Dismantling air conditioners: how to remove a split system with your own hands

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It is much more difficult to dismantle a split system consisting of an indoor and outdoor unit than a monoblock window air conditioner. The main problem is in the distributed refrigerant circuit, which will have to be depressurized. Let’s talk in detail about how to remove a split system and keep it working..

Dismantling air conditioners: how to remove a split system with your own hands

In what cases can you do it yourself?

There are several prerequisites under which it makes sense to dismantle the split system with your own hands:

  1. The location of the outdoor unit allows you to disconnect pipes and cables, dismantle the unit itself and the mounting structure without using equipment for industrial mountaineering or special equipment.
  2. There is a manometer or a manometric station (collector) available (own or rented) to work with the type of freon that is pumped into the system.
  3. To dismantle rather heavy outdoor and indoor units, as well as to safely shut down the compressor, an assistant is needed.

Dismantling air conditioners: how to remove a split system with your own hands

Why is it important to save freon

If the air conditioner has exhausted its resource, then it can be dismantled without saving freon. Of course, according to scientists, this method will cause some damage to the environment, but it will be completely insignificant (even in comparison with the incorrect disposal of a fluorescent lamp).

It is technically easier to dismantle the “working” external block of the split system without preserving the freon, but after that the air conditioner will have to be thrown away. And the reason for this will be almost guaranteed failure of the compressor vacuum pump..

Dismantling air conditioners: how to remove a split system with your own hands

The tightness of the pump chambers during its operation is ensured not by gaskets or piston rings (they simply cannot withstand a significant difference in temperature and pressure), but by high processing accuracy and perfect balance of parts. The slightest scratch on the surface of the camera from dust or an ice floe of frozen water vapor, which will surely get into the pump along with atmospheric air, will lead to the loss of operation of this main compressor unit after the secondary connection and pumping of freon.

Removing the outdoor unit

On the external block there are two fittings to which the tubes fit: thin for liquid freon from the condenser and thick for gaseous freon from the evaporator from the internal block.

Both connections have shut-off valves closed with threaded caps. Valves are adjustable with socket wrenches. A nipple extends from the gas connection, also closed with a cover.

Before starting work, all covers must be removed.

Dismantling air conditioners: how to remove a split system with your own hands

A pressure gauge is connected to the nipple and the air conditioner is turned on in the “cold” mode.

Dismantling air conditioners: how to remove a split system with your own hands

After 10 minutes, when the air conditioner enters the preset operating mode, the liquid fitting valve is tightened, which disconnects the freon supply from the condenser of the outdoor unit.

Next, the pressure in the gas pipe is monitored using a pressure gauge. With a reading of -1 MPa (technical vacuum), close the gas connection valve and immediately turn off the air conditioner.

Then remove the pressure gauge and screw all three caps onto the fittings..

At this time, all freon is collected in the condenser of the outdoor unit, and in the rest of the system (evaporator and tubes) – technical vacuum.

Now you need to disconnect the outdoor unit from the piping. There are two options:

  1. Unscrew the union nuts securing the flared pipes to the flange of the unions. Close the inlets to the fittings with pre-prepared covers with the same diameter and thread pitch as the nuts. But if there are no covers, then they go the second, more radical, way.
  2. With the help of side cutters, tubes are cut (in turn) 10-15 cm from the fittings. The cut end is bent from the side of the fitting and firmly clamped with bench vise. The same procedure is performed with the “mating part”. This method is considered more reliable, since it reduces the risk of dust getting into the fitting itself when the tube is disconnected..

Dismantling air conditioners: how to remove a split system with your own hands

It remains only to disconnect the cables (power and signal) from the external unit, unscrew the unit fasteners to the mounting structure, remove the unit.

Features of the location and connection of indoor units

Internal blocks of split systems have different options for placement and fastening.

Basically, most block types (except for channel) have a similar dismantling algorithm:

  • remove the cover;
  • disconnect cables;
  • disconnect the pipes of the refrigerant circulation system (the same two options as for the outdoor unit);
  • cut the drainage pipe;
  • empty the drainage container;
  • open the latches securing the indoor unit to the mounting plate (each type and brand has its own system);
  • remove the block;
  • dismantle the plate.

Dismantling air conditioners: how to remove a split system with your own hands

The most difficult dismantling is for a ducted air conditioner. And it’s not so much difficult to remove the indoor unit, although you still need to get to it, how much to dismantle the system of air ducts, adapters, diffusers and grilles.

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