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Installed a 9000 BTU mini-split unit last weekend. Pics of install

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Installed a 9000 BTU mini-split unit last weekend. Pics of install

Old 02-06-2019, 05:36 PM
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Default Installed a 9000 BTU mini-split unit last weekend. Pics of install

I bought a 9000 BTU "Senville" Brand Mini-Split AC and Heatpump on ebay for my dad's cabin. It was about $580 after shipping.

First had to install the brackets on the concrete slab that dad's cabin sits on.

I had to go buy a hammer drill from HF, this is a 100 year old slab, it used to be the ice house for my town.

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Outdoor unit mounted and bolted down.

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Indoor unit mounted. It super easy, you just screw a metal plate to the wall and then the unit snaps onto the plate with plastic clasps. You drill a 3" hole in the wall for the wire, line set and condensate drain.

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I learned my lesson on the one I installed 2 years ago. You run the copper line set stubs outside THEN connect the lineset. The first time I hassled with running 20' of lineset through the wall and it was a pain in the ass.

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Outdoor unit wired up. There is a 4 wire set that goes to the inside unit for control and power, and then 120v power. I ran a liquid-tite connection over from an outdoor outlet that wasn't being used, I replaced it with a blank off plate.

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Line set hooked up and drawing a vacuum. Line set connects with flares. I cut and reflared it to shorten the lines as needed. Took me a few tries to get a successful vacuum, I found my gauge set had a small leak and needed tightened up.

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All tidied up.

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Inside unit working

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I initially had an issue where the inside unit worked but the outside unit wouldn't kick on. Let it sit over night and tried it again in the morning and it worked fine. I contacted customer support and they explained they talk over one wire via a +50 to -50 waveform, and likely the two motherboards in the inside and outside unit just needed to sync up to get everything working.

This is the second one of these I've installed. The other is a 1 ton unit in the upstairs of my house. My house is old and when I have HVAC originally installed they couldn't get a good return run ran from the upstairs, and I've always had to use a window unit in the summer. This fixed that.

I love these things, they are cheap, super quiet and very efficient. If the 2.5 ton main HVAC unit in my house ever dies, I'll just be installing one of these things in the main room of the house and calling it a day. They'll make heat with the heat pump down to -10 and you can barely hear the inverter compressor running when its on.
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Old 02-06-2019, 05:58 PM
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You do nice work, your dad's got a good son.
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by YFMF View Post
You do nice work, your dad's got a good son.
Thanks man, that really means a lot.

We moved him into the cabin in my backyard in October. So far, so good.

Only thing that sucks is we have been carpooling to work, his van is old and on its last legs. Well, my work decided to move our office about 20 miles, so if we carpool it would mean an extra hour in the car a day for me. I can't do it, we already have an hour commute each way to work. So I'm getting my tax return soon and am going to help him buy a car. Looking for a mid-2000s Honda accord or Toyota Camry for him with low mileage. Something in the $4500 range or so.

Just sucks, whole reason he moved in was because we could carpool and he could save money for a nicer vehicle and save some money up, and now we have to go and do this.
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by YFMF View Post
You do nice work, your dad's got a good son.
^^^This x 10
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:09 PM
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Few others pics of his cabin -

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Its 12x28. Has a 4'x8' bathroom, kitchenette. 100 amp electric service ran from my garage subpanel via a buriable grade wire through my backyard to another subpanel in the cabin.

I live on a 1/3rd acre in town, and I just happened to luck out and have this huge concrete slab in my backyard. It was the town ice house and then later the town used it for the telephone exchange building.

My neighbor told me his mom remembers going there to get ice for their ice box when she was a little girl.

A friend of mine was moving and sold me the building for $2000 because he didn't want to leave it behind at his old place. We had a roll back tow truck move it for us.
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:10 PM
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Looks good. Does the outdoor unit say 'Gree' on the silver label ? It looks identical to one I installed. It was labeled C&H but had Gree on that label.
Works great in summer for the master bedroom we like to keep cold.
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:12 PM
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That is seriously impressive. Kudos.
I would have been done at hammer drill
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by forgot View Post
Looks good. Does the outdoor unit say 'Gree' on the silver label ? It looks identical to one I installed. It was labeled C&H but had Gree on that label.
Works great in summer for the master bedroom we like to keep cold.
Not sure. I can check tomorrow. I'm sure all these chinese units come out of the same couple factories.

This is a "Senville" unit. In the upstairs of my house I have a pioneer brand unit I bought from www.highseer.com

The 1 ton unit in my bedroom will keep it at a chilly 65* even when its 110 out.
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:14 PM
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Too bad RV manufacturers are not using mini-splits instead of those more expensive, much louder rooftop RV A/C units and separate furnaces.
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
Too bad RV manufacturers are not using mini-splits instead of those more expensive, much louder rooftop RV A/C units and separate furnaces.
I've seen a few videos on youtube where guys have used minisplits in their RV's as retrofits.

