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Insulate the cold copper pipe coming out of the COMPRESSOR?

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  • Insulate the cold copper pipe coming out of the COMPRESSOR?

    Will I cause any harm using left-over pipe insulation tube on the cold pipe coming out of the COMPRESSOR?
    In our Rheem central air conditioner, exiting the compressor the 3/4-inch copper pipe bends up and then curves down to the base of the unit. It exits the unit inside insulation to the furnace heat-exchanger.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by Robert Gift; 06-26-2012, 11:10 PM.
    I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
    It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
    "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

  • #2
    Re: Insulate the cold copper pipe coming out of the COMPRESSOR?

    The line you are describing is the suction line, which brings flashing refrigerant back to the compressor.

    Insulating the suction line is fine on the outside of the condenser. IF you are going to insulate inside the condenser cabinet make sure you are comfortable / qualified to do it and shut off the power. Make sure you use the proper insulation because if it comes off it will go into your fan or slung into your condenser coil.

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    • #3
      Re: Insulate the cold copper pipe coming out of the COMPRESSOR?

      Originally posted by OkieBill View Post
      ... Insulating the suction line is fine on the outside of the condenser. IF you are going to insulate inside the condenser cabinet make sure you are comfortable / qualified to do it and shut off the power. Make sure you use the proper insulation because if it comes off it will go into your fan or slung into your condenser coil.
      Thank you.
      It is typical tube-type pipe insulation with slit down the side to fit onto existing pipe.

      Fortunately no exposure to UV because it is inside the closed metal cabinet. If any came off, it would likely just fall to the bottom of the cabinet.
      I have vacuumed plant-cotton and leaves from the outside of the condenser's close fins.

      Just wondering why that copper pipe goes up and does an inverted U and goes down to the bottom of the cabinet where it exits inside insulation.
      That exposed copper pipe turns white with a coating of frost. It's close to the hot compressor and warm outdoor air is pulled against it before flowing through the condenser. So it is absorbing some heat.
      Last edited by Robert Gift; 06-28-2012, 03:11 PM.
      I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
      It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
      "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Insulate the cold copper pipe coming out of the COMPRESSOR?

        To my knowledge the inverted U you are speaking of is acting like somewhat of an oil trap. As the velocity of the refrigerant gas is being drawn back to the compressor it will sweep the refrigerant oil back into the crankcase. Or maybe the guy that made it that day just thought he'd bend the pipe. Insulation on the suction line inside the condenser cabinet is not needed. If that was the case, then the manufacturer would have attached it at the factory. If your suction line is frosting over inside the outdoor unit, then I would have to say that you possibly have an undercharge of refrigerant, your air filter is dirty, or you have a dirty indoor coil (evaporator). The indoor coil should be operating at about a 40 degree temperature. The only time frosting is an issue is when the suction temperature hits that magic 32 degree mark or colder. Good luck!!!

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        • #5
          Re: Insulate the cold copper pipe coming out of the COMPRESSOR?

          Originally posted by JONESY View Post
          To my knowledge the inverted U you are speaking of is acting like somewhat of an oil trap. As the velocity of the refrigerant gas is being drawn back to the compressor it will sweep the refrigerant oil back into the crankcase. Or maybe the guy that made it that day just thought he'd bend the pipe. ...
          Thank you.
          The 5/8-inch copper pipe is manufauctured that way.
          I was wondering if it is some kind of trap to run the oil back to the compresser. It goes up to near the top of the cabinet.
          I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
          It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
          "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

          Comment

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