- Choosing a place to install split blocks
- Split system standard and optional equipment
- Split system installation
In this article: choosing a place for split blocks – it’s not that simple; maximum and minimum length of the gas pipeline between indoor and outdoor units; standard and additional equipment of two-unit air conditioners; the cost of air conditioning components that will have to be purchased separately; why you can not use a copper water pipe; optional but convenient elements of a split system; what is a “winter kit” and why is it needed; installation of a split indoor unit – how to do everything right.
Unlike other household appliances, a two-unit air conditioning system cannot be used for its intended purpose immediately after purchase – it must first be installed. And since it is impossible to independently expose and connect the split blocks with a highway, its owner will have a difficult search for experienced and responsible, but what is there, any installers. The beginning of the warm season opens the way for air conditioner installers the way to the wallets of owners of brand new split systems, their profession is becoming wildly in demand, which attracts assorted dropouts and outright fraudsters who have been advertising their services on the Internet and in the media since mid-spring. How to distinguish experienced craftsmen from dubious installers, how the installation of a split system should be performed and what is required for this – we will figure it out.
Choosing a place to install split blocks
Often, the owners of freshly purchased air conditioners rely entirely on the installers when choosing the location of the split system, or are only interested in the installation point of the indoor unit – both “simple” options are incorrect. When planning the installation points of the outdoor and indoor units, the following nuances must be taken into account:
- the indoor unit should not look like a “black sheep” against the background of the interior of the room;
- the direct air flow generated by the air conditioner should not enter the places of rest and work of household members;
- you need to make sure that the strength of the section of the wall or ceiling where the block-dryer is supposed to be located is sufficient and can withstand its weight;
- the minimum distance from the upper and lower points of the indoor unit body to the plane of the ceiling and cabinet furniture is at least 300 mm. In addition, sufficient space is required for laying the pipes of the freon line and condensate drainage, power cables;
- do not place a hair dryer on a split system above a heating radiator;
- the minimum distance from the side, bottom and front walls of the split outdoor unit to any airtight surface is 300 mm, otherwise the air exchange efficiency will decrease and the power of the device will drop;
- hot air coming out of the street block should not enter the windows of apartments located one floor below;
- the maximum permissible noise level produced by the outdoor unit is 70 dB (SNiP 23-03-2003);
- the air conditioner unit placed on the wall of the building or on its roof must be protected from precipitation – to protect it from rain and icicles, install a visor above it, in order to completely eliminate snow drift, raise the device above the roof plane, erecting a pedestal of the required height for this;
- the outlet of the condensate discharge hose should be positioned so that moisture does not get on the windows of the lower floors and on bystanders, even in strong winds;
- it is necessary to provide the easiest access to the external unit – for its proper operation, service will be required, and it will be difficult and unsafe to get to a device located at a considerable height, and even on a blank wall of a high-rise building.
Let’s take a closer look at the issue of placing split blocks from the position of a freon line, which has restrictions not only in maximum, but also in minimum length. All manufacturers of two-unit air conditioning systems indicate in the technical documentation for them the limit values for the length of the copper pipeline and the vertical distance of the outdoor and indoor units from each other – usually 15 and 7 meters. However, you should not pull the freon line to the full, albeit permissible distance: each additional meter of copper gas pipe will cost about 400 rubles, and the amount of work on their installation and embedding into walls will also increase; the need to pump freon through a multi-meter pipeline seriously loads the compressor, as a result, its power drops.
If you firmly intend to put the outdoor unit of the air conditioner on the roof, remote from the installation site of the indoor unit at a distance of more than 7 m vertically and 15 m horizontally, then you need to purchase not an ordinary household split, but related to semi-industrial models. For example, choose a multisplit from Mitsubishi Electric, Mitsubishi Heavy or Daikin, designed for the length and height differences of the pipeline over 50 m.
