Mini-Split Air Conditioning Anarchy

mikewof

mikewof
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F_L

Anarchist
830
157
Canyon Lake, TX
That sucks. I thought that was a violation of the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act. The point of that law is that products don't need warranties, but if they do have warranties, the manufacturers are not then allowed to remove them willy-nilly. Maybe mini-splits are just not common enough that anyone has enforced it?

Used to be companies like Ford offered warranties and then immediately voided those warranties if any work was done on the vehicle outside of their own dealer-service network. The law protects the owner of the vehicle to have the vehicle repaired by any shop or even a DIY repair and not void the warranty. 
As FD said in his post not pulling a good vacuum will fuck things up. Hence the need for "professional installation" for warranty. And yes, MrCool does have precharged units and lines that don't need a vacuum pump for the install. I researched it last year. But you pay a premium for that. I don't remember the difference but decided against MrCool.

 

mikewof

mikewof
45,639
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As FD said in his post not pulling a good vacuum will fuck things up. Hence the need for "professional installation" for warranty. And yes, MrCool does have precharged units and lines that don't need a vacuum pump for the install. I researched it last year. But you pay a premium for that. I don't remember the difference but decided against MrCool.
I understand, and it's likely that many users wouldn't pull a vacuum and just do a shit install. Fine, if the manufacturer sees that the install was crap, don't honor the warranty. It's the same with vehicles, Ford doesn't have to honor their warranty if they see evidence of having blown the engine to shit at the drag strip or putting the wrong oil in.

But pulling a good vacuum with a half-decent 12 cfm pump is not a big deal, nor is it difficult for a lot of home DIYers, who do that kind of work on their vehicles on occasion. By not enforcing the Magnusson-Moss Act for these home heat pumps, the USA is limiting the installation of these. Unlike air-ducted HVAC, heat pumps are really good for DIY retrofits and they can be very affordable. I bet that a good 25% of us sailing assholes could do the install. And as we are a collection of cheap bastards, we would be more likely to do the install and save that energy if we could drill a hole in a nickel to avoid spending a dime on a washer.

The Mr. Cool is a neat setup, I can see why they charge a premium, but is it still considerably cheaper than a pro install?

 
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F_L

Anarchist
830
157
Canyon Lake, TX
 The Mr. Cool is a neat setup, I can see why they charge a premium, but is it still considerably cheaper than a pro install?
It's been a year since I researched it but MrCool has 2 different systems. Professional install and DIY. The DIY systems has everything precharged. The DIY was around twice the cost (~$700 more). Like you said, we sailors can be cheap bastards. So I installed it myself.

 

kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
27,228
5,136
Kent Island!
My goal is to creep up on getting rid of the central air. I am starting with the two hottest rooms and eventually want to do the entire house.

Currently it seems like ANY small-ish project gets in line behind all the big $$$$ people waving huge bundles of cash at all the contractors.  My floor project has been pushed back from April to September - maybe :angry:

BTW - I don't mind paying someone by the hour to come vacuum and charge the system, but they seem to want no part of that. Amazon has the pump and manifolds for about $160 or so, might go that way.

 
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Grande Mastere Dreade

Snag's spellchecker
My goal is to creep up on getting rid of the central air. I am starting with the two hottest rooms and eventually want to do the entire house.

Currently it seems like ANY small-ish project gets in line behind all the big $$$$ people waving huge bundles of cash at all the contractors.  My floor project has been pushed back from April to September - maybe :angry:

BTW - I don't mind paying someone by the hour to come vacuum and charge the system, but they seem to want no part of that. Amazon has the pump and manifolds for about $160 or so, might go that way.
the mini split in the two car garage with 12' ceilings has no issues keeping it cool once the temp is brought down...

 

mikewof

mikewof
45,639
1,209
My goal is to creep up on getting rid of the central air. I am starting with the two hottest rooms and eventually want to do the entire house.

