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swindmill 06-12-2013 11:35 AM

Need to temporarily remove A/C to replace decking
I am planning out a project that will involve replacing my decking, and my A/C is on my deck (ground level deck). What I need to do is remove it, tear up the decking, put down plywood so that I can temporarily replace the AC, and then replace it for good once the project is finished and decking replaced. My question is whether I can remove and replace the unit myself. The breaker panel for the A/C is easily accessible so pulling the fuse isn't a problem. All connections to the A/C come through from the crawlspace and out of the house a couple of feet from the unit. I have basic plumbing and electrical knowledge and deal with both quite regularly, but I've never done this. Let me know if there's any other info needed to answer this question. Thanks.

nealtw 06-12-2013 12:25 PM

The gasses have to be captured and it will have to be recharged when done. Work for a pro.
If you have slack in the lines sometimes you can move it around a little to keep it hooked up. Or cut the boards and leave it there and have a service call the day you replace the deck boards.

swindmill 06-12-2013 01:11 PM

Thanks for the info. I can definitely cut around it (should have thought of that), and get the other work done before the new decking goes down. I'm hoping that I can lift it up and scoot it around enough to slide the new decking underneath and screw it down, but one service call would be no big deal if needed.

CallMeVilla 06-12-2013 01:28 PM

The copper tubing, a two line combo called a "line set", is flexible to a degree. The brazing is not. Moving the unit a lot might break the seal. A pro can capture the gas and disconnect the unit. The labor will not be as expensive as the replacement refrigerant ... pricey.

Are you absolutely sure you have to move it? Can you imagine any way to support it in place and work around it?

swindmill 06-12-2013 02:13 PM

I can see what you mean by the inflexible line. I at least have to lift the A/C up enough to pull out the old decking and slide in the new. It's sitting between two joists, so I don't need to tear anything up under it, or screw anything down where it sits. I can see putting the new decking on either side of it and fabricating some sort of support that lifts it up an inch or so, but allows me to slide decking underneath. So, there's definitely no way around lifting it up an inch or two, but I should have enough to slack to accomplish that, although I suppose that could still snap the line you mention if I'm not careful.

kok328 06-12-2013 03:44 PM

I hope you can manage. It depending on your area it could cost around $350 to repair a kinked line due a lawn tractor bumping the lightweight compressor unit.

CallMeVilla 06-13-2013 10:35 AM

Here is what a full relocation would mean ... We recently moved an AC unit from the side of a house to the back. The line set was >$120 but the AC-guy was able to keep the refrigerant in the unit. Labor was $400 to run 40 feet of new line set and re-braze the connection. Then the cost of re-routing the 220VAC, re-mounting the pull breaker, and reconnecting the AC unit power.

Happily you do not have to re-position the electrical or the line set. Try to keep it in place if you can! :D

WindowsonWashington 06-13-2013 03:42 PM

Post up a picture if you can. As stated, the lines do have some give to them but you will be kicking yourself if you push them too far and refrigerant isn't cheap nor is the service to repair and recharge the system.

swindmill 06-17-2013 08:43 AM

My hope is that I can lift it straight up a couple of inches to slide in 2x4's temporarily (when I have the deck boards on either side), and then ultimately slide under the new decking.

WindowsonWashington 06-17-2013 11:54 AM

Looks like you got enough slack in the lines that you lift it up.

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