4 Risks of DIY HVAC Piping Installation

Some DIY enthusiasts may wish to install AC pipework into a home extension without involving an expert. Such people may expose that ductwork to several risks of leaks and damage due to some mistakes that they may have made during that installation job. This article discusses some of those risks that may occur when a non-professional installs HVAC pipework.

Perforation Damage

Hobbyists may not know what they can do to protect pipework that is installed through frames of buildings close to the surface of the walls. Protection mechanisms include using nail plates to guard those pipes from any nails that may be later driven through those walls. Hobbyists who are unaware of these mechanisms risk having those ducts damaged once nails are driven through them during another home improvement project. 

Vibration Damage

Another risk is that the pipework may be damaged due to prolonged exposure to vibrations as conditioned air flows through them. Those vibrations often result because an inexperienced person didn't provide adequate support to the pipes. Thus, the pipes can vibrate or rub against other surfaces that are near them until the pipework weakens and becomes damaged. Similarly, poorly supported pipework can sag and eventually become damaged when adequate support isn't provided to restore them to their linear orientation.

Length Mistakes

Experienced HVAC professionals usually order for the fabrication of pipework that is slightly longer than the actual length of the area where the pipework is needed. That extra length provides some slack so that the pipes can remain intact even when some outdoor components settle over time. A hobbyist may not make this provision as he or she installs the pipework. The lines can therefore become strained until they crack or break when outdoor components settle and pull on that pipework.

Weak Joints

Some hobbyists may not know the best ways to make joints as they link one section of the pipework to another. For instance, they may use a lot of heat when soldering one section of pipe to another. That excessive heat can weaken the material in the heat affected zone. That weak point can later start leaking when the pressure of the conditioned air passing through it creates a pinhole.

Proper piping installation starts with selecting the right sheet metal fabricator to make the pipes that you need. The installer can then get the best performance from those well-fabricated pipes. You should therefore let trained people to perform pipework specification, fabrication and installation so that you avoid taking the risks in the discussion above.