IDHP’s 'Pump Down' and 'Start Up' Process

June 15, 2020

Purchasing a mini-split heat pump is an investment that will provide you with health and financial benefits for years to come. When a new unit is installed, there are a number of steps that will help your new equipment function properly and last a long time. Island Ductless is careful to perform the startup using the full process that the manufacturer recommends. Many installers shortchange this process, and you won’t see the results of those shortcuts until the system enters its second decade of use.

There are 6 steps to a complete a full start up:

  1. Pressurize the system to 600 PSI or more overnight.

  2. Energize the system for at least 12 hours prior to pump down to allow the compressor to warm up the oil inside it.

  3. Check the pressure to see if there are any leaks.

  4. Perform a comprehensive pump down procedure. (See “How It Works” below.)

  5. Release refrigerant into the evacuated system.

  6. Start and check that the new system is functioning properly.

Island Ductless performs all 6 steps on every installation we do.

What does it mean to have Island Ductless Heat Pumps “pump down” your mini-split system and what is occurring during this process? Our pump down process goes well beyond industry standards to get your system to the most efficient state possible. Essentially, we attach a suction/vacuum pump to a closed loop system that evacuates all the air contaminants and moisture from the system to make it verifiably clean. Let’s look at the step-by-step process necessary to effectively pump down a mini-split system. 

How It Works

First, we attach a vacuum pump to your mini-split system to remove all the remaining air contaminants and moisture. We perform 3 pump downs of the system, flushing the system between each pump down with nitrogen to melt any ice that might form in the system from moisture. Our goal is to achieve a micron gage verifiable level of evacuation specified by the manufacturer each time. The industry standard for the final evacuation pressure is 500 microns. IDHP prefers to pump down their mini-split systems to around 100 microns. 

Second, we release refrigerant into your system that meets the proper level for the ideal functioning of the unit.  

And third, we start your system under strict guidelines to prevent possible damage to the equipment and verify an efficient operation. 

Take a look at this video to see our crew in action and to learn more about how IDHP effectively pumps down your mini-split system. 

In Closing

When you choose to invest in a ductless heat pump, our crew at IDHP will not only install your system, but we will also be your service providers and handle any maintenance requests or repairs your system may need.