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Install a used split system with missing flare connector

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  1. #1
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    Default Install a used split system with missing flare connector

    I pickup up a small used split system for a DIY install, but found the pipes from the indoor unit do not have the expected brass flare connector.

    The copper pipes have been cut and pinched closed. I guess the original installer must have brazed the pipes rather than using a flare joint?
    The question is how to recover.
    Being only 1/4" and 3/8" pipe, can I get away with soldering and a butane torch, rather than brazing?
    I have installed split systems before, using pre-flared hoses. Have not done plumbing soldering, no brazing tools, and have done only low-pressure flare joints.

    I have one of those 3m pre-flared pipe kits. Should I :
    1) cut the flare off pipe and solder using a copper connector to the inside unit?
    2) use "double flare unions" like this? https://www.gameco.com.au/product/do...ion-14-cw-nut/ (No new skills needed)
    3) get connectors with copper tail to solder on, restoring it to like a new inside unit. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000110755832.html

    A complication is that it will be installed on a double-brick wall, and with the pipes cut short I'll probably have to do the join before mounting the unit, then feed the 3 metre pipes through wall.

    thanks for reading, hope it makes sense.

  2. #2
    Gramps
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    Best recommendation is to get a refrig mechanic to do the piping, this will ensure the pipes and indoor/outdoor sections are clean inside from welding and swarf.

    refrig circuit will need to be evacuated and charged with correct gas and gas qty.

    I admire you wanting to do yourself, however so much can go wrong with DIY a refrigeration piping where you and up with a system that performs poorly or fails prematurely.

    the pipes were sealed to prevent ingress of dust, moisture into the evaporator/condenser.

    hope this points you in a direction

    G

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gramps View Post
    Best recommendation is to get a refrig mechanic to do the piping, this will ensure the pipes and indoor/outdoor sections are clean inside from welding and swarf.
    Thanks for responding, but I really doubt that is economical, which is why I posted here. Gone are the days when you could take an appliance to a shop and pay a modest amount for a 5-minute job. (the brazing in this case). A call-out is more than it is all worth. I'd rather buy a new unit than that, and avoid the need.
    Cutting and deburring is easy. I've installed a couple of split-systems before, but was able to just use flare joints rather than brazing.

    refrig circuit will need to be evacuated and charged with correct gas and gas qty.
    I hope not! It was supposedly shut down properly, with gas retained. I do of course have vacuum pump and gauge.

    I admire you wanting to do yourself, however so much can go wrong with DIY a refrigeration piping where you and up with a system that performs poorly or fails prematurely.
    You mean a leak? At least no CFCs now.

    the pipes were sealed to prevent ingress of dust, moisture into the evaporator/condenser.
    A simple cap on the thread would have been nice, but the original installer cut that off and brazed to the pipes.
    The outdoor unit did not have caps in place. Fortunately just a couple of cm to the closed valves, so I'll do my best to clear out any dust.

    I've ordered all the parts above from China. Still not sure if I should bother trying to braze (have spare parts to practise), or just stick with flare unions.
    Either way, will thoroughly vacuum & pressure test before releasing the gas.

    G[/QUOTE]

  4. #4
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Do you have pics, can't you remove the cut pipe and connect the new pipe?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    Do you have pics, can't you remove the cut pipe and connect the new pipe?
    I can cut a clean end on the existing pipes from the inside unit. The question is HOW to connect. Three options are listed above, each with weaknesses.

    I've not done brazing before. Actually, I've not even done a high-pressure flare before, as was able to use pre-flared insulated pipes.

    I could try soldering and pressure-test it. Or is solder likely to fail down the track? I can make sure there is no mechanical stress.

    I have quoted and linked this question to a new thread in Plumbing section. I guess that was the proper place I should have posted originally.

    https://www.renovateforum.com/f194/s...-pipes-130088/

  6. #6
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    I can only guess the indoor unit pipes were cut in the wrong place if you are needing braze new pipe. That would suggest it wasn't professionally removed and perhaps no charged compressor. I have limited experience with a/c but find it strange that brazing is required. Also if using existing pipework you need to know the new unit uses the same gas as the old unit.

    Brazing can be done with patience with Mapp gas burners and silver solder.

    If I were you I would hunt down a local fridgy. If you have everything ready you may find the cost not too high. I have done that in the past.

  7. #7
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    brazing.jpg This is what I need to join. You can see the joiner, where the liquid pipe from inside unit was brazed to the pipe leading to outside unit.

    If brazing is too hard, is there any reason not to try a flare union?
    flare-union.png
    This is what I would like to braze or solder on:
    flare-con.png
    I have only propane plumbing torch, but for small pipes it should be possible?

  8. #8
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    For the archives, hope it helps anyone with same query:
    Lacking sufficient advice on brazing, I used the flare unions. (after cutting and deburring pipes)
    Since they will end up inside the double-brick wall, I vacuum tested, then pressurised the hoses to 80psi by releasing a little refrigerant, and immersed the joins in a water bath with detergent.
    No problem visible so far. Flare joints are not so hard.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bath-union.png  

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