Can I just lift the AC Unit in the Backyard?

BSmith3May 25, 2011

We need to do some regrading to address some drainage issue which is causing some damages to the inside wall of our basement. Our entire yard is rather flat with a slight downward slope near the perimeter of the house. In order to properly regrade, we will need to regrade to a higher height than the current slab which the AC unit in the yard is sitting on. It seems like such an cumbersome (probably expensive) proposition to have an AC repair person come out, unhook the unit, move it, then to re-hook everything after regrading is complete. I don't know if anything needs to be maintenanced if we have the AC unit unhook and rehook as well.

Our landscaper had proposed the idea of using some kind of a crank to lift the AC unit up temporarily, grade the soil to cover the concrete slab, put a plastic AC pan (there might be a more appropriate name for this), then lower the crank to put the AC unit back. This saves on the hassle of having the AC repair person come out. However, I am a bit nervous as the connections look like copper and I wonder if there would be issues with doing what our landscaper proposed.

Any thoughts?

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I had this same situation with one of my condensers a few years back. The condenser at the time was about 20 years old. The HVAC contractor recommended not disconnecting it, but we did it anyway. It cost me $350 to do this, but unfortunately a leaked developed. I ended up having to replace the unit.

If you lifted the condenser, I would be concerned about damaging the line sets. I suppose if you had long run there would be some flexibility to lift the unit. The problem becomes what with the pad rest on when you do your grading. Also how are you going to compact the soil underneath the pad? The pad must be level when you put it back down.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 9:27AM
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If it were my situation, and the degree of grading behind (toward house) the unit was not too great, I would investigate some type of 'diverter' to place around the pad and reaching the top level of the pad.

This would take care of drainage and allow for servicing the unit. I would envision something like edging material of some such.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 11:16AM
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You run the very real risk of twisting/straining the copper line set attached (welded) to the back of the unit. If you break this or otherwise cause a leak, you could end up like Mike and have to replace it, or at least have to go through the same motions of repairing the leak.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 1:47PM
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Will you be upset if you fail to spend $200-300 to have a pro take care of this, and your system ends up not working?

Per Weedmaster's comments, if you cause a leak, you will spend that amount to replace the refrigerant in the lines. Not to mention any repairs on top of that.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 7:32PM
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