Air conditioning systems are complex not only in application, but also in installation. Every year, manufacturers try to do everything to simplify the installation and operation of split systems, but at the moment an inexperienced master with a high probability will not be able to install an air conditioner without making mistakes.
It is for this reason that we do not recommend home craftsmen to install an air conditioner. But if you are still confident in your abilities and want to try to install a split system yourself, study one of the most important questions: how to vacuum an air conditioner.
In this article, we will tell you in detail how to properly vacuum the air conditioner, what nuances need to be taken into account, and whether it is possible to perform such work independently, without the involvement of specialists from the outside.
Vacuumization: what you need to know
Before vacuuming, it is necessary to prepare a set of tools. You will need a vacuum pump for air conditioners, a pressure gauge station, a freon cylinder, a hex screwdriver (or better yet a kit), an adjustable and gas wrench.
Process of vacuumization
The first stage. The vacuum pump for pumping air out of the air conditioner is connected to the pressure gauge, and then to the outdoor unit, and turns on. Pump should work for at least 10-15 minutes. Duration of the pump operation depends on its power. On average, 15 minutes is enough to pump out excess air from the outdoor unit, but in some cases, 20 minutes are expected.
During the pumping of air, the indicators of the pressure gauge are monitored. The monitoring continues for another 20-30 minutes after the pump is turned off. During this time, the pressure indicator should not change. This will mean that the freon track is absolutely sealed.
If after pumping out the air, the needle of the pressure gauge began to rise, it means that there was a leak in the track. In this case, the master tries to find the leak location and seal the system. In most cases, leakage occurs due to loosely tightened nuts, improper rolling or damage to copper pipes during installation.
After that, the system is checked again using a pressure gauge. If the arrow remains stationary and the track is completely sealed, the master proceeds to the second stage.
The second stage. The refrigerating agent is launched into the system. Vacuum pump for the air conditioner is disconnected from the outdoor unit, the cylinder is connected. A hex key opens the valves for supplying freon. The circuit is slowly filled with refrigerant. After filling the route with freon, testing is carried out. The wizard checks the operability of all operating modes. If they work properly, then the master managed to properly vacuum the air conditioner.
Is it possible to vacuum the air conditioner with your own hands? Quite. But it is important to understand that this procedure is not as easy as it seems at first glance. This is especially true for complex climatic equipment, such as a precision air conditioner. But you can try to perform these works yourself, if you are confident in your abilities.
Above, we have already described a brief scheme for installing the pump and vacuuming the route. Let’s take a closer look at each stage.
The first stage
Connect the vacuum pump for pumping air to the air conditioner. To do this, connect one end of the yellow filling hose to the pump, and the other to the middle fitting of the pressure gauge station. Next, attach one end of the blue hose to the left fitting of the pressure gauge, and the second end to the filling fitting of the gas valve on the outdoor unit of the air conditioner.
Turn on the vacuum pump. Open the left tap on the pressure gauge and the service port valves. Follow the readings: it is necessary that the arrow stops at the value of -1 Bar. Perform vacuuming for 10-20 minutes. Then turn off the pump, but do not turn off the pressure gauge for about half an hour. Pay attention to the indicators: if the arrow has returned to the reading of 0 Bar, then there is a leak.
To detect the place of leakage, lubricate all the connections with a soap solution. This is an old and effective method. As soon as the leak location is detected, tighten the fasteners thoroughly and try to vacuum again.
The second stage
Now you need to fill the device with freon. Open the left tap on the pressure gauge, and close the right one. Disconnect the hose on the middle fitting of the pressure gauge (yellow) from the pump and connect it to the cylinder with the refrigerating agent. You will hear a characteristic hiss, which means that freon has begun to fill the contour. As soon as you fill up the air conditioner, disconnect the pipes and close the gas valve on the outdoor unit.
Now perform a full test of the split system. Turn the device into the «COOL» mode, set the temperature to +20 degrees and wait for 15 minutes. During this time, the air conditioner will start working at full capacity and you will be able to feel how effectively it copes with its task. Then check the «HEAT» mode.
It will take an average of 10-20 minutes to check each operating mode. Air conditioners, despite their technological effectiveness, do not immediately switch from one mode to another. Therefore, do not rush during testing, be patient.
If during the check it turned out that some modes do not work correctly or do not turn on at all, call the wizard. Without proper experience and knowledge, you will not be able to determine the exact cause. Most likely, mistakes were made when refueling with a refrigerating agent. Perhaps there is not enough freon or it is filled in excess.
We are convinced that the process of vacuuming should be performed by a specialist. He will be able to accurately calculate the amount of necessary refrigerant and competently test the system after refueling. Theoretically, this work can be done with your own hands, but in fact, beginners face many problems with self-vacuuming.
On the Internet, you can stumble upon contradictory advice from seemingly experienced masters. For example, some masters, instead of vacuuming, use the so-called blowing of the route with freon to displace most of the excess air from the system. This is an economical and fast method, but we strongly do not recommend using it.
Why? First, this procedure is prohibited by most manufacturers of air conditioners. Secondly, this method will not add long years of service to your air conditioner. If you ignore the vacuuming of the system and use a refrigerant purge instead, some air will still remain in the circuit. Over time, the inside of the device will be covered with a blue-black coating due to the oxidation process.
In short, you should not save money on such work. If you do not have the opportunity to purchase a vacuum pump, rent it. Or entrust this work to a professional who has a full set of necessary tools, as well as invaluable experience.
Is it possible to vacuum the air conditioner with your own hands? Yes, but with reservations. In words, this process seems quite simple, but in fact, beginners and home masters often face problems that appear at the stage of testing the system. This is especially noticeable when vacuuming complex climatic equipment, such as a precision air conditioner.
We do not recommend saving money on such important work. Use the help of the wizard from the service center. A professional has in his arsenal a two-stage vacuum pump, a modern pressure gauge station, a set of necessary keys/screwdrivers, and, most importantly, invaluable experience. An ordinary home master cannot boast of this, even if he rents the equipment.
Have you ever performed vacuumization yourself? What difficulties did you encounter in the process? Share your experience in the comments below. Give me some tips. They will be useful for beginners and home craftsmen. We wish you good luck!