When you handle your own DIY repairs around the house, you may need to replace refrigerant pipes and tubing around the kitchen refrigerator or the home's air conditioning unit. Note a few commonly asked questions about handling and maintaining these pipes and tubing so you can ensure your repairs are done properly and those pieces are always protected from damage and excessive wear.

Why are the pipes suddenly vibrating and shaking?

If you notice that pipes that contain and circulate any refrigerant are suddenly shaking and vibrating, and you can hear this rattling or banging sound, this often means that their insulators have worn away. Those insulators are meant to protect the refrigerant inside the pipes, but they also cushion the movement of the pipes as fluid flows through them. When this insulating material wears away, the pipes will move around much more than usual and you may hear that banging sound; replace the insulation to stop this noise and to protect the refrigerant inside the pipes.

Is it okay to keep refrigerant lines outside?

Refrigerant lines may run outside an air conditioner unit or be used to drain a refrigerant unit outside a building, and these are usually very secure and sturdy. However, it can be good to add a weatherproof insulator around them to reduce the amount of moisture and heat to which they're exposed. This can reduce the amount of rust that may form and also ensure the pipes don't get overly warm and cause this heat to back up into the refrigerating unit itself. This is especially true for stainless steel, as steel may rust and corrode more than aluminium and may conduct heat more easily than other materials.

Can you install your own line for a split system air conditioner?

A split system air conditioner is what you see in a hotel; it cools just one area of a building from a panel in the front of the unit and not through ductwork. This system needs to be vented outside the home. You can try to install this vent line yourself, but note that a split system air conditioner needs connection to your home's electricity and may also need its own electrical circuit, so pipework installation may be more complicated than you realize. You also don't want to install the pipe or tubing at an improper angle so that condensation actually backs up into the unit. For these reasons, it may be good to have a professional install this unit for you.