Photograph of air conditioning compressor condenser units with many problems A/C Heat Pump Compressor Condenser Installation Error FAQs

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A/C or heat pump compressor/condenser unit installation mistake questions & answers:

Q&A on snafus, mistakes and goofs when installing the compressor/condenser unit outdoors or on rooftops.

This air conditioning repair article series discusses the installation errors in air conditioning compressor and condensing units such as improper location, blocked air flow, out of level, or not properly supported.

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Air Conditioning or Heat Pump Compressor / Condenser Unit Installation Errors & Damage

Air conditioner or heat pump location requirements Carson Dunlop Associates

These questions and answers about mistakes in the installation of air conditioners or heat pumps were posted originally at COMPRESSOR / CONDENSER INSTALLATION ERRORS

On 2017-07-13 by (mod) - free unobstructed air clearance required above chiller units

I think you're asking about protecting the chiller from sun - by providing shade?

A review of Carrier's air cooled chiller installation manual and Trane's commercial chiller manual for their RTAA both confirm what I thought: the chiller requires these clearance distances:

b. Provide Vertical Clearance Vertical condenser air discharge must be unobstructed. While it is difficult to predict the degree of warm air circulation, a unit installed as shown on the left would have its capacity and efficiency significantly reduced. Performance data is based on free air discharge.


On 2017-07-13 by Anonymous

I have installed an air cooled chiller of 80Ton, I wish to shad on it, tell me know the any standard for height b/w chiller top to shad?

On 2017-03-10 by (mod) can I install condensers under a window?

Can, yes.

Should? Maybe.

There may be issues however with noise and air movement - IF the window is open when the condenser is operating, depending on the height of the window above the unit and the horizontal distance to the compressor from the wall you might have complaints of both noise and hot air blowing into the building.

(Normally one would think windows would be closed when the A/C system is running).

Details are at at CLEARANCE DISTANCE, HVAC - see a live link to that article in the page above.

On 2017-03-10 by Susan

can I install condensers under a window?

On 2016-09-05 by Billy DeVincentis - aquarium chiller

I have an aquarium chiller that is made from a window ac unit. Unfortunately, the current location for its planned installation does not allow for more than 1 inch of airspace between the exiting air of the condenser coil and the wall.

What I would like to do is mount the entire unit on the side wall where the condenser coil fan is blowing air up through the condenser coil which would give it almost 5 feet of headroom.

Of course that would leave the compressor in a sideways position which I know is not possible so I would then dismount the compressor, bend the tubing just a bit and mount it with angle brackets right side up. Would this work? I know I can physically do it but I do not know if the condenser requires mounting right side up.

On 2016-08-27 by (mod) - run refrigerant lines underground?


You can run refrigeration lines underground but they'll need additional protection from corrosion, damage, frost heave, etc.

On 2016-08-26 by Susan

Is it better to run the compressor lines though an attic or underground? My choices are to either

(a) run 30' of line thru the attic to the side of the house opposite the condenser unit or

(b) to run 20' of line under the patio area to the far side of the patio. My preference is (b) since (a) would put the compressor next to the bedrooms, but I'm not sure if there are issues running the lines underground. Also, the attic will be hot and the AC will be running most of the year here in Central Texas. Thank you!

On 2016-08-19 by (mod) Can I place the AC compressor about 50' away from my house


You wil lneed to

1. adjust the refrigerant charge according to the volume of additional piping

2. provide pipe routing, insulation, and damage protection specified by the unit's manufacturer

On 2016-08-19 by Laurie

Can I place the AC compressor about 50' away from my house, nest to my garage? If I put it next to the house it will have to be right next to the deck and I am worried about the noise.

On 2016-06-16 by (mod) Should my compressor unit be mounted at a higher elation than the head unit on my mini split air conditioner?

NO, doesn't matter.

On 2016-06-16 by Paul

Should my compressor unit be mounted at a higher elation than the head unit on my mini split air conditioner?

On 2016-05-22 by Anonymous

what is the maximum allowed length of the pipe between the compressor unit and the fan

On 2016-04-13 by (mod) How far from the house can an ac condenser go?

Marion, Your HVAC people are right. They'll need to adjust the refrigerant charge when adding extra length of piping.

On 2016-04-13 8 by Marion

How far from the house can an ac condenser go? The hvac people said its ok to have it 38 feet away from where the line goes in and they can run additional lines? Right now the old unit location does not have enough clearance.

