Mini-Split Installation For Dummies - Complete Step By Step Guide



hey everybody welcome back to trial and

error in this video I'm gonna show you

how to install a mini split air

conditioner or heat pump a / air

conditioner the particular unit I ended

up going with is from mr. cool and

that's because I'm mr. cheap they had

the best pricing and as it turns out now

that I have it installed I actually like

it better than the Mitsubishi one that I

have installed in the house and actually

we have three different Mitsubishi units

in in house but this one as you can see

is gonna be going into the garage and

will work for heating and cooling and I

didn't know much about HVAC before I

endeavored on this process so that's why

I'm calling this video for dummies you

don't take it personally I'm a dummy

myself but as you will see this though

it can be or feel intimidating it really

shouldn't be this is actually a very

straightforward process and I think

anybody that can turn a screwdriver

could absolutely install one of these

systems themselves and save a small

fortune so here we go okay so as far as

the mounting location goes get a unique

situation right now because I'm about

partway through sheathing the inside of

the shop so what I've done is I left one

babe open with no insulation right now

because this is the one we're gonna run

our refrigerant lines and the electrical

down through I have one piece of four by

a cheating here which is actually where

we're gonna mount the indoor unit so I

wanted this piece up so that had

something to mount it to but I wanted

access above and below it

just in case we've got to do something

funky with the refrigeration lines I

want to make it nice and easy to run

through so I thought that was a good way

of doing it

staggering them like you normally would

but I get access above and below and I

have a solid place to mount it because

this is being used for heat and air

conditioning recommended height on this

is about eight feet I'm gonna be

mounting mine right at the very top of

this top piece here which is about eight

feet and six inches or so so you

about perfect to where it is now I've

got 12 12 and a half foot ceilings in

here and there is no sense in mounting

it all the way up there it's just gonna

work twice as hard to cool that air in

the summer and it'll help just make it

tougher to force the heat down in the

winter so that's where we're going to go

for the mounting location and we're

going to start by drilling a pilot hole

through somewhere where's my finger here

we go that's what she said

that's why does that even make sense now

so we're gonna drill a pilot hole down

here somewhere

and then I'll come through the hole saw

on the outside to make our first hold




so because I didn't drill it straight

through and actually drilled it a well

at this sort of an angle so in the event

that we do get some rainwater anything

like that it's gonna have to travel

uphill to go anywhere so but that also

means my bits too shallow to to drill

through in one shot so we're just gonna

find it on this side which is right

about here and drill back down at that

angle and there we go alright so now I'm

gonna take a measurement basically from

this side of the hole to the first stud

is proud five-and-a-half google on the

other side now mark our studs 16 on

center so that we can put our bracket

three up on the outside








so when connecting the indoor unit to

the outdoor unit you will notice that

they have conveniently color-coded the

wires but numerically coded the

terminals so it doesn't even make any

sense but as long as you connect the

number one to the number one the number

two to the number two and the number

three to the number three and the ground

obviously to the ground it doesn't

matter what color you choose to be one

two three or even ground for that matter

but the terminal does matter on the

ground so that's an easy one but just

make sure you're consistent and that

those three numbers are connected to the

same conductors







okay for this portion I'm gonna preface

it by saying you don't have to do this

part I'm choosing to do this because I

happen to have the flaring toolkit to do

it but I could very easily bury the

excess amount of this tubing in the wall

and the only cautionary tale I have for

you there is do not coil it I see it

done in videos all over the place where

people are coiling the tubes up usually

outside and there's two things wrong

with that one

you're coiling up your refrigerant lines

in an air conditioned space or in the

winter obviously you're putting them in

the cold area when you're trying to keep

these things warm and two when you coil

it in they stack it vertically you

create oil traps at the bottom which is

not a good thing so if you do have

excess pipe my recommendation is in a

wall like this would be to come out of

that unit run it up all the way and then

come down rather than to leave a coil so

that you don't end up with an oil trap

the other option is to kind of zigzag it

in the wall cavity to eat up that excess

pipe but as I said in my case I have the

flaring tool so I'm going to cut the

lines to length and put my own ends on

it when you're reusing the ends that

come with the kit here we're just gonna

slide those guys off and just reuse them

here but they actually supply you with a

couple of extra ends and I'm not sure

why but it's a nice thing to have I

guess in the package but we're just

gonna cut this to the exact length we

need and go from there

and there is a slight benefit to doing

this although it is extremely slight the

shorter your line set the more efficient

the system will run but it's really

negligible we're going to be chopping

off maybe seven or eight feet of pipe

here it the difference you would never

never even notice it but

certainly doesn't hurt to have a shorter

line set assuming you don't have more

freon or for 10a in the system based on

the length of pipe that it thought you

were going to have but we have a gauge

that we can measure that and adjust if

needed but cutting off a few feet isn't

going to hurt anything for sure

okay we'll get to cutting

all right so now back at the outdoor

unit we're ready to make the connections

here permanently so we're gonna need a

couple of things one of which is the

night log and what we're gonna do we're

