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What is a suction line on an air conditioner?

If you have an air conditioner, you have a suction line–that’s the “cold” copper line that runs between the compressor and the evaporator, and it carries the cool refrigerant back to the compressor to be turned back into liquid. When your HVAC system is new, this line is insulated air-tight with 3/4″ insulation.

What happens if the suction line of an air conditioner is not insulated?

If the return line is not insulated, the refrigerant returning from evaporator to the compressor will absorb some heat, more heat than it had at the outlet of the evaporator. This extra heat will also be present in the compressed refrigerant going to the condenser, downstream of the compressor.

Where is the suction line located?

The suction line is to return gas to the compressor. It is between the evaporator and compressor on a standard cooling system and between the reversing valve and the compressor on a heat pump. On a split system heat pump, the connecting lines are the vapor line and the liquid line.

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Is suction line high or low side?

The low side, or suction line, will be the line connected to the compressor from the top or higher position. It will be cold to the touch and may be wrapped with insulation. This is where freon enters the compressor as a gas.

What is the purpose of the suction line?

A suction line accumulator prevents compressor damage from a sudden surge of liquid refrigerant and oil that could enter the compressor from the suction line.

Why is only the suction line insulated?

Low-temperature systems generally require ¾- to 1-inch insulation. Insulating the suction line is done to prevent condensate from developing and dripping off. This condensate drip can cause water damage to the material under it or cause a slip hazard for people walking below it.

Should suction lines be hot?

The Copper Pipe (Suction Line) should be sweating and cold to the touch during a hot day. If it is not cold, your compressor could be off (bad capacitor/ hard start kit) or low on Refrigerant.

Should suction lines be cold?

When the system is operating, the large insulated suction line should be cold to the touch and sweating at any point where there is no insulation. The smaller uninsulated liquid line should be warm to the touch after the system has been operating for 10 or 15 minutes.

Should AC suction line sweat?

A sweating suction line is perfectly normal. Excessive sweating might be caused by not insulated well enough or too cold due to poor air flow over the evaporator. Some types of systems might sweat a lot because of being overcharged but in that case, usually the whole compressor will be sweating.

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Which AC line is high pressure?

The pressurized refrigerant is carried from the high side of the AC system to the low side by the High Side AC Hose. The high pressure components of the AC system include the AC Compressor, AC Condenser and the AC Receiver Dryer.

What causes the suction line to get hot?

The external suction line running hot means it’s running on heat mode. The real suction line is inside the unit and runs between the reversing valve and compressor, that part shouldn’t be hot at any time.

What is the difference between suction line and discharge line?

The suction line connects the evaporator to the compressor, the discharge line connects the compressor to the condenser, and the liquid line connects the condenser to the expansion device.

What temp should my suction line be?

The suction temperature should be above 35°F and below 65°F entering the compressor and the discharge line temperature should be below 220°F and above 150°F (typically) on a properly functioning package unit.

What pressure should my home AC be at?

Most technicians in the HVAC field know the normal range of operation for the low-pressure side of an air conditioning system. This tends to be around 60 PSI to 85 PSI for R-22 and 105 PSI to 143 PSI for R-410A and is dependent upon operating conditions.

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