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BradC
07-11-2010, 02:31 AM
G'day all,

Following on from a thread in the overclockers forum which pointed to a web page with criminally bad instructions for installing and commissioning a split, I want to throw this up for discussion.

Regardless of law or practicality, given the average diy is going to go ahead and do it themselves, should there be a *good* set of instructions out there to show them how to do it the right way?

For comparison, I offer the Australian and New Zealand way of treating electrical work as examples.

In Australia the philosophy is "Just don't do it. I know you can buy all the stuff at the local hardware store, but we're not going to give you any information on how to do it safely so just use a sparkie"

In New Zealand there is basic safety training available, and a limited amount of electrical work is legal to the do it yourselfer. The Govt has realised that people are going to do it anyway, so they may as well be taught how to do it safely.

Guess which country loses less houses to fires and people to electrocution?

Grizzly
07-11-2010, 09:08 AM
Hi Brad.
I am not quite sure as to how to take your post?
Are you saying Australia has a worse record because!

Surely Australia is unusual in the fact that.
Electricians are the preferred split installers?

I think it's something like qualified electricians can install whereas.
Qualified Fridge Mechanics (as I believe you call us?)
Have to have electrical qualifications also?

Also you could hardly compare house fires in Australia to New Zealand.
Given the differences in climate.

Is there a bit of protectionism going on here?
If so I don't blame you we all would like to protect our jobs.
Especially in the world wide economic climate we are now in.

Surely highlighting how badly things go wrong when not carried out correctly.
Is the best argument?

Or is that exactly what you mean in your post?
Grizzly

NoNickName
07-11-2010, 09:58 AM
House accidents are directly proportional to the degree of strictness.
But it's the number of accidents driving the lawmakers to stricter laws, not the other way around.

chilliwilly
07-11-2010, 01:21 PM
The number of losses arising from faulty electrical wiring in the UK hasn't dropped in over fourty years, they're using the same number. Well according to the loss prevention council anyway. Despite the fact there has been multiple changes in wiring regulations, and the introduction of "Part P" of the building regulations.

Which does still allow for DIY wiring in the home except that certain proportions of it, in certain parts of the home have to be checked by an inspector, or self certified by an electrical contractor who has payed for the right to certify safe or (unsafe) :eek: electrical work. So the poor old foreman electrician, or any other time served electrician who's been at it for years. Can't even put an extra socket in their kitchen without paying over 250.00 to the councils building control to come out and inspect and approve it. But yet a window cleaner can go on a two week or more course, and put as many in as he likes and self certify that's its safe. But they can't rewire a factory, design or build a control panel, or even install a fire alarm because they don't know how to.

...Safety...mmm.

BradC
07-11-2010, 03:52 PM
No, what I meant was Australia has the policy of zero education (You *must* use a licensed electrician) and thus the DIY'er has no way of getting any education on how to be safe, regardless of the fact they are going to do it anyway. On the other hand, NZ has recognised that the DIY'er *is* going to do it anyway and therefore will give them enough education to do it safely.

I guess the other analogy is teaching kids about safe sex at school. Regardless, they are going to do it, they may as well do it safely.

It's not about protectionism, it's about teaching those that are going to do it anyway, the *right* way to do it.

Gary
07-11-2010, 06:00 PM
I'm a big fan of free market capitalism and hate to see the government get involved one way or the other.

If DIYers want to work on their own systems, I have no problem with it. If they hurt themselves... well, they should have gotten some education.

You make your own decisions in life... it's your life, your decisions, your responsibility and your consequences.

OTOH, when you endanger others, the government needs to step in.

Grizzly
07-11-2010, 10:37 PM
No, what I meant was Australia has the policy of zero education (You *must* use a licensed electrician) and thus the DIY'er has no way of getting any education on how to be safe, regardless of the fact they are going to do it anyway. On the other hand, NZ has recognised that the DIY'er *is* going to do it anyway and therefore will give them enough education to do it safely.

I guess the other analogy is teaching kids about safe sex at school. Regardless, they are going to do it, they may as well do it safely.

It's not about protectionism, it's about teaching those that are going to do it anyway, the *right* way to do it.

Now I understand.
Good points well presented.
I hope I did not offend as that is not my intention.
Grizzly

Brian_UK
07-11-2010, 11:26 PM
I suppose it depends on how smart (?) the DIYer is about taking on jobs outside his normal remit.

