Inuslation on suction line

(Brian C. Hoagland) #1

For those of you guys that are really into A/C I want to know how it is significant (worth noting as a defect) if two feet of insulation is damaged or even missing from the soil to the condensing unit on the suction line with respect to the functionality of the system.

(David A. Andersen, TN HI# 40) #2

None.

The first primary purpose for insulating is to prevent moisture condensation. Due to the location of the damage, this condensation affects nothing.

There is a slight loss in efficiency if the suction line is located over a long distance in a very hot location. Condensation is an indication of an efficiency loss of about 970 BTUs per pound of water it produces.

(Gary Heller) #3

The insulation is there for a purpose. If it is missing or damaged it should be reported.

(David A. Andersen, TN HI# 40) #4

[quote="gheller, post:3, topic:44297"]

The insulation is there for a purpose. If it is missing or damaged it should be reported.
[/QUOTE]

Can you expound on the "reason"?

Reporting (in licensed states) is required when an issue is a significant defect or a safety concern.
I see neither.

If you would like to quote the insulation requirements at the outdoor condenser IAW ASHRAE or other published standard that would help.

(Brian E. Kelly, AZ Cert. # 60234) #5

[quote="gheller, post:3, topic:44297"]

The insulation is there for a purpose. If it is missing or damaged it should be reported.
[/quote]

Ditto :D

(David A. Andersen, TN HI# 40) #6

How can it be missing if it was never installed?

To be missing, somewhere must say that the line has to be insulated.
Show me! :-)

Please don't let this mislead you. Installation is required in specific locations and if it is not it may cause significant damage and efficiency loss. Just yesterday on a thermal imaging only report I addressed missing insulation on the suction line because it was staining ceiling below in the attic (this was outside of what I was there for). So it does matter to me.

For someone to pay $75 for and HVAC contractor to come out and put on 20 inches of insulation on the exterior of the house is ridiculous in my opinion because that insulation (or the lack of) will cause no adverse effect to anything.

If you want to be one of those inspectors, go right ahead.
It is not a "significant deficiency" which requires reporting. When the HVAC contractor shows up and rolls his eyes at the listing real estate agent as he hands them a bill, your reputation gets flushed down the toilet as they disseminate this information to the selling agent and others.

Mortgage companies are beginning to dictate what repairs must be done and require reinspection by a licensed home inspector. Even if no one requests some of the repairs, the mortgage company dictates these issues must be repaired and reinspected. In this case a $75 service call with a $10 markup on a piece of Armorflex installation, and a $100 reinspection fee (I charged $250 as I didn't do the initial home inspection), which the mortgage company should be paying rather than the buyer, but didn't) and ridiculous repairs like this (which never should have been in the inspection report in the first place) add up to a big chunk of change ($335).

Do what you want, it's your business.

Obama should pay attention to this type of stimulus plan.

(Steven Taylor, 16000004979) #7

All line sets come with an insulated suction line. It must serve a purpose. I don't understand why anyone would quote code.

(David P. Valley) #8

[quote="dandersen, post:6, topic:44297"]

For someone to pay $75 for and HVAC contractor to come out and put on 20 inches of insulation on the exterior of the house is ridiculous in my opinion because that insulation (or the lack of) will cause no adverse effect to anything.
[/quote]

David,

I call out all missing or deteriorated insulation on A/C condenser pressure lines.

It doesn't require a HVAC contractor to install this insulation tube. Any DYI'er can install this split insulation tubing in 5-10 minutes. I change mine every two or three years.

(Kevin M. Leonard, CMI) #9

[quote="dvalley, post:8, topic:44297"]

David,

I call out all missing or deteriorated insulation on A/C condenser pressure lines.

It doesn't require a HVAC contractor to install this insulation tube. Any DYI'er can install this split insulation tubing in 5-10 minutes. I change mine every two or three years.
[/quote]

Same here. I always call it out.

(Russell J. Hensel) #10

[quote="dandersen, post:6, topic:44297"]

How can it be missing if it was never installed?

To be missing, somewhere must say that the line has to be insulated.
Show me! :-)

Please don't let this mislead you. Installation is required in specific locations and if it is not it may cause significant damage and efficiency loss. Just yesterday on a thermal imaging only report I addressed missing insulation on the suction line because it was staining ceiling below in the attic (this was outside of what I was there for). So it does matter to me.