The flare connections suck and always make me worry about leaks. I wonder if I could just solder them together after connecting them.
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:18 PM
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I love this at so many levels.
1) the fact that you did that for your dad is awesome.
2) the fact that we're at a place where you can share that with people all over the world.
3) the fact that, at least so far, no one has done the "you have to be a pro to do that work"

Kudos man! I'd install one just like it if I had to!
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by OldPete View Post
I love this at so many levels.
1) the fact that you did that for your dad is awesome.
2) the fact that we're at a place where you can share that with people all over the world.
3) the fact that, at least so far, no one has done the "you have to be a pro to do that work"

Kudos man! I'd install one just like it if I had to!
Thanks! I appreciate the kind words. Not really why I posted, I just think its interesting and an interesting HVAC system not really commonly seen in the US and I think more people should use them.

I paid $8500 for a whole house HVAC system, and I wish I'd just installed 2 of these at $800 a piece and called it a day. They work fantastic.

I don't get a warranty since I didn't have an HVAC tech install it, but whatever, its working, I'm not worried about it.

The big issue is getting an HVAC tech to work on them after you install them yourself. They don't like homeowners doing it, and from what I've heard a lot of them are dicks about it.

Kind of like my mom's boyfriend is a retired plumber and he HATES PEX plumbing. Not for any good reason. he hates it because homeowners can easily use it and it doesn't require a lot of skill, so its putting plumbers out of jobs.

Sorry man, but same thing happened to buggy whip and candle makers.
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:51 PM
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I have a 2 head unit in my river cabin and love it. Unexpected benefit was my electrical costs went way down. Cooling is much more efficient than the 3 window units I used to run.
This winter I've burned much less propane than in previous years. I still burn the space heater to warm up a cold cabin, but the split unit keeps it comfy once it gets warm
Awesome work, you are a great son!
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:52 PM
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Do they come pre charged? Or does someone add the Freon?
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mbg75 View Post
Do they come pre charged? Or does someone add the Freon?
they come pre-charged.

Hook up the copper line set. Draw a vacuum. Confirm vacuum holds for 10 minutes. Then disconnect your gauges, and use an allen wrench to open the valves on the high and low side and it releases the charge. Thats all there is to it.
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by hjorgan View Post
I have a 2 head unit in my river cabin and love it. Unexpected benefit was my electrical costs went way down. Cooling is much more efficient than the 3 window units I used to run.
This winter I've burned much less propane than in previous years. I still burn the space heater to warm up a cold cabin, but the split unit keeps it comfy once it gets warm
Awesome work, you are a great son!
I installed this for my dad and then went out there yesterday to say hey. He had his propane heater on. I asked why.

he says "I was cold."

uh....I showed you how to work the thermostat. Why are you burning propane?
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Old 02-06-2019, 07:02 PM
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Very nice job.
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Old 02-06-2019, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by lugoismad View Post
Thanks! I appreciate the kind words. Not really why I posted, I just think its interesting and an interesting HVAC system not really commonly seen in the US and I think more people should use them.

I paid $8500 for a whole house HVAC system, and I wish I'd just installed 2 of these at $800 a piece and called it a day. They work fantastic.

I don't get a warranty since I didn't have an HVAC tech install it, but whatever, its working, I'm not worried about it.

The big issue is getting an HVAC tech to work on them after you install them yourself. They don't like homeowners doing it, and from what I've heard a lot of them are dicks about it.

Kind of like my mom's boyfriend is a retired plumber and he HATES PEX plumbing. Not for any good reason. he hates it because homeowners can easily use it and it doesn't require a lot of skill, so its putting plumbers out of jobs.

Sorry man, but same thing happened to buggy whip and candle makers.
sears sold precharged line sets in the early 70s.
HVAC folks even say dont change your own circuit breaker (it has electricity in it)
mini splits are great- the American motel units by american makers are really noisy and shake when they shut off. mini splits are used all over the Caribbean. Most have remote controls and moving louvers.
Plumbers fought PVC pipe too when PVC first came out , they wanted to keep using cast iron. they said in a fire the pvc pipe fumes would be toxic to your lungs.
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by lugoismad View Post
they come pre-charged.

Hook up the copper line set. Draw a vacuum. Confirm vacuum holds for 10 minutes. Then disconnect your gauges, and use an allen wrench to open the valves on the high and low side and it releases the charge. Thats all there is to it.
Did the instructions that came with the system describe that procedure in detail? Or did you already know how to do it? I am thinking about trying a similar install on a river cottage and do have two vac pumps but am not sure I could do it right.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by GaryDoug View Post
Did the instructions that came with the system describe that procedure in detail? Or did you already know how to do it? I am thinking about trying a similar install on a river cottage and do have two vac pumps but am not sure I could do it right.
Instructions had everything you needed.

As long as you know how to hook up an electric circuit, flare a copper connection and work a drill, you'll be just fine.
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