Approximately every second installer of split systems will tell you with confidence that the shorter the length of the communication line between the blocks, the better. It is easier to arrange a short pipeline than a long one – that is, in fact, all on which such unfortunate installers who want to simplify their task and save time for installation base their conviction in a short line between split units. The copper gas pipeline connecting the outdoor and indoor units is part of the refrigeration system, the parameters of which have been carefully calculated by the engineers of the manufacturer, i.e. any deviations in its length equally negatively affect the parameters of the operating cycle of the air conditioner. Therefore, it is required to use at least 3 meters of copper gas pipe – preferably the whole set that is attached to the air conditioning unit and received by the buyer upon purchase. Those. if the blocks are divided only by the thickness of the outer wall or so, then there is no need to cut the tubes, it is required to collect the “extra” length with rings and place them behind the body of the street block.
Cheap split models are especially sensitive to violations of the length of the freon pipeline, since they are equipped with the simplest control systems that are not able to make adjustments to the operation of the system during the operation of the air conditioner, therefore, compliance with the length of communications between their units is critically necessary.
Drawings for the placement of the split system blocks indicating all the required dimensions are developed by the representatives of the installation team after inspecting the room where the device will be installed. This document must be signed by both parties – the head of the installers and the owner of the split. Please note that after it has been agreed, responsibility for all installation defects made by the installers falls on the owner of the split system – be as picky as possible.
Split system standard and optional equipment
A new air conditioner usually comes with an external and internal split unit, an instruction with a warranty card and a copper gas pipe 7-10 m long, a remote control with or without two finger batteries – of course, it is impossible to assemble a working climate system based on this list.
Let’s list the elements of the additional equipment, dividing them into primary and secondary ones. The first group includes: flexible electrical cable (it is better to use VVG) two- or three-core (in the case of grounding), with a cross section of 2.5 mm2 – the price per running meter is about 50 rubles; two steel brackets or a frame podium for installing an external unit, with a permissible load over 70 kg – an approximate cost of 900 rubles. per set; a drainage hose made of reinforced PVC – the price per running meter is about 40 rubles; insulation for the freon line – 10 rubles. per running meter; a reel of thermal tape that protects pipe insulation from sunlight – 220 rubles. a piece; a plug with two or three contacts (one for grounding) – 75 rubles. a piece.
In the event that a copper tube is not included in the standard kit, then it must be purchased additionally – on average, its price is 200 rubles. per running meter. It is important to purchase a gas pipe, not a water pipe, because gas pressure in refrigeration equipment is higher than in the water supply system – a copper water pipe will allow gas to pass through, which will result in the need for frequent refueling of the split system with expensive freon.
For your information: a seam or seamless water pipe made of copper is designed for a maximum pressure of 10 atmospheres, while the pressure in the line with R22 freon will be up to 24 atmospheres, and in the R410A filled with freon – up to 41.5 atmospheres.
The number of secondary or optional elements of the complete set includes: protective visor – price from 1300 rubles; vandal-proof lattice box – price from 2500 rubles; drainage pump – price from 3000 rubles; all-season block – price from 5000 rubles.
Icicles and ice crust falling from the roof can damage the body of the external split block, exposing and crushing the metal, which will cause it to rust and cause atmospheric precipitation to enter the device. A visor made of 2 mm steel sheet reliably protects the air conditioner unit from falling objects. However, it will not be easy to install such a visor – if you install an external unit under the window opening, you need to leave space for the installation of the visor, and this is at least 200 mm. If you lower the street split so low, then it will be very difficult to put the mounting kit out of the window, you will have to attract industrial climbers – a person hangs from the window opening in order to install the mounting kit and, moreover, a massive split block is life-threatening.
A rectangular anti-vandal box, made of a lattice fabric welded to a steel frame, closes access to the device from all sides, except for the bottom – this is necessary for preventive maintenance. As a rule, these boxes are equipped with a sheet steel canopy, i.e. they also protect the air conditioner from objects falling from above. Protective boxes are used when installing splits at a low height or on the roof (attic) of a building.
