each year. My best guess is that 18 months was the standard but I am not sure.

    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,469
    GGross said:

    @notesandbeats
    Those were extremely popular linesets at the time. So much so that guys would purchase all their equipment from us, and then drive 5 minutes to our competitor just to get the linesets. I really didn't get it then and don't really now either. Prior to this issue I think not many contractors would know there was so little warranty on something that is so nearly permanent in the home, I certainly didn't and I sell thousands of linesets each year. My best guess is that 18 months was the standard but I am not sure.

    I mean it is a piece of copper tubing, it shouldn't fail, it didn't fail for the previous 80 years or so.
    GGrossSolid_Fuel_ManIronman
  • TAG
    TAG Member Posts: 755
    edited August 2022
    Thread has me worried. Just had my first mini problem -- three head Mitsubishi system from 2015. Found a leak in one of the two ceiling cassettes after three trips to the house (charge/dye/sealer) .... Two months to get the part. ... my line sets say Ebrille
    ??
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,703
    Chinese Crap
    crap copper
    crap insulation
    crap installs

    the chemical reaction between the copper insulation and moisture created an acid. 

    homeowners want cheap
    contractors lower there standards

    thats what you get. 


    GGrossSolid_Fuel_Man
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,505
    edited August 2022
    pecmsg said:

    Chinese Crap
    crap copper
    crap insulation
    crap installs

    the chemical reaction between the copper insulation and moisture created an acid. 

    homeowners want cheap
    contractors lower there standards

    thats what you get. 



    China is making what their customers are requesting.
    Like you said, those customers are requesting cheap crap.
    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
    GGrossSolid_Fuel_Manethicalpaul
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,703
    ChrisJ said:
    Chinese Crap
    crap copper
    crap insulation
    crap installs

    the chemical reaction between the copper insulation and moisture created an acid. 

    homeowners want cheap
    contractors lower there standards

    thats what you get. 


    China is making what their customers are requesting. Like you said, those customers are requesting cheap crap.
    Unfortunately there also making products that do not meet US Standards or the absolute minimum standards. 
  • Gsmith
    Gsmith Member Posts: 431
    Sounds like a repeat of the imported drywall mess a few years ago. As my dad used to say: how can you afford to do it twice if you can’t afford to do it right the first time?
    pecmsgSolid_Fuel_Man
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,505

    Sounds like a repeat of the imported drywall mess a few years ago. As my dad used to say: how can you afford to do it twice if you can’t afford to do it right the first time?


    That's in the same category as no one has time to do it right but always has time to do it over 2 or 3 times.
    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
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,679
    edited August 2022
    “Annual recharge” wow that just may be a new phrase when it comes to the current state of affairs. I actually have one of these “annuals” (not a mini, not a white line set) that we keep kicking the can down the road, the coil is in a pretty tough spot, crammed in the plenum. The last two times we juiced it for free (we installed the system 10 or so years ago). 

    when we make the repair we pull the whole batch and add fresh juice (after the repair)

    /notesandbeats it’s just luck of the draw- we’ve installed miles of this stuff (hundred or indoor units) and have dealt with maybe 10 or 12 issues. There’s some odd batching or manufacturing thing at play. If all of this stuff failed it would be pandemonium. It seems lame that they want 75% of what you paid 5 years ago. We drastically reduce our labor- people paid good freight once, so the glitches in life: we take on some of that burden. The nicer people are with us, the nicer I am with billing (I’m talking “outside our labor warranty”) If people are mean they get to pay the full boat (extremely rare, most folks are nice, even when things are falling apart at the seams)

    TAG The tech put dye and sealer in a mini system? Snap! That’s not good and I think it voids warranties.
    a leak in the cassette or a leak in the line? Two different topics

    then you have the good old fashioned connection leaks. We have seen several Zoom fittings leak. We switched back to old school flaring a two or three  years ago. 

    Leaks:
    connection
    line set
    evap coil

    leaks in the outdoor system are almost non existent. We had a 10 year old LG multi leak but I think that’s the only one (many hundreds on outdoors units installed). 

    Gary 
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    GGrossIronman