How To Fix A Kink In A Mini Split Line Set


First you have to determine how severe the kink is, so that you can decide if you should make a repair or maybe just leave it alone. This next image shows a mild kink that you could easily repair or just leave it alone, because it’s not too restrictive to the flow of refrigerant.

On the other hand, this next image shows a kink that needs attention. I’ll show you how to repair this kink using a very basic tool that most anyone has or can borrow that can return that pipe nearly back to normal.

This kink is near the range of 50% restriction. With this type of kink in a refrigeration line you can be losing efficiency, raising and lowering pressures and shortening the life of your mini split or AC system.

I’ve seen some repair jobs and YouTube videos showing how to make these kinks go away and I wasn’t too impressed. They were using channel locks which have teeth in the jaws and caused excessive scaring and potentially creating leaks in the copper line.

My favorite tool is a plain ordinary 12″ Crescent wrench.

Set the jaws of the Crescent wrench to the diameter of pipe by placing the wrench over a good (round) section of the pipe and adjust the wrench until it’s not quite tight but slightly loose.

Begin moving the wrench back and forth around the pipe working gently towards the kink. If possible put some pressure on the pipe to physically straighten kink while working the kink out with the wrench. It is possible to make the kink worse by being too aggressive. Take your time and work it out slowly.

Work at it from both sides or ends of the kink. If you can find a scrap piece of copper to practice on it would be very beneficial.

Continue rounding the pipe until you feel it’s no use to keep going. Your finished kink repair should look something like the image below with very little restriction to the flow of refrigerant.

Will A Kinked Copper Line Leak?

Warning: be aware of using this method to repair a kink when your copper line set is charged and under pressure. It is possible with severe kinks to create a leak.

It’s easy to spot a repair turning into a possible leak. The downside of creating a leak is the need to make a more intensive repair using an oxygen and acetylene welding set. You would have to cut the line and with the use of a swaging tool create a coupling and weld the copper together.

Incidentally that swaging tool link is to Amazon and it’s a tool that I really like using. It will swag a variety of sizes and is easy to use. It beats the single swaging tools the you have to use a clamp and a hammer to form the swag.

It’s also a little more complicated than that. The lines need to be purged with nitrogen during the welding process to prevent carbon from forming in the lines. Carbon inside a line set will prematurely end the life a mini split that contains R-410A, the new atmosphere friendly refrigerant or Freon as most people know it by.

How Much Should It Cost To Repair A Kinked Copper Line Set?

Refrigeration line sets can get kinked for various reasons. While trying to install a line set around tight corners or even during shipping. With the price and availability of copper these days, knowing how to make a good repair will save a few bucks and some time.

The image below shows a couple of fairly severe kinks. This line set was installed when the house was built under the premise that the house would be “AC ready”.

An AC ready home has a few things like heating and cooling thermostat, line set, and power wiring with outside disconnect already installed which makes the new install of an air conditioner a lot easier. So this line set just stuck outside of the house for several year and someone inadvertently (or purposely) went up and bent it.

So using this kinked line scenario as an example as an example of cost you have to realize the this line set was not charged or under pressure so the time involved to fix the kink was less than if it had been under pressure. If it had been under pressure I would have had to pump out the refrigerant, purge with nitrogen, make the weld, evacuate, recharge with Freon. In other words, a lot more labor costs.

This repair had been kinked up inside the wall. Lucky I noticed that, right! Had to cut the wall open to access the kink to a point to where I could weld the joint without burning the house down. After welding in the outdoor unit I was able to trim the hole with sheet metal a locate a really close color match with some spray paint the made a nice finish.

Since you’ve read this far, why not travel just a bit further and scope out a couple of my favorite heating and cooling products and tools.

Thank you for reading my article. I hope the information has led to your ability to make good decisions in either working on or discovering how to solve problems in your home HVAC equipment. These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them I do earn a commission. In all honesty they are products that I would use in my own home or the homes of my friends and family.

Fireplace remotes by Skytech Remote Control Products . My wife loves this and it probably took all of 30 minutes to install. Replace that wall switch or thermostat for your gas fireplace. Easy installation and instructions. In fact I wrote an article that covers the job pretty thoroughly I think.

Honeywell Thermostats. My favorite two Honeywell stats are the T6 Pro and the 8000 Pro series but their is a bunch to select from besides those two models. You can select WiFi that has the capability of operating your system from your smart phone no mater where you are. Honeywell tech support for homeowners is the best out there. Call them if you need at 800-468-1502 or comment below if you have questions.

Fieldpiece HS33 Expandable Manual Ranging Stick Multimeter for HVAC/R. I carry two of these in my service truck. Just like a spare tire, when I get out away from everything, it’s no time for a break down. The Fieldpiece HS33 gives me the ability to do any aspect of my trade. I can measure motor or element amps, check capacitors, and AC or DC voltages. Even different scales of OHMS for finding shorted windings or grounded conductors in motors or compressors.

Chad Peterson

Chad Peterson is near 40 year veteran of the HVAC industry. "I like to explain heating and air conditioning problems in a way the average home owner can understand. "

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