by Gerry Wagner
Mini split installation / service aids and accessories I consider necessities: Mini splits have become so
popular that their sales and installations increased annually by double digits and as a result, an
onslaught of mini split installation / service aids and accessories have hit the market…some good, some
not so much, but a few I consider necessities.
Here are some that I consider to be necessities…
First has to be a surge protection device. I’m always shocked (pun intended) when I’m conducting a
GREE mini split class and I bring up my strong recommendation for surge protection, many installers and
technicians never considered it and / or heard of it before as it relates to HVAC equipment.
A surge protection device will protect equipment and the control boards within equipment from
damaging voltage surges whether it is man-made in the form of something internal to the grid or an act
of God like a lightning strike.
In my own home, I have an older inverter mini split that heats a four-season room (a glass enclosed deck
if you will). The compressor fried on its own not long ago but because I had a surge protector on the
system, it did not take out the board along with it.
How do I know the surge protector saved the board? Easy, the surge protector has a little green LED
light that illuminates as long as the surge protector is not spent (most are one and done). In my case, the
surge protector was spent, clearly sacrificing itself in order to save the board when the compressor fried.
Those of you who know me or read this column regularly know that I preach as small business people
we always must do everything we can to limit our liability…to isolate and insulate ourselves and our
businesses from liability. A surge protector, a component that in most cases nets out to you for less than
$100.00, can save you thousands of dollars in lost equipment and liability expenses.
What are liability expenses? A lawyer!
We all put little stickers on equipment that we have installed that says, “when you need service, call
ACME Heating & Air.” It’s how we get repeat business…it’s something all contractors have done since
time immemorial but that sticker has the potential to take you from being the installer to the defendant
when that equipment is destroyed by a power surge.
We live in the GREATEST country in the world…we do! The problem however, is that we have a very
flawed judicial system that allows for people to make false and fraudulent claims against our little mom
and pop HVAC companies and we need to protect ourselves from that potential…a surge protector does
I have used the Intermatic AG3000 for many years and recently used the new Rectorseal RSH-50. I see
where my friends at Diversitech have introduced the Surge-Trap surge protector. Any one of these
products should be included in every mini split installation no matter where that installation is taking place. Lightning strikes are most predominant in Florida and Texas but they are not limited to those states and internal surges can, and do happen everywhere, so surge protection is NOT a specific geographic need…its needed EVERYWHERE!
My second item would be a proper flaring tool. I spoke to this in my October, 2018 edition of this article. You can see all my previous articles at this address:
The next item I want to address is a service related item…a product that makes cleaning the mini split evaporator coil and blower wheel relatively simple and easy.
The SpeedClean Mini Split Bib Kit and the Rectorseal Desolv Cleaning Kit both allow for the cleaning of the indoor unit coil and blower wheel WITHOUT extensive disassembly of the indoor unit and WITHOUT any damage to finished walls and finished floors.
They are both very similar in that they provide what I call a mini split diaper…the diaper essentially creates a basketball hoop effect around the bottom of the indoor unit. The bottom of the diaper is then directed into the 5 gallon bucket in which it was packaged and then the cleaning process begins. The two products are a bit different in how the diaper attaches but they both provide a water tight seal that allows power washing of the coil and blower wheel with all fluids being directed into the bucket…INGENIOUS!
I have heard horror stories from service techs of how they essentially completely disassembled a mini split indoor unit in order to clean it…no more! These products are very inexpensive and a single kit allows for multiple uses. The SpeedClean product as many as ten times and the Rectorseal product can be used infinitely but the bag (diaper) is single use.
Another difference between the two products is that the Rectorseal Disolv Cleaning Kit comes with a bottle of Desolv non-corrosive and biodegradable cleaning solution.
The exponential growth of the mini split market here in the United States provides an opportunity for service companies to find new revenue streams…like mini split evaporator cleaning. Mini splits are the fastest growing segment of the HVAC market and all those installations will require service someday…and our friends at Rectorseal, Diversitech, SpeedClean and others are producing low cost service products to help us reap some of the benefits of this extraordinary growth.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gerry Wagner is the Vice President of HVAC Technical Training for Tradewinds Climate Systems. He has 38 years in the HVACR industry working in manufacturing, contracting and now training. You can contact Gerry by email: firstname.lastname@example.org and also please visit our website: www.twclimate.com
by Gerry Wagner