Condenser pad attachment

Is it required that the condensing unit be attached to the pad by means other than gravity? Does anyone note this? This is new construction. Thanks in advance.

If it is not secured, I note it in the report - new construction or not.

Thanks, I do to. However, I note a lot of thing others around here don’t.

I have never, ever seen a condensing unit attached in any way to the pad around here, do not now and don’t plan to report it either.

Same way here in Florida. Of course everything in CA has to nailed or strapped down so when the ground starts shaking it doesn’t walk off down the street.

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Not attached here either.


It’s also in the manufacturers installation instructions. Movement of the unit due to internal vibration (or earthquake) can damage the refrigerant lines and their connections.

With a degree in HVAC, tenure as a Factory Rep, and 28 years inspection experience, I wish I could tell you it mattered, but I’d be lying to you. Other than on Commercial Jobs, I have never seen one strapped down and would probably laugh myself silly if I did. But I urge all of you that because of the seismic activity in your areas need to strap them down to report on it.

I just wish more guys in my area did that.

That much vibration (which will make noise) would be grounds to replace the unit under most equipment manufacturers warranty! :slight_smile:

I ran this by my Geologist. He just smiled and laughed! I guess he doesn’t think it will stay put in an earthquake no matter…

Most of them around here are mounted on a patio stone. I am seeing more mounted on a rack attached to the building. The patio stone jobs usually are out of level before long.

So you guys have never seen a secured condenser unit? Not even one located on a roof top? Hmmm.

Probably 75% of the ground units I see are secured to their pad. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a roof top unit that wasn’t secured.

When the units are not level, I report that as well.

No, I never have seen one secured, no one has ever mentioned it, I was never taught to look for it, etc, etc. It must be a regional thing or maybe just a CA earthquake requirement. Jeff, you said it was in the mfg installation instructions as well. Do you have access to a copy of that? I’d like to see that and then it would be defensible, even then I don’t think I’ll spend much time looking for it.
Now, on the other hand, I did run across this condenser a week or so ago that I wrote up. It was a 1st for me and I wasn’t sure whether it moved after original installation or if it was installed this way from the get-go.

I used to carry a copy with me which showed the clearance requirements for condensers (I don’t recall the brand) and it also showed how they are required to be attached to their pad.

I’ll find another one that I can post. . .

Never seen one attatched to a pad before.

Most retrofits lacking an acceptable concrete pad around here are being put down on plastic “duraguard” pads.

Work well, but ground has to be quite level, else it will slide off.

The manual for mine says to consider attaching if conditions or local codes require it. Wind baffles may be required for roof top locations where winds could exceed 5 mph.

I think 5 mph is low, may be a typo or they are just covering themselves as all manufacturers do these days.

Like I said … I worked as a Factory Rep for a HVAC Mfg and except on roof-top units never seen it done, EXCEPT in certain lake or mountain view communities (with very steep lots) where the condensor was mounted on a steel cage about 2’-3’ off the ground (to get the unit level and keep it from sliding downhill). Never seen in it in normal residential application and would not even think about writing it up - but thats me.

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Hi. Jeff;

I have been in Construction for a long time and never seen these units bolted down as they should, but of course, this is Maine. Not to worried about Seismic faults or tremors, and if you should have an Earthquake, I don’t think the anchor bolts would matter much. IMO.

Hope you have a good time in Hawii, and enjoy.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

In some areas of the county you will find them bolted down

Normally these are snow bird homes and they are bolted down to keep them from being stolen


I think the wind baffles you mentioned are for gas-pac units. It’s to prevent wind blowing back into the combustion flue.

You will find very few that are screwed down in my neck of the woods. I don’t check for this. I was 99.8 % a service guy for 20 years. I did install a few units in that time. I have screwed down a few. The only time I screwed down a condenser was when a plastic pad was used. The ones we used were so slick. When concrete was used I didn’t screw or bolt them down.