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Sharkbite for Refrigeration Lines?

IronmanIronman Member Posts: 5,641
What do y'all think of this?


Bob Boan


You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.

Comments

  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,004

    I don't know.....modern automotive AC systems seem pretty tight, O rings, hoses and all.

    Is it as reliable and sealed as well as brazed joints? probably not, but I'd prefer them over soot in my lines if someone refuses to flow nitrogen.

    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
    Canucker
  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 1,318
    i mean i have to charge my mom's system that has quick connect linsets every couple years. What could go wrong. i doubt these cost any less than flare fittings. i don't see a point.
  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 5,641
    @ChrisJ,
    You bring up a good point about the automotive fittings, however, I see a variable with our trade: the automotive lines are clean and new and properly prepped. We quite often are dealing with soft copper that's out of round, needs a lot of cleaning and reaming, etc. I can see quite a few "tech's" who wouldn't consider that and then leave a leaking joint.

    It's hard enough to get the average HVAC tech to look for leaks on a system that's low on refrigerant and repair them properly. At best, they just wanna add dye and come back later.

    We use Zoomlock when I feel it's appropriate, but I can braze most joints quicker and at much less cost. But, I've come to the point where I'm the only one I'm gonna let use it. I had a ductless system that we installed last Fall with them on a partition wall and the HO was supposed to leave an access door on the back side, instead, he sheet rocked over it. This Spring it was low on gas because one of my guys didn't insert the tubing all the way into the fitting before pressing it. That was an expensive and time consuming call back.
    Bob Boan


    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,004
    > @Ironman said:
    > @ChrisJ,
    > You bring up a good point about the automotive fittings, however, I see a variable with our trade: the automotive lines are clean and new and properly prepped. We quite often are dealing with soft copper that's out of round, needs a lot of cleaning and reaming, etc. I can see quite a few "tech's" who wouldn't consider that and then leave a leaking joint.
    >
    > It's hard enough to get the average HVAC tech to look for leaks on a system that's low on refrigerant and repair them properly. At best, they just wanna add dye and come back later.
    >
    > We use Zoomlock when I feel it's appropriate, but I can braze most joints quicker and at much less cost. But, I've come to the point where I'm the only one I'm gonna let use it. I had a ductless system that we installed last Fall with them on a partition wall and the HO was supposed to leave an access door on the back side, instead, he sheet rocked over it. This Spring it was low on gas because one of my guys didn't insert the tubing all the way into the fitting before pressing it. That was an expensive and time consuming call back.

    Like this 1 1/8" bunch of fun I was fighting with on a 12' ladder yesterday?


    That's a very good 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
    EdTheHeaterManSTEVEusaPA
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,924
    Matt, most of the older 60-70's AC's out here had the quick connect fittings. They lost gas just about every year. No bubbles shown after charging.
    My suspicion is that in the winter the outside brass would contract enough to allow gas to pass as the coil was heated by the furnace inside, raising the pressure in the entire lineset.

    Eventually I cut them all out and brazed tubing into the unit with access service tees on the outside. Seemed to solve the leak problem. Haven't done one for over maybe 10 years as most have been replaced by newer units.

    I haven't done auto AC but the joints I have noticed at the compressor with O rings are in a flange bolted into place.
    There were some locking insert O ring couplings to coils that eventually failed.
    mattmia2
  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 1,318
    Automotive quick connect fittings are very different from just shoving a piece of copper tubing in to a fitting with some barbs and an o-ring. They usually are in steel but always are formed in some sort of die that sets the ID, maybe thickens the wall, and adds a shoulder that positions and supports everything. (automotive systems also almost always leak a little, mainly through the shaft seal, but the o-rings might a little too, even the hoses aren't completely impermeable)

    I think the issue with the ac quick connect linesets is that the o-rings were the wrong material and the hardened over the years so they developed a constant slow leak. Not enough to detect but something that would leak the charge out over a year or 3. I suspect if you replaced the o-rings with something like the teflon over viton o-rings the leak would go away. The problem with replacing the fittings in my mom's system is that the inlet to the evaporator is also the location of the orifice and a distributor to some tiny tubing that feeds various sections of the evaporator so replacing that fitting would be complicated.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,004
    mattmia2 said:

    Automotive quick connect fittings are very different from just shoving a piece of copper tubing in to a fitting with some barbs and an o-ring. They usually are in steel but always are formed in some sort of die that sets the ID, maybe thickens the wall, and adds a shoulder that positions and supports everything. (automotive systems also almost always leak a little, mainly through the shaft seal, but the o-rings might a little too, even the hoses aren't completely impermeable)

    I think the issue with the ac quick connect linesets is that the o-rings were the wrong material and the hardened over the years so they developed a constant slow leak. Not enough to detect but something that would leak the charge out over a year or 3. I suspect if you replaced the o-rings with something like the teflon over viton o-rings the leak would go away. The problem with replacing the fittings in my mom's system is that the inlet to the evaporator is also the location of the orifice and a distributor to some tiny tubing that feeds various sections of the evaporator so replacing that fitting would be complicated.

