With the growth in popularity of the ductless mini-split and VRF market, we are using more flare fittings, which can create several challenges:
- They are difficult to make
- Flair fittings, unless made properly, are highly susceptible to leaking
Here are some keys to making a proper flare fitting, to ensure a leak-free installation:
- Use a good quality tube cutter
- If it starts threading the pipe, it’s time to get a new one
- Use a deburring tool
- The ridge from gutting will be at the edge of your flare
- Use the proper flaring block
- Make sure it has an orbiting head and a clutch designed for R410A
- Use a flare gauge
- This ensures the flare is the correct size
- Always use the flare nut shipped with the unit
- Use a torque wrench
- Be careful: over-tightening is one of the main causes for leaking flare nuts
- Never use pipe dope or thread sealant!
Keys to proper leak testing:
- Pressurize to 500 PSI, as a mechanical fitting may not leak at 100 Psi
- Let the pressure hold over night if possible
- Always perform a triple evacuation
- Use a Micron Gauge. Connect the micron gauge directly to the system not your pump or manifold
- Draw vacuum down to 500 microns or below, and then let the vacuum hold for an hour
Contact the experts at B-Y with any questions!
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