Installing an Outdoor Condenser Unit

An outdoor condenser unit is essential for a comfortable house. Generally, you need to hire professionals for installing such units, but if you have the proper certification and skill to install the required refrigeration device in the condenser unit, then you could go ahead with the setting up of the unit all by yourself, which also saves on costs to a great extent.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Brazing Rod 85/15
  • Torch
  • Measuring tape
  • Cordless drill
  • Wrenches
  • Utility Knife
  • Nitrogen tank
  • Hoses
  • Refrigeration Gauges
  • Refrigerant
  • Copper Tubing
  • Copper fitting
  • Tubing Cutter
  • Metal Straps
  • Vacuum Pump
  • Electric Pump
  • Wire
  • Nuts
  • Electric Fitting
  • Wire Stripper

Step 1: Location

Choose where you have to set up the condenser unit. The device must be installed in a place that is easily reachable so that it can be checked from time to time. Make sure the place is strong so that the unit can get ample support. Now level the unit and position it on a steel frame for condensers, which is available in home improvement stores. The unit must sit in place snugly so that it does not move out of place during working.

Step 2: Check Parts

Check if all the parts of the unit are available in the condenser unit. Sometimes, a few parts may become loose and fall out. In case of a missing part you have to seek a replacement according to the model number of the condenser unit.

Step 3: Sizing Up

All the copper tubing has to be a proper size using the line chart. For the suction pipes and liquid pipes of the unit, the tubing has to be fitted in place and then brazed up. Use the brazing torch to flow the gas in it, over the lines. This prevents oxidation or scales from forming. If done properly the tubing gets hooked up from the condensing part outside to the inner evaporating coil. Take the pipe straps and place them over the ends of the pipes and secure them in place.

Step 4: Leak Testing

Open all the service valves and set the unit pressure to 150 PSI using dry nitrogen. This is necessary for checking leaks. If the pressure drops within 5 hours, leak test again using soap bubbles applied on all joints and connections.

Step 5: Insulation

Taking pipe insulation, put it over the copper tubing so that they get properly insulated. Cut the insulation material with a knife according to the size of the tubing and place it over the tubing surface. The insulations are self adhering in nature. This prevents the risks of malfunctioning of the unit and sweating of copper lines.

Step 6: Vacuuming

Now release the pressure out by closing the valves and evacuating the lines of the unit. For this, locate where the high and low sides of the refrigerant unit are, and hook up the gauges on the sides. Next, switch the vacuum pump on so that all contaminating agents are thrown out of the lines, due to the pulling out of all moisture and air inside.

Step 7: Refrigeration

Check your local codes for electricity and obtain proper licenses for the condenser unit. Follow the circuit set up diagram on the unit manual. This is different for each model and varies with the brand as well. Wire the unit in the given manner. After this is done, charge the unit with refrigerant. Make sure you have the correct kind of refrigerant that is compatible with your unit model. The quantity to be charged is also to be seen from the manual as this is a highly technical matter and no guesses can be taken. It also varies with unit capacity and copper tubing size.

Step 8: Final Steps

Finally, attach the refrigeration gauges and the meter for amperage. Switch on the thermostat to the setting you want and switch on the unit. See if the pressures on the high side and low side, together with the temperatures, are within the correct range as specified in the manual. If there are any discrepancies, you need to increase or decrease the refrigerant dose till the correct reading is achieved.