Drainage pump. Air cooling performed by the air conditioning system is always accompanied by moisture condensation on the tubes of the evaporator installed inside the hairdryer. Drops of condensate flow into a sump, from where they are discharged through a drain hose to the street or to the sewer by gravity (gravity) – this drainage removal scheme is implemented in all types of suspended split systems. But in some cases, this method does not work – for example, when placing a split in a semi-basement or basement room – and a drainage pump is used to solve the problem of condensate drainage. It is a rectangular plastic tank with a pump and a water level sensor inside. The tube that removes condensate from the indoor unit of the split system is connected to a plastic tank, as it is filled, a sensor is triggered, turning on the pump – water is pumped through the outlet hose into the sewer or outside. As soon as the tank is empty, the pump turns off. By the way, some models of split systems are equipped with a built-in drainage pump at the assembly stage..
All-season block. With the beginning of the cold season, the outside temperature drops lower and lower, as soon as its value reaches -5 ° C – all budget models of air conditioners will stop working due to the threat of frostbite on the evaporator of the outdoor unit and freezing of condensate in its outlet pipe. Equipping the street block of the split system with the so-called “winter set” will allow to expand the lower limit of the permissible temperature for the air conditioning unit to about -30 ° C, i.e. the device can continue to work for cooling or heating even in cold weather, becoming all-season. The “winter kit” includes the following equipment:
- a ventilation unit controller that controls its rotation based on the outdoor temperature and the user-specified operating mode of the air conditioner. By regulating the amount of air flow to the compressor and condenser, the controller prevents them from freezing;
- electric heating element, which prevents an increase in the viscosity of the oil in the compressor crankcase;
- heating element for the drainage system does not allow condensate to become ice, i.e. ensures the normal outflow of liquid from the indoor unit of the air conditioner.
The set of the “winter kit” does not have to consist of a complete set of units – for example, in the case of condensate drainage into the sewer, heating for the condensing tube is not required, and air conditioners with inverter compressor control do not need an additional fan controller, since their control system is already equipped with it.
Equipping air conditioners with a “winter set” for the purpose of using them for heating living quarters is impractical, because with a drop in the outdoor temperature to -15 ° C and below, the power of the climatic device will sharply decrease, and the efficiency will more than halve. Therefore, a split system with a “winter set” is convenient only in the off-season, it is not suitable for full-fledged heating of rooms in winter due to high power consumption at low performance – it is easier and cheaper to use electric heaters. Climate technology capable of cooling and lowering the humidity in rooms regardless of the season is extremely necessary for objects with complex and expensive electronics, the smooth functioning of which requires the creation and maintenance of an atmosphere with strictly defined characteristics..
Split system installation
After agreeing with the customer the points of installation of the split units and the routes for laying the pipes of the freon line, the installation of the indoor unit is carried out – the installation work begins precisely from this unit, since it’s easier to expose. It is necessary to remove the steel mounting panel from the back wall of the hair dryer unit and use it as a stencil: attach to the wall, mark the holes for fastening the mounting panel; drill holes with a punch; fix the panel to the wall with plastic dowels; hang the internal split block on it. It is important to make sure that the indoor unit is located strictly horizontally, otherwise condensate from the pallet will not flow into the drain pipe, but onto the floor under the block – check for horizontalness using a building level. The second important point is that the block-hair dryer should be positioned in such a way that the grips on its back sit tightly into the slots on the mounting panel, otherwise a visible gap will form between the back wall of the hair dryer and the wall of the room.
After completing the installation of the indoor unit of the split system, the installers proceed to building paths for inter-unit communications and a drainage tube. The choice of the route laying method is determined by the current state of the room – if major repairs are being carried out in it, then grooves are cut out in the wall, but if the owner of the split does not carry out repair and finishing work, then instead of grooves, a decorative PVC box is installed on the wall. Before installing the plastic box in the wall, it is required to drill a through hole through which communications will subsequently be passed …
Continuation of the material on the correct installation of split systems – in the next article.