What To Do With Excess Line Set?

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When installing an air conditioning system, a certain line set is required. But if you have an extra line set, what do you do with it? We researched this topic and discovered some helpful tips to help you decide what to do with your excess line sets. 

Assuming you have calculated the additional refrigerant for the extension: you may do the following to an excess line set:

  • Cut the excess line set
  • Coil the excess line set
  • Bury the excess line set underground

It's important to note that while you might want to make sure that the excess air conditioner line set is kept away from the ground, you cannot simply cut and throw it away. Keep reading this article to find out more.

What To Do With Excess Line Set?

What You Can Do With Excess Line Set

An excess air conditioning line set can't simply be cut off instantly just because it is no longer needed. It can cause a dangerous pressure drop that can affect your air conditioner's efficiency and potentially cause a compressor to fail.

However, there are a number of things you can do to organize the pipes. This way, they won't become a safety hazard that someone might trip over. 

Refrigerant filter and piping condensor system in the chiller machine

Cut the excess line set

Yes, you can the excess line set. But it is a little more complicated than just cutting the line set to length. Keep in mind that for a pre-charged line set the refrigerant volume is already predetermined with the size of the line set.

Any adjustment to the length of the line set will also affect the amount of refrigerant that goes into the system. Adjusting the length of the line set by cutting a portion of it may require you to reduce the refrigerant charge as well. 

However, there are DIY line sets that you can cut yourself. These line sets usually come in a 25-foot length. To avoid trial and error, check the back of your condenser unit.

You should see a small chart there and a formula that calculates the amount of refrigerant that needs to be put in the system relative to the length of the line set. 

Coil the excess line set

Make sure the coiled line set is laying flat to avoid oil getting trapped. A slow-moving oil stream in an oil distribution piping setup will be less likely to lubricate the air conditioning system. This will allow more time for the oil to travel within the system. 

Inadequate velocity and improper pipe installation may also cause a reduction in the volume of lubricating oil in the compressor. Lubricating oil is used to help maintain a smooth flow of moving parts.

When the oil level is low, the internal parts of the compressor may become sluggish and break down prematurely. This may cause the compressor to shut down and malfunction.

You may find oil in the line set for the following reasons:

  • A typical air conditioning system is made up of a condenser, evaporator, and compressor. The refrigerant flows through these components in a specific order.
  • Refrigerant is a fluid that changes state from liquid to gas and back to liquid again when it passes from one component to another.
  • Oil is used to lubricate the moving parts of the system. It is added to the refrigerant as it passes through the compressor.
  • The oil is pumped through the compressor with the refrigerant and circulates throughout the system.

Bury the excess line set underground

Before burying the excess line set underground, make sure the copper refrigerant piping and tubing are insulated and protected from direct exposure to underground moisture. It is common to find uninsulated copper pipes that are exposed to the soil underneath.

On the other hand, an uninsulated and exposed line set on the ground can cause the refrigerant to absorb more heat and rise above its normal temperature. This may disrupt the delicate balance that keeps the system running properly. 

What Is A Line Set?

Industry system men worker welds joint of copper pipe air conditioner average HVAC specialist

A line set is a series of pipes that run from the condenser to the evaporator. The line set is made up of copper tubes, which are joined together using soldering. The line set is designed to carry refrigerant from the condenser to the evaporator.

A line set typically has two expansion valves at each end to regulate flow. Expansion valves are used to control the pressure of the refrigerant before it enters the evaporator.

Line sets are very important because they allow the air conditioning system to operate efficiently. Without a line set, the refrigerant would be unable to transfer heat from the condenser to the evaporator. 

What Are The Parts Of A Line Set?

Knowing what the parts of a line set can help you to get a better understanding of how this works. A line set consists of two components: 

Suction line

A suction line is the larger pipe or tube that delivers cold refrigerant to the compressor. It typically has an inlet and outlet and runs from the suction side of the compressor to the evaporator. It also serves as a return line for the evaporated refrigerant to the compressor.

Liquid line

A liquid line is the smaller tube that is connected to the liquid side of an expansion valve and supplies liquid refrigerant from the condenser.

The liquid line has a small diameter in a typical air conditioning system. The refrigerant flows through the liquid line at high speed to provide a source of cooling to the evaporator.

How Long Should A Line Set Be?

a roll of coil pipes for condensor of an ac

A line set should be a maximum of 75 feet in length. Some system design factors require longer line sets like 250 feet. However, shorter is better. The shorter the line set, the better the performance and efficiency of the air conditioning system.

A longer line set will cause the refrigerant to travel farther to reach the evaporator. Besides, a very long line set would mean you have a massive amount of refrigerant sitting in the line set. This may cause overcharge or undercharge.

A shorter line set will also reduce the risk of over-pressurizing the system, which can damage the compressor and other components. 

For ideas on proper sizing of line sets, watch the video below:

Is There A Need To Cover Or Protect An Exposed Line Set?

An air conditioning line set should be covered or protected whenever the line set is exposed to the elements. Excessive exposure to water can cause an air conditioning line set to corrode and leak.

Check out this line set on Amazon.

Additionally, exposing the line set outdoors where the temperatures are constantly changing may affect the refrigerant's temperature. A refrigerant that is warmer or cooler than what it should have been can affect system efficiency. This may drive your electric bill up.

5 Ways to Increase the Life of Your Air Conditioner (New Installation)

Air conditioning systems should be properly designed and installed to ensure a safe, reliable, and trouble-free operation.

If you are planning to install a new air conditioning system, ensure that you take the following steps to prevent potential problems and increase the longevity of your unit.

Ensure that the refrigerant charge is checked regularly.

It is important to check the charge in the liquid and the gas phase to ensure that the correct percentage of the refrigerant is present. The correct amount of refrigerant will ensure the proper operation and efficiency of the system.

Ensure that the refrigerant is in the proper condition to be used.

It is important to check the refrigerant charge to ensure that it is in perfect condition. This can be done by checking the pressure on the refrigerant.

A refrigerant that is too cold will cause the system to work harder and will result in lower energy efficiency. A refrigerant that is too warm will cause the system to work less efficiently and may cause damage to the compressor.

HVAC contractor wearing a mask and safety glasses while charging a heat pump air conditioner

Ensure that the air conditioning coil is correctly sized.

An air conditioning coil that is too small will cause the unit to run less efficiently or fail.

Ensure that the ducts are correctly sized.

The size of the ducts should allow for good air circulation. A duct that is too small will cause the air conditioning system to operate inefficiently.

Ensure that the fan is not noisy.

A noisy fan will cause the air conditioning unit to run more than it should.

In Closing

The coil is the main working element of the heat exchanger, which allows for the required heat exchange of working media

An excess line set will increase your energy consumption because the compressor will work harder than it should. Besides, you run the risk of damaging your compressor due to overcharging or undercharging.

If you are planning to install an air conditioning unit at home, make sure that the line set installation is planned carefully so you won't have to deal with excess line sets.

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