    I don't recall any steel fittings in automotive AC, I thought they were all aluminum. Sometimes threaded, sometimes bolt together clamshell style.

    But it is true, they're machined surfaces not crude pipe pulled in the field.
    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
    kevintheplumber
  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 1,318
    ChrisJ said:



    I don't recall any steel fittings in automotive AC, I thought they were all aluminum. Sometimes threaded, sometimes bolt together clamshell style.

    But it is true, they're machined surfaces not crude pipe pulled in the field.

    The refrigeration is mostly aluminum. There are steel tubes with similar fittings for things like transmission oil coolers, power steering, and fuel lines. Lots of them are push in with a ridge that gets locked on a garter spring or clip.(although maybe the refrigeration lines all use a threaded retainer or bolted plate to prevent someone from accidentally disconnecting them while charged when they think they are disconnecting some other system to get it out of the way)
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 11,004
    mattmia2 said:

    ChrisJ said:



    I don't recall any steel fittings in automotive AC, I thought they were all aluminum. Sometimes threaded, sometimes bolt together clamshell style.

    But it is true, they're machined surfaces not crude pipe pulled in the field.

    The refrigeration is mostly aluminum. There are steel tubes with similar fittings for things like transmission oil coolers, power steering, and fuel lines. Lots of them are push in with a ridge that gets locked on a garter spring or clip.(although maybe the refrigeration lines all use a threaded retainer or bolted plate to prevent someone from accidentally disconnecting them while charged when they think they are disconnecting some other system to get it out of the way)
    I wasn't thinking about lines that carry liquid.
    To me a line carrying oil is far less likely to leak than one carrying a gas.

    Even high pressure hydraulic lines.
    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: 7,058
    @JUGHNE

    What did they call those fittings? 'Aeroquip" or something like that. They were quite the rage for a while.

    Most I have talked to like the zoomlock, smaller sizes sometime's more prone to leak.

    Fittings are $$$$$

    I would still rather braze, but a fire watch required in some locations with commercial work makes zoomlock an option
  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 1,318

    @JUGHNE

    Fittings are $$$$$

    So if you're going to buy an expensive fitting, why not just flare it?
  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 5,641
    mattmia2 said:

    @JUGHNE

    Fittings are $$$$$

    So if you're going to buy an expensive fitting, why not just flare it?
    Because a lot of new "tech's" don't wanna buy a flaring tool or learn how to use one.

    Bob Boan


    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    mattmia2
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,924
    I haven't seen a flare connection on a cond unit or coil in the last 30 years. Lennox has some compression/o ring connections for awhile.
    The quick connects would often come with mobile home units so that anyone can connect the AC ( often the delivery truck driver).
  • pecmsgpecmsg Member Posts: 1,429
    Like them or not there here and here to stay. Now don't put the torch on eBay yet, X-Valves, driers, solenoids, headmaster valve, compressors on and on will still need soldering / brazing!
    BillyO
  • Big Ed_4Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 1,344
    Oh so they are only used for the suction line ?

    Funny I noticed those push on fittings in a supply house just this pass week . I had thoughts of ease , saftey and time saver . I think like a shark bites it has a place . I may throw a few caps on my truck for isolation durning a leak check .






    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • pecmsgpecmsg Member Posts: 1,429
    Big Ed_4 said:

    Oh so they are only used for the suction line ?

    Funny I noticed those push on fittings in a supply house just this pass week . I had thoughts of ease , saftey and time saver . I think like a shark bites it has a place . I may throw a few caps on my truck for isolation durning a leak check .






    Both lines
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,924
    Tunnel vision.......I was thinking of conventional split units... :s

    Yes, about 25 mini with about 50 heads.
    The head's pigtails were too short for bending/connections because of wall thickness.
    I cut them close to the unit and added longer pigtails ....silver brazed swag connections, N2 gas and pressure test on the bench. Added more to switch lines from right side to left side exits.
    Then could use bending spring to get line set close to the wall.
    Swag/braze/N2 at wall and continuous line to flares at unit.
    The objective of all this was to have a good non-kink bend at the wall exit and have no threaded connections buried.

    Also as most of these went into an occupied nursing home there was less time in each room, we climbed in and out of the window.

    Of these ended up with one bad flare connections showing up later. Had it been at the head end it would have been some work to find as line set covers were installed and some OD units did 3 heads. And worse if there were cross over lines with flare connections behind the head inside the building.

    So yes, have done some mini splits.
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