Tools Needed for a DIY Mini Split Install

By | June 17, 2022

Tools Needed for a DIY Mini Split Install
Doing a DIY Mini Split install is a great way to save money for the DIY handy type of person.

Even though you will save on labor-cost installing a mini split unit yourself, some tools will need to be bought.

The good news is that expensive HVAC equipment is not required for small mini split jobs with many budget tools working well.

After installing many Mini Split systems, below is the budget tools I use.

At the bottom of the page, I have made videos showing how to install a mini split along with the budget tools I use.

DIY Mini Split Install Tool List

  1. Manifold Gauge or Micron Gauge
  2. Vacuum Pump
  3. R410a Adapter for Mini Split Systems
  4. Flare Tool
  5. Cordless Drill
  6. Hole Saw
  7. Allen Wrenchs
  8. Torque Wrench

Tools Needed for a DIY Mini Split Install

  • Manifold Gauge Set
  • Tools Needed for a DIY Mini Split Install Manifold Gauges
    An HVAC manifold gauge or Micron Gauge will be needed to pump down the system into a vacuum.

    Gauges are easy to hook up and use, with many high-end and budget units available.

    A low-cost set is all that is needed for doing basic repairs and installs.

    One budget set I have used and works well is the ZENY A/C Manifold Gauge Set.

    It is not high-end but is good for the part time HVAC tech or DIY Mini Split installs.
     
    Example ZENY Manifold Gauge on Amazon
    ZENY Diagnostic A/C Manifold Gauge Set R134a Refrigeration Kit Brass Auto Serivice Kit 4FT w/Case, 1/4″ SAE Fittings

  • Vacuum Pump
  • Tools Needed for a DIY Mini Split Install Vacum Pump
    An HVAC Vacuum Pump will also be needed with many units available.

    If you are only going to use it occasionally or for a few Mini Split installs, nothing expensive is needed.

    I again bought a low-cost Zeny unit which has been working well several installs later.

    The Zeny Gauges and Vacuum Pump come separately or in a package deal which cost less.

    Read More Here 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

  • R410a Adapter for Mini Split Systems
  • Tools Needed for a DIY Mini Split Install R410a Adapter
    Most Mini Split systems will need a 5/16″ Female Coupler to 1/4″ Male Flare to connect the manifold gauges to the unit.

    Check your gauge set as sometimes they are included with top-end gauges.

    The adapter is a low-cost item and will be needed to hook up to the low-pressure side and pump the unit into a vacuum.

    Example 5/16″ Female Coupler to 1/4 on Amazon
    JIANZHENKEJI R410A Adapter | 5/16″ Female Quick Couplers x 1/4″ Male Flare for Outdoor Units Mini Split & HVAC & Central Air Conditioner System(Pack of 2) (145°)

  • Flare Tool
  • The copper line-set that runs between the inside and outside units, usually has a preset length of 16 feet.

    Be sure to check the unit that is bought for how long the line-set is but 16 feet is very common.

    Most DIY kits will have the ends flared, so a flare tool is not needed unless the line-set is cut.
    Tools Needed for a DIY Mini Split Install Flare Tool
    If the distance between the inside and outside unit is short, it is good to shorten the line-set.

    Keep in mind this is not necessary for the mini split to work with many people, simply leaving the extra length rolled up in a loop.

    While it can be left rolled up for a professional install it should be shortened which requires cutting the line and flaring the ends.

    If you are a novice installer, I would not cut the line-set; leave the excess rolled up in a loop if it is too long.
    Tools Needed for a DIY Mini Split Install Flare Tool 2 pic
    While many will argue it needs to be cut, I have seen 10-15-year-old installs done this way still working well.

    If you do buy a flare tool, be sure to also buy a tube cutter.

    Example Flare Tool on Amazon
    Flexzion Flaring Tools Set Tubing Pipe 8 Dies Sizes 3/16-3/4inch 45 Degree Angle Eccentric Cone Type Kit with Copper Brass Aluminum Mild Steel for Water Gas Refrigeration Brake Line Applications

  • Cordless Drill
  • A cordless drill will make the job much easier for the various screws and holes that need to be done.

    The wall plate for the inside unit will need to be screwed into place and solid on studs.

    Also, a 3-inch hole will need to be drilled through the wall for the line-set and control wires.
    Tools Needed for a DIY Mini Split Install Flare Tool Drill
    There are many low-cost cordless drills which; I would recommend getting an 18-volt drill.

    A lower voltage drill will likely also work but has much less power.

    I also use my cordless on many other projects, so an 18-volt drill is simply a personal preference.

    I bought a budget Ryobi unit some years ago, and after a lot of projects, it is still going strong.

    The one downside with any cordless is not usually the drill but the batteries, which go bad before the drill.

  • 3 Inch Hole Saw
  • A hole will need to be drilled through a wall for the line-set and control wires to go between the inside and outside condensers.
    Tools Needed for a DIY Mini Split Install Drill For Hole
    The hole is usually 3 inches, but check the mini split bought for the right size needed.

    Hole saws are low-cost items.

    Example 3-Inch Hole Saw on Amazon
    LENOX Tools Hole Saw with Arbor, Speed Slot, 3-Inch (1772963)

  • Allen Wrench
  • Tools Needed for a DIY Mini Split Install Allen Wrench
    An Allen wrench will be needed to open up the refrigerant lines and let it into the system.

    The size can vary depending on the manufacturer, so it would be best to buy a whole set.

    A set is a cheap low-cost item.
     
    Example Allen Wrench Set on Amazon
    TEKTON Hex Key Wrench Set, 30-Piece (.028-3/8 inch, 0.7-10 mm) | 25253

     

  • Torque Wrench
  • When it comes to tightening the line-set like many bolts, they need to be properly tightened.

    If over-tightened, they can be stripped out under-tightened, and they can leak.

    A torque wrench can solve this problem as it can be set to the manufacture specified foot-pounds.

    If you have experience, they are not necessary, with most HVAC techs not using them.

    They can be a good idea for anyone new to HVAC and wanting to get the line set tightened up correctly.

    Example Torque Wrench Set on Amazon
    YELLOW JACKET 60652 Eight Head Torque Wrench Kit

  • Basic Tools
  • Some basic everyday tools will be needed, such as screwdrivers and pliers.

    The line-set bolts will need to be tightened together, which requires wenches.

    Wire-cutters are also needed for splicing the electricity.

    These basic tools should be in almost any toolbox.

      Summary
      The above are the basic budget tools that will be needed to do a mini split install.

      Of course, check with the DIY Kit to see if any special tools are required.

      Most DIY people will have many of the tools above and will only need to buy one or two more.

      Installing a mini split is not that difficult, especially with the right tools for the job.




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