Not sure about other countries but all products are supposed to have a decent set of instructions provided when sold.

Just about every instruction that I've read starts off with turn off the power or something similar. If electrical it shows pictures of how to connect the wires into the item. Some even tell you long the exposed conductor should be.

So if the DIYer has any self preservation instinct he should, at the very least, RTFM - Read The Flipping Manual.

BradC
08-11-2010, 01:18 AM
Yep, agree with that. Now go back to my original point about the instructions supplied with my split A/Cs..

Goes something like this :
Hook up the copper pipes and torque them down (at least it has recommended torque settings).
Now back out the liquid line service valve 90 degrees for 8 seconds and then re-close.
Check for leaks using soapy water.
Press the Schrader valve core and let out all the gas.
Repeat last 3 steps.

Now, what I *did* was done mostly by guess work as I'm not a fridgie and I could not find any decent diy instructions.

Hook up gas lines and torque them down.
Connect vac pump to manifold set and vac gauge. Vac out lines for 30 minutes. Charge up with nitrogen to 300psi for leak test and leave for 3 hours. Purge N2 and vac out for 30 minutes. Isolate Vac pump from manifold and ensure vac holds for 3 hours. Back out service valves and turn it on.

My vac gauge is an E-bay special. It's very repeatable but I have doubts about its absolute accuracy.

I guess my original point is RTFM is all well and good, but when the manual includes releasing refrigerant into the atmosphere to purge lines, maybe it'd help if there were a decent set of DIY instructions out there somewhere.

mad fridgie
08-11-2010, 03:10 AM
Yep, agree with that. Now go back to my original point about the instructions supplied with my split A/Cs..

Goes something like this :
Hook up the copper pipes and torque them down (at least it has recommended torque settings).
Now back out the liquid line service valve 90 degrees for 8 seconds and then re-close.
Check for leaks using soapy water.
Press the Schrader valve core and let out all the gas.
Repeat last 3 steps.

Now, what I *did* was done mostly by guess work as I'm not a fridgie and I could not find any decent diy instructions.

Hook up gas lines and torque them down.
Connect vac pump to manifold set and vac gauge. Vac out lines for 30 minutes. Charge up with nitrogen to 300psi for leak test and leave for 3 hours. Purge N2 and vac out for 30 minutes. Isolate Vac pump from manifold and ensure vac holds for 3 hours. Back out service valves and turn it on.

My vac gauge is an E-bay special. It's very repeatable but I have doubts about its absolute accuracy.

I guess my original point is RTFM is all well and good, but when the manual includes releasing refrigerant into the atmosphere to purge lines, maybe it'd help if there were a decent set of DIY instructions out there somewhere.
You can purchase quick connect pipes, no need to purge or vac. Do need to test for leaks.

BradC
09-11-2010, 12:46 AM
You can purchase quick connect pipes, no need to purge or vac. Do need to test for leaks.

I've never seen them. I've seen splits supplied with pre-terminated pipes and quick-connect ends though, but not in Australia.

mad fridgie
09-11-2010, 04:18 AM
I think delongi, do these as standard.
BUT i could be wrong !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mikeref
09-11-2010, 06:48 AM
And... what size is the air/con in KW? Please don't say you hung an extension lead out the window or plugged it into a power board along with fridge/tv/stereo etc... mike.

BradC
09-11-2010, 12:57 PM
And... what size is the air/con in KW? Please don't say you hung an extension lead out the window or plugged it into a power board along with fridge/tv/stereo etc... mike.

Hrm, I'm not sure how to take that. To install my own splits I bought a full gauge set, nitrogen regulator, vac pump, pipe bender, flaring kit, and digital vac gauge. I have a significant investment in making sure it's done right.

It's ~3.5kw cooling with a total draw of about 1000W fully loaded. The indoor unit came with a pre-terminated 3 pin plug so it's plugged into its own GPO, on its own circuit located directly above the unit in the ceiling.

mikeref
25-11-2010, 03:42 AM
BradC, sorry, lost contact with this thread.. What i meant was, some people have plugged split a/c into power boards or on extension leads totally unaware that they are overloading the accessories. However, wiring the air-con into its own circuit is correct. 3.5 kw units will drag around 8 amps on 240 volts. Manual says 2.5mm hard wiring but i preferre sparkie to run 4.0 when doing consultation. Cheers.. mike.