gonna put a little bit on the back side

of the flare connection we're gonna put

some on the face being careful not to

get it actually in the pipe itself and

you don't need much just a little bit

and then we're also going to put it on

the flared fitting just the very flared

just the tip mind you just the tip of

this and we're also gonna get it in the

threads as well next thing we're gonna

do a set of vise grips on the valve body

itself is we want to take off any load

as we're tightening the line up to it

and I'm gonna come over on the other

side of the camera here because I want

to visually make sure that my line is

coming in at the proper angle you need

to go up a little bit

and you should be able to thread this on

by hand all the way if you can't that

probably means that your pipes come in

at the wrong angle and even if you did

get it on there it's not gonna make for

an ideal mating surface the manual

specifies a specific torque for these

I'm going to ignore that because I don't

have an open-ended torque wrench and

pulling from my wealth of experience

with copper pipe we're going to Snug it


we're then going to back it off a little

bit and then we're gonna Snug it again

down here get a better feel for it yeah

good I'll repeat the same process on the

low pressure wine



all right back at the indoor unit we're

ready to make that connection and on the

indoor unit don't be surprised when you

remove those caps either remove them

slowly or push the little button on the

end of it that'll allow you to release

the nitrogen which is loaded into that

coil before it's shipped so not a

dangerous amount of pressure but you do

want to back them off slowly let that

pressure come back down and then remove

the the cap



okay so we're ready to finish up the

wiring at the outdoor compressor the

whole switch here so I did run ten three

which is not needed but it's nice to

have I don't know what I'll be doing

down the road so we'll have an extra

conductor here with the neutral on it

but we do not need to connect that to

anything at the moment so all I'm gonna

do strip a little bit off of it I'm

gonna cap it off and we'll coil it up at

the bottom of the box yeah okay so the

grounds we're gonna pull together and

they're going to tie into the ground

block that's in the center take some

loose measurements

we're just going to install the trim

plate here

and we will install the pull switch now

there's an on side and an off side put

it into the on side nice and tight all

done okay so now we're just left to tie

this into the sub panel out here in the

garage I call this the OCD sub panel you

might be able to tell why so I put in a

pair of breakers right up there okay

separator we'll do the ground line first

you'll try to make it match everything

else going on in here

looks nice next we're going to grab the

neutral keep that out mover and there we


okay we'll start by removing the service


you know these are these are technically

these are the valve caps

we'll pull those guys off and then this

is the surface port okay for the service

port you are going to need an adapter

this is a service port adapter for a

split and I believe this is a five five

sixteenths connection with the Schrader

valve purge piece in the center there to

connect to your low pressure hose

and I closed up the valves here I'm

gonna fire up the pump

so after letting the vacuum pump draw

the system down for 15 minutes I closed

the valve on the low side and shut off

the pump and then we waited and we

waited to see if it would hold that

vacuum for another 15 minutes

so I'm still getting the same reading on

the gauge so the next step is to open up

the high-pressure port and we're gonna

open it up just about a quarter of a

turn and only for about five seconds or

so just enough so that I get enough

refrigerant in the line to go from a

negative and slightly pressurize the


I'm starting to move up



past zero now and we'll put stop it at

about two pounds at about sorry not two

pounds that's it yeah we good yeah where

am I

so that's one two three four so let's go

up to go up to one pound and we'll stop

it there so here again we're gonna stop

and I'm gonna let it sit for another

five ten minutes or so and we'll come

back and check and make sure that that

one pound that is now in the system

hasn't gone anywhere there's the second

reason we want to do it this way one is

to double check that obviously our

system isn't leaking under small amount

of pressure but the other reason is

we're going to release our service port

here before we completely release all of

the refrigerant in the system because

this Schrader valve does cause you to

lose a little bit in the process of

unscrewing this so if you do it when

there's only one pound in the system

you're losing a minuscule amount if you

do it when the system is fully

pressurized losing considerably more

okay another five minutes later and we

are holding strong so going to go ahead

and disconnect our service port


and you hear that air coming out you can

imagine what that would have been like

if we had fully release a system now

we're going to find the right sized cap

which I think I left in the other room

once again I throw a little nylon on

these and we are ready to fully open the

valve so going back to the high pressure

valve first here and we'll open this guy


and here the refrigerant rushing in

and you're gonna spin it until it is

open fully but don't push hard these are

all brass connections so you do have to

be kind of delicate with it and on the

low-pressure side we will open this


nice and clean Oh

once again happier than a and a

miniskirt convention thing is a rip fire

he's blasting out some heat

nice and quiet too and this is running

full bore right now spitting pieces of

pine needles at me oh yeah look at that

go so with that I tightened up some of

the wiring and bundled the refrigerant

lines together and got everything ready

to drop insulation into that final Bay

but it's uh it's working it purrs like a

walrus it kept my shop at 56 degrees on

Saturday when I was doing some work in

there and it was 80 plus outside so what

a difference that can make just so you

all know again not cool enough to have

mr. cool buying you this product

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great day everybody