aircon coper pipe

Essential Guide to Aircon Piping Installation

Air conditioning piping is one of the crucial components in the process of installing an air conditioner. This article will cover everything you need to know about this essential piece, from what it does and how long it usually lasts to whether or not you can reuse existing pipes when replacing your system.   

What Types of Aircon Piping?

A split-type air conditioner, it features 2 different types of piping for different uses. These are the copper pipes (primary function: to transfer refrigerant through the whole system) and the water drain pipes (primary function: to transport condensed humidity (water) away from the system to the drains).

1. Copper Pipes

As you probably know, a split air conditioner has two units, one located outside and the other located inside.  To connect these two units to form one AC system, copper pipes are used, and their main function is to transport refrigerant.

If these pipes are not installed properly, water condensation may build up in the pipes and eventually cause a leak to occur. Often, this happens due to poor installation of pipe joints or improper insulation. Remember, the refrigerant is at its very low temperature while the environment is at its maximum. As such, to prevent unnecessary condensation or water formation, proper installation and insulation are needed.

Copper pipes in an air conditioner can be divided into two. One that supplies refrigerant from the compressor to the evaporator coils (which is the cold side of the system, and they are smaller in size compared to the hot side). When the unit is running, the line will feel warm when touched. It is important to note that they are high-pressure lines and full of pressurised Freon in their liquid state.

The other ones return refrigerant from the evaporator to the compressor (which is the hot side and larger in diameter than the cold side pipes).  The lines are also known as the Suction line.  The suction lines transfer the Freon in its gas state. The line will feel cold to the touch, and it is often insulated to reduce condensation.

2. Water pipes

Water pipes do not have a distinctive brand or type. However, a majority of these pipes are plastic. Often, they come in 2 sizes, which are 13 mm and 16 mm. all in all, the bigger the water pipe, the more efficient it will be, which causing a lot of damage issues.

What Is the Lifespan Of An Aircon Piping?

If all factors are constant, they can last between 12 to 15 years. What do we mean by all ‘all factors are constant’? Well, we simply refer to a person’s ability to perform the required constant maintenance of their units and the elements the pipes are exposed to.

In other words, climate, level of use, and maintenance will impact its life span.  For this reason, to ensure these pipes last for longer, it is important to consider paying attention to them and preventing the risk of them breaking down.

Can Aircon Piping Be Reused When Replacing an Aircon unit?

The short and direct answer is YES! However, this can be done after they have been cleaned properly using the latest cleaning technology.

A few years back, when it came to replacing an old AC system, all the piping had to be removed as well. This made the whole process of reinstalling new pipes expensive because it involved a lot of activities, such as breaking the false ceiling. However, due to advancements in AC technology and cleaning, today, people do not have to replace the old pipes. All that is needed is a good clean.

This method enables people to save time, money, and unnecessary effort. However, it will all depend on the current state of the old pipes. The technician will measure and test the old pipes and determine if they are safe to be reused.


Air conditioning piping installation is something that you don’t want to find out the hard way. We hope this article has helped answer some of your questions about AC pipe systems and how they work. If you have a question or think we may help with anything, please get in touch with us!

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