Originally Posted By: dandersen
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Building a chase box around the line set is a good option.
Installation of the existing line set appears adequate (even though it is exposed). I've seen much worse. There are no major droops and sags in the line set which causes oil traps.
But in my opinion, if I was personally going to make this repair, I would put it inside the wall behind the sheetrock. You can easily cut a 16 inch opening between studs, install and properly secure refrigerant lines inside the wall and replace the 16 inch piece of sheetrock with the piece removed, mud the joints and paint. Outside of paint and sheetrock paste/tape no additional materials are needed.
It is quite obvious that the HVAC unit was installed after the sheetrock was installed. The contractor is just trying to save 30 minutes of additional work by allowing this installation. The HVAC contractor also may have been the source of the original problem.
"It passed code" was stated several times on this thread. Just because someone didn't make it a law, doesn't mean it's right. Passing code is the minimum requirement in construction standards. You wanna buy a car built to a minimum standard and pay GMC prices?
Last week I had a general contractor and an HVAC contractor refused to install a return air grill on a second-level bonus room over the garage (there was no other second-floor area). The HVAC unit was located in the attic on the adjacent interior wall of the bonus room. It would take one return grill and an 8 foot section of return air duct to correct the situation. The optimum solution would be to put in a separate unit or an electronically controlled zoning system , which costs almost as much as an AC unit. The contractors still refused this less costly option. The client was an engineer and stood his ground. I stood my ground and insisted that due to the laws of thermodynamics, this system would not function properly. The HVAC contractor stated he would install the duct as an add-on for $800. This was ridiculous and not acceptable. I was told that "it passed code inspection". I informed the contractor there is no mechanical code inspection in this state. The HVAC contractor insisted that the existing design would work. I advise my client to get this in writing and then I advised the general contractor that when summertime rolled around in six months I would be back with psychometric evaluation results and they could put the zoned system in then. They then agreed to the initial proposal to put in the air duct in grill.
The interesting thing about this scenario is that the general contractor re-poured the concrete driveway because there was ponding water on the driveway (vs. just grading the yard) but would not have the HVAC contractor install a piece of flex duct. Overall, the house was constructed well and cosmetically pleasing. They just couldn't grasp the fact that hot air will not go downstairs!
Generally I try to refrain from dictating how any repair should be made. However, when it is apparent that the solution to the issue is not going to be addressed by the proposed (or refusal to) repair the situation, it must be addressed. The contractor has a job to do, the client has expectations. When I hear "it passed code" I advise my client that "they are the code". There is no enforcement but the client does not have to purchase the property.