On 2016-02-28 by (mod) - how to mount the upper end of support hanger rods for an attic-suspended air handler


Typically the upper end of the hanger rods is hung from an eyebolt screwed into the under-edge of the rafter or less often, bolted by a clamp to the side of the rafter. If you must drill a suspension hole through the rafter make the hole in the center of the rafter width.

On 2016-02-28 by andre

My mitsubishi evaporator is to be suspended from the rafters of my attic by 10mm threaded support rods, but I cannot find any information online anywhere in regards to how to properly mount the upper end of those support rods. Any info would be appreciated.

On 2016-01-23 by (mod) allowable distance between condenser and A/ C unit?

If you mean maximum piping distance between the outdoor compressor/condenser and the indoor evaporator coil/air handler, it will vary by manufacturer; typically even 30 or 40 feet can be accomodated by increasing the refrigerant charge.

On 2016-01-20 by Rick

What is allowable distance between condenser and A/ C unit?

On 2015-06-02 by (mod) I found a tipped over condenser unit


Put the condenser upright. Leave it a MINIMUM of 24 hours, I'd wait longer, maybe a few days, to give the oil a chance to run back where it belongs. Then it should be OK.
But on the other hand who knows what else was damaged by such an inept situation. When the unit is turned on for the first time if it clangs or makes other noises shut it off immediately.

On 2015-06-02 01:17:49.295350 by (mod)

AUTHOR:Oki (no email)

COMMENT: I found a tipped over condenser unit on a job. Other then being tipped over for who knows how long , it is a brand new unit. I figure the oil has most likely migrated from the compressor.

How do I correct this?

Question: My compressor is out of level

My A/C compressor is out of level just slightly - is that going to make trouble? - Dimc


Dlmc: - requirement to level the air conditioning or heat pump compressor -

Yes the compressor should be level. That detail is found in the installation instructions for air conditioning and heat pump compressors.

Slightly out of level is unlikely to affect operation, but if you consider that the condenser coil expects to receive high temperature, high pressure refrigerant gas that it then cools to a liquid refrigerant, and that the liquid refrigerant needs to flow out of the condensing coil into the refrigerant line, a significant tip out of level may interfere with refrigerant flow and thus system operation.

Also a unit that is out of level and also not secured to a mounting pad may creep due to equipment vibration, risking development of a leak in the refrigerant lines or a torn electrical connection.

Question: the compressor is able to slide around

(June 11, 2014) Kathy J said:

Our new central air was just installed and we noticed the compressor unit is sitting on the plastic pad but not connected to it, able to slide around on it. Is this normal?

Also, the lines going inside the house are covered with a lot of putty at the house (apparently to seal off the holes for insulation) but the edges of the putty don't appear to be actually touching the vinyl siding of the house.



Did you try calling the installer to ask,that these details be corrected? Certainly if the compressor is really sliding around it will soon fail from a refrigerant line rip and leak or worse, an electrical wiring hazard.

Question: code for placement of the AC compressor unit

(July 27, 2014) Anonymous said:
What is code in sterling heights mi for outdoor placement of an a/c compressor unit?

(Aug 5, 2014) fred said:
what is the distance or measurement of a condensing fan and condensing coil of a window type unit air conditioner?



In most jurisditions the HVAC equipment must be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions. The instructions for your specific unit will call for particular clearances from nearby walls or obstructions that may vary for the different sides of the unit.

For details, in the More Reading links article index bove see the article titled


Got me on this one Fred. Window type air conditioners include the condenser and all coils within the same individual unit or case. Perhaps you're asking about something else.

Question: use a fish aquarium pump?

(Oct 15, 2014) Ir.Muh.Faisal P said:
Can I remove fan motor outdoor that replace with spray water use pump motor fish aquarium. and then Outdoor Unit installed in house (it's likely Window AC). Heat condenser to deliver with water to cooling tower thru pvc pipe. It's considered for temporary use , for example Events etc. Completely event without release freon to air, pipe pvc release OK finish. green act.


I'm impressed and amazed but can't answer this one.

Question: locate the ductless split AC condenser in the crawl space?

x(May 3, 2015) Anonymous said:
my boss wants to put a ductless split in for a computer lab he wants to locate the condenser package in the crawl space 3 or 4 ft height and non insulated floor. I know this is not a good idea heating the floor of the room your trying to cool, but being a confined space is there any code that needs to be fallowed.



At the very least building codes expect equipment to be installed according to the manufacturer's specifications. Start with those.


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