Marcus Hand

Mini split installation

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I've evacuated and charged an AC unit in a pickup. It wasn't bad at all. Besides if you screw it up all you've lost is the refrigerant (which ain't cheap). Biggest danger is over charging I believe. That could damage the unit I'm betting, but gauges should prevent that. I bet the equipment needed could be rented if you didn't want to buy it and I'm sure there are plenty of YouTube vids to walk you through it. Otherwise looks to me like the rest of the install would be nothing for a bunch of guys that are used to cutting and sawing. :D

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Has anybody looked at the MrCool mini splits?  They are designed for DIY installations. The lines come precharged and are sealed until you connect them. 

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Thought I would follow-up on this. I bought the Pioneer 18000 BTU and installed it. It took the better part of two days to install, but it was not hard to do. Buying the unit and all necessary electrical connections and vacuum pump was right at $1200. The one quote I was able to get for installing it was $1400. Happy I did it myself and the difference in the shop is incredible. It was 97 degrees in the shop on the day I was installing it. Now I am woodworking in a "cool" 78 degrees! :)

Here are a couple pictures of finished installation. I still need to go back and touch up paint, etc. 

 

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Looks nice! Did the $1400 include supply of the unit, or was that just for the installation? If the latter, the DIY was well worth it, if the former, not so much :) 

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17 minutes ago, drzaius said:

Looks nice! Did the $1400 include supply of the unit, or was that just for the installation? If the latter, the DIY was well worth it, if the former, not so much :) 

The $1400 was just labor. If it had been everything, or even 2000, I would have let them do it. 

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That looks awesome! Good job! I cant wait to get one of these in my garage! I hate having to cut the day short on the weekends due to heat, or not being able to work on anything after work because its too hot!

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3 hours ago, Marcus Hand said:

Thought I would follow-up on this. I bought the Pioneer 18000 BTU and installed it. It took the better part of two days to install, but it was not hard to do. Buying the unit and all necessary electrical connections and vacuum pump was right at $1200. The one quote I was able to get for installing it was $1400. Happy I did it myself and the difference in the shop is incredible. It was 97 degrees in the shop on the day I was installing it. Now I am woodworking in a "cool" 78 degrees! :)

Here are a couple pictures of finished installation. I still need to go back and touch up paint, etc. 

 

IMG_1505.JPG

IMG_1507.JPG

IMG_1504.JPG

I am about to do the same thing in my garage. I live in Arizona and the shop was hitting over 100 F before I insulated the garage door. That dropped it to a refreshing 93F in the afternoons. I plan to insulate the attic over the garage but want to avoid ripping down drywall to insulate the walls.

A few questions:

Is your shop sealed/insulated?

Where did you source the vacuum system?

Did you need to run 240V ?

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I did need to run a 240V. There are 120V units, but I think they only go up to 12000 BTU and they also still require a dedicated circuit.

My garage doors are metal and face almost directly west. I did insulate them and that did make a big difference. Nothing else is insulated. I am also thinking about insulating the attic, but so far, I've been really happy with it. 

For the vacuum part, you will need a vacuum and a manifold gauge. For the vacuum, it needs to be R410a compatible. I bought the vacuum and gauge as a set. This is the one I got: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LKZJL6C/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I was most worried about the evacuation part, but it was actually one of the easiest parts. When you read about a lot of the DIY installs folks do, they seem to have the most trouble with drilling the hole in the wall and mounting the indoor unit. For woodworkers, this is probably one of the easier parts, since we know how to drill holes. :)

 

 

 

 

 

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Another thing to think about, which Ive been kicking around, if you get yourself a nice vacuum pump, it can also be used with a bag as a veneer press and with suction plates as a vacuum clamp! Helps to justify the purchase quite a bit more IMO.

I have also read more recommend getting a flaring tool as well as the factory flares on these from many brands are supposedly often poorly done.

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11 hours ago, blackoak said:

Hey Marcus, any last thoughts on your mini install? Was it big enough /are you happy with Pioneer?

It has been great, much better than I was even hoping for. I'm in Florida and August is the worst month here. Last year at this time, it was nearly impossible to work out in the shop, except really early in the morning or late at night. Yesterday, it was in the 90's and super humid here. I came home from work at 4:00 and walked into a 77 degree shop. 

My 12 yr old daughter has started coming out in the shop and making things. She made a comment to my wife about how nice it was and that now that there is AC. That definitely made it worth it!
 

My wife has been watching and comparing the electric cost to last year after the mini split and so far we haven't seen a noticeable difference. 

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