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Exterior pipes from AC..wrap or not wrap ????
Should the pipes from a central air unit on the outside of the house be "wrapped" with foam ??
Mine were wrapped originally but it has been falling away...I can feel the "cold" in the pipes and they sweat...this can't be good and it seems they will eventually 'rot' and have to be replaced...
I get different AC guy said it is only 'cosmetic' but that makes no sense to me.
Some of my bigger pipes are cold and whomever did it 'tied' the 'hot' feeling smaller copper pipes up to them with what looks like 'weedeater string'.
...So, question is....should the pipes from the 'compresser of a central AC' located on the outside of the house that run 'into the wall' of the house be wrapped or not ?? Whatever the answer...someone please explain..."why" or "why not".
Posts: 4 | Registered: 24 October 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Insulated is a better term than "wrapped", and yes, they should be insulated. The reason is that the pipe is carrying refrigerant to your air-handling unit, which has been designed for refrigerant at a certain temperature. If the pipe is not insulated, the refrigerant could lose (more accurately: gain) some temperature on its way to the air-handling unit, and thus negatively affect performance. Worse yet, in extreme high temperatures, the refrigerant could change state from cold liquid to warmer vapor, and you wouldn't have any performance at all. The opposite could happen in the return pipe, though not as likely: the refrigerant, in the coolest outside temperatures, could turn from a vapor to a liquid in the pipe, which would not be good news for the compressor.

There is a product called Armaflex, which is pipe inssulation with a slit along the length, allowing it to be snapped over the pipe quite easily. It's a dark gray rubbery foam insulation.

Architect (NY) and Home Designer (PA)
Posts: 2870 | Location: Tobyhanna, PA | Registered: 24 October 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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as was stated above, the large, vapor/suction line needs to be insulated, the Armaflex is better then the lighter plumbing foam tubes (both are black in colour) the Armaflex is more dense. there is a special adhiesive that is used to secure the armaflex, very much like contact cement and does a good job. electrical tape is a good second to secure it. I have seen ceilings damaged from the vapor line (large one) having condensation dripping off of the line on to the attic flooring or even rotting the floor out of the closet the inside unit is placed in. having a catch pan under the unit is also a good idea, have seen too many units with out an overflow pan. have also seen a trough (rain troughs) under the line set up to actually drain out of the same access where the line or the condensate drain exits.

I have also seen where the liquid line (small line) also being insulated where the line is accessable where children might be able grab hold of it (being it is hot and can be very very hot).

Posts: 7 | Location: kansas | Registered: 10 November 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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