For me this is the exact reason I do not do partial inspections. So you overlook items? So if there was a roof leak, you would not mention it because that is not what they paid you to do?

I always picture myself in court, So Mr. Hensel did you in fact see the defect? Did you ignore the defect? Are you professionally trained in this area? Can you see where this is going? I have people all the time ask for a structural and HVAC inspection...I always tell them NO. If you want a job half assed accomplished, then hire a half assed inspection company. How can I blatantly ignore facts I see? Many times they see the light and then order the entire inspection.

This happened one time and one time only. I did the structural and HVAC...then I saw that there was a roof leak and well I mentioned it, then I noticed the mast was leaning signficantly...and I mentioned it...then all of a sudden it just goes on and on...

Mr. Anderson is very competent and I actually enjoy reading his posts. This is no way a slam on him, its just different ways of doing business.

(Gordon I. Kay) #11

[quote="bhoagland, post:1, topic:44297"]

For those of you guys that are really into A/C I want to know how it is significant (worth noting as a defect) if two feet of insulation is damaged or even missing from the soil to the condensing unit on the suction line with respect to the functionality of the system.
[/quote]

Two feet of missing insulation on the exterior is insignificant.

(Bruce M. Graham, III, CMI) #12

This is more a mositure issue for me when the insulation is missing inside, outside not so much of an issue at all.

(Brian E. Kelly, AZ Cert. # 60234) #13

[quote="gkay, post:11, topic:44297"]

Two feet of missing insulation on the exterior is insignificant.
[/quote]

How about 4 feet, or 6 feet? :D
It gets kinda hot here, and as much as I like paying to cool my house, 3 dollars of insualtion is an easy repair to make and always gets noted in my reports.

(David P. Valley) #14

[quote="bgraham, post:12, topic:44297"]

This is more a mositure issue for me when the insulation is missing inside, outside not so much of an issue at all.
[/quote]

No, just inefficient.

(Brian E. Kelly, AZ Cert. # 60234) #15

Someone post some installation instructions and we will see.

(Gordon I. Kay) #16

[quote="dvalley, post:14, topic:44297"]

No, just inefficient.
[/quote]

The manufactureres don't insulate the last two feet from the suction service valve to the compressor so I idon't think efficiency is a major concern.

(Christopher Currins, CMI) #17

"The refrigerant temperature inside the suction line is generally cooler than surrounding air. Therefore it is always good practice to insulate the** entire** suction line to prevent loss of capacity due to heat gain.

Also any heat gained by the suction line puts an additional load on the system that reduces cooling capacity and also may result in improper motor cooling with some compressor designs." page 35

Here is a nice 89 page air conditioning clinic from Trane.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/15509472/07-Refrigerant-Piping-A-Trane-Air-Conditioning-Clinicpdf

(David P. Valley) #18

[quote="gkay, post:16, topic:44297"]

The manufactureres don't insulate the last two feet from the suction service valve to the compressor so I idon't think efficiency is a major concern.
[/quote]

You're wrong!

(David A. Andersen, TN HI# 40) #19

No he is not.
He is talking about the piping inside the unit.

Can anyone calculate the Btu loss of 20" of suction pipe?
It can be done easily. No, it is not significant.
20" of 7/8" pipe, @ 90F outdoor temp= .0729 tons of refrigeration per hour.

Again, we are only talking about the exposed pipe from the outside wall to the outdoor unit.

Have the homeowner fix it?
I don't think so.
What about that stuff about "All repairs must be conducted but a licensed contractor"?

(Gordon I. Kay) #20

[quote="bhoagland, post:1, topic:44297"]

For those of you guys that are really into A/C I want to know how it is significant (worth noting as a defect) if two feet of insulation is damaged or even missing from the soil to the condensing unit on the suction line with respect to the functionality of the system.
[/quote]

I thought we were talking "significant" defects. I personally would not mention it as it will not affect the operation of the a/c unit at all. If two feet or even six inches were exposed on the inside of the home I would mention it due to the fact that condensation will form and be a nuisance.