Currently it seems like ANY small-ish project gets in line behind all the big $$$$ people waving huge bundles of cash at all the contractors.  My floor project has been pushed back from April to September - maybe :angry:

BTW - I don't mind paying someone by the hour to come vacuum and charge the system, but they seem to want no part of that. Amazon has the pump and manifolds for about $160 or so, might go that way.
I bit of advice I was given on home systems is not to go too big on the vacuum pump because it can evacuate too fast and freeze some of the moisture in the line. Supposedly the square of the CFM should roughly equal the capacity, so a 2 CFM pump is good for 4 tons (probably about the right size for most home installs), a 3 CFM pump is good for 9 tons, etc.. Pulling the line vacuum down below 400 Pascal doesn't seem to take too long.

 

floating dutchman

Super Anarchist
I understand, and it's likely that many users wouldn't pull a vacuum and just do a shit install. Fine, if the manufacturer sees that the install was crap, don't honor the warranty. It's the same with vehicles, Ford doesn't have to honor their warranty if they see evidence of having blown the engine to shit at the drag strip or putting the wrong oil in.
Stupid parallel.  We are not talking about abuse during usage, and you still have to take your Ford to a licensed mechanic to maintain the warranty.

 

floating dutchman

Super Anarchist
I bit of advice I was given on home systems is not to go too big on the vacuum pump because it can evacuate too fast and freeze some of the moisture in the line. Supposedly the square of the CFM should roughly equal the capacity, so a 2 CFM pump is good for 4 tons (probably about the right size for most home installs), a 3 CFM pump is good for 9 tons, etc.. Pulling the line vacuum down below 400 Pascal doesn't seem to take too long.
Explain the "tons" bit please.

 

billy backstay

Backstay, never bought a suit, never went to Vegas
Explain the "tons" bit please.
3 tons is 30,000 BTU, I believe?  Our 1,400 SF Ranch house was specked for 27,500 BTU, and the guy I wanted to install it wanted to give us a smaller one for more money than another company gave us the 3 ton for.  Better a little larger than required, than less. 

 
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mikewof

mikewof
45,639
1,209
3 tons is 30,000 BTU, I believe?  Our 1,400 SF Ranch house was specked for 27,500 BTU, and the guy I wanted to install it wanted to give us a smaller one for more money than another company gave us the 3 ton for.  Better a little larger than required, than less. 
My house has a 5 ton dual-phase for the downstairs, a 3 ton for the upstairs. The long runs of duct require two separate units. It can supposedly be replaced by a single 4 ton heat pump with the mini-splits because the refrigerant lines aren't as lossy as air ducts.

 
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mikewof

mikewof
45,639
1,209
Stupid parallel.  We are not talking about abuse during usage, and you still have to take your Ford to a licensed mechanic to maintain the warranty.
Congress specifically disallowed this nonsense, regardless what the dealership wants you to think.

If the Federal Trade Commission enforces the Magnusson Moss Act, you can do your own DIY maintenance, or take it to a mechanic or the dealership, and your warranty is good in all cases. They can choose to not offer a warranty, or honor their warranty with proper maintenance, but they can't refuse warranty if the proper maintenance wasn't done by a member of their anointed tribe. https://www.ftc.gov/legal-library/browse/statutes/magnuson-moss-warranty-federal-trade-commission-improvements-act

This should apply to HVAC, phones and others. but they are smaller markets than the low-hanging fruit of automotive warranties.

 
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The Q

Super Anarchist
I installed A split system about 5 years ago. Pre charged, no vacuum needed. The only inconvenient thing is the loop of spare pipe, though if I'd had a flaring tool handy that would have gone.

It's a reversible system which is actually more efficient on heating. Much needed here in the UK.

The system has worked fine ever since..

 

floating dutchman

Super Anarchist
Stupid parallel.  We are not talking about abuse during usage, and you still have to take your Ford to a licensed mechanic to maintain the warranty.
Congress specifically disallowed this nonsense, regardless what the dealership wants you to think.

If the Federal Trade Commission enforces the Magnusson Moss Act, you can do your own DIY maintenance, or take it to a mechanic or the dealership, and your warranty is good in all cases. They can choose to not offer a warranty, or honor their warranty with proper maintenance, but they can't refuse warranty if the proper maintenance wasn't done by a member of their anointed tribe. https://www.ftc.gov/legal-library/browse/statutes/magnuson-moss-warranty-federal-trade-commission-improvements-act

This should apply to HVAC, phones and others. but they are smaller markets than the low-hanging fruit of automotive warranties.
Yea, Nar.

 

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