Do-It-Yourself Mini Split air conditioners have become very popular since they are a good alternative to high-cost HVAC installations.
They come with most everything needed except tools and electrical wiring to a panel.
There are many units available from small 9000 BTU units to large 36000 BTU units.
Pioneer is one such popular DIY Mini Split manufacture with several different sized units.
I recently installed a Pioneer 12000 BTU 230 Volt unit which I thought I would share how I install a mini-split.
A video is also posted at the bottom of the page of the install.
Here is the unit I bought on Amazon
PIONEER Air Conditioner Pioneer Mini Split Heat Pump Minisplit Heatpump 12000 BTU-208/230 V
Here is the Vacuum Pump I bought on Amazon
ZENY 3,5CFM Single-Stage 5 Pa Rotary Vane Economy Vacuum Pump 3 CFM 1/4HP Air Conditioner Refrigerant HVAC Air Tool R410a 1/4″ Flare Inlet Port, Blue
Budget 410a Manifold Gauges on Amazon
ZENY Diagnostic A/C Manifold Gauge Set R134a Refrigeration Kit Brass Auto Service Kit 4FT w/Case, 1/4″ SAE Fittings
Some other basic tools will also be needed such as a drill, screwdrivers, and wrenches.
Most Mini Split systems will need a 5/16″ Female Coupler to 1/4″ Male Flare to connect the manifold gauges to the unit.
A 3-inch hole saw bit is also needed to drill a hole for the line set and wiring to go between the units.
How To Install Pioneer 12000 BTU 230 Volts Ductless Mini Split
- The first step is to layout where the unit will be located and run the electrical.
- A pad will be needed to set the outside condensing unit. It needs a flat solid surface that is level to sit on.
- Next, the inside unit will need to be mounted onto a wall.
- Hook the wiring harness to the inside unit which is labeled 1,2,3 and ground.
- Feed the line set and wiring out the hole and set the unit on the mounting bracket.
- Next, the copper line set needs to be screwed together.
- Hook up the wiring harness to the outside unit.
- Once everything is installed the line set will need to be vacuumed out with a Vacuum pump.
- Release the refrigerant into the system.
- Once the refrigerant is in the system, power on the unit and it is ready to be tested.
The unit I received needed to be on a 20 AMP breaker which can be run to an electrical panel or on its own box.
Most HVAC companies will install a disconnect box which simply breaks the flow of electricity when work is needed on the unit.
Personally, I install a 20 AMP breaker close to the unit but this is a personal preference as long as it is on a 20 AMP breaker at the panel.
If there is no pad one can be bought or a small cement pad can be poured.
Small pads are low-cost items that can be purchased and what I use for example this one on Amazon.
Mini Split Pad on Amazon
Ideal-Air 728184 2 x 16 x 36 Cement Equipment Pad
Whichever way a pad is set up be sure it is level and set the outside unit on top of it.
There are a few things that need to be done before it can be mounted.
A hole will need to be drilled to run the line-set and wires to the outside unit.
Look at the back of the unit for were the line-set and wiring stick out for were the hole will need to be drilled.
The instructions will also show the location and size of the hole needed through the wall.
One problem I had was the wire color codes were not exactly the same as the wiring harness sent to me.
This was not much of a problem as the inside and outside units are labeled 1-2-3 and ground. If this happens to you simply be sure the wire color match inside and out. For example, Red would be connected to the connector labeled 1 inside and outside.
Be careful with the copper line set as it cannot be kinked or will block the flow of refrigerant.
This is easy enough, simply take your time by rolling out the copper line-set and hand tightening the connections before using a wrench.
Screw the nuts on by hand carefully making sure not to strip the threads. Once hand tight use a wrench to tighten them up and get a good seal.
Be sure the connectors labeled 1-2-3 and ground match the inside wall unit.
The L1 and L2 go the circuit breaker for power.
Let the vacuum pump run for 15-20 minutes pulling a vacuum. After 15-20 minutes turn off the vacuum pump and watch the manifold gauges pressure.
Let it sit for at least 20-30 minutes or more and be sure it holds a negative pressure.
Both the high and low side will need to be released. This is done by removing the caps and using an Allen key turning them to the left counter-clockwise.
They will need a few turns for the valve to come fully open.
Installing the Pioneer Ductless Mini Split was not that difficult and falls into a handy person Do-it-yourself category.
Of course, if you have never done any basic construction or electrical wiring be sure to call a professional.
If you decide to install a unit yourself be sure to read the instructions 2-3 times before starting.
Plan the install over a 1-2 day period and take your time. While it can be installed quickly it is best to go slow.
It took me 3-4 hours to install everything.
Every install will be a bit different since electrical box locations, walls and other things can change a layout.