Are split unit AC units a viable option for a theater ? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 78 Old 05-22-2014, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

The inside unit has a motor and is typically blowing a lot of air at a high velocity so it can create noise. Whisper Quiet is a marketing term. In Data we trust, all others require a demo.

I'm now thinking about skipping the mini-split and just snaking flex duct from the HVAC. Much cheaper and, from what I heard at NYGF's place, very effective.
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post #32 of 78 Old 05-22-2014, 04:22 PM
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The key with a minisplit is to go with a quality brand name, not try to save a few $100 on a cheaper version.

As long as you have suitable air flow in your room, then you should be ok. The key to avoiding a stale room is a decent sized return. It pulls the old/must/"basement air" out and returns fresh, cooler, dehumidified air.

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post #33 of 78 Old 05-22-2014, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefdvr27 View Post

One other thing to factor in for a mini split is the electric. It runs on 220 and a 220 line is not cheap. Depending on where they can pick it up, I ran a 220 for my hot tub and it was around $600 or $700 a few years ago. The guy was a friend of ours so that helped because I heard it could have been $900. Prices here are inflated, so cannot go off that, but none the lee a 220 line can be costly.

Unless you run it yourself wink.gif
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post #34 of 78 Old 05-22-2014, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefdvr27 View Post

One other thing to factor in for a mini split is the electric. It runs on 220 and a 220 line is not cheap. Depending on where they can pick it up, I ran a 220 for my hot tub and it was around $600 or $700 a few years ago. The guy was a friend of ours so that helped because I heard it could have been $900. Prices here are inflated, so cannot go off that, but none the lee a 220 line can be costly.

I'm pretty sure Mits has a 120v model in their low capacity range. I had mine while living in HK and that was 220v everywhere, so I never really looked into it, but thought I remember seeing 120v advertised as a selling point for that reason. Part of the reason your 220v was expensive was because it needed to be GFCI because of the water. My GFCI 240v (for the endless pool) was about $300 more than the 240v for the theater. But yeah, I was shocked - ridiculously expensive compared to adding an extra 20amp 120v line for an amp.

Other costs can come from creating a suitable place to put the "outdoor" unit, if it's going outside. Either a concrete slab or a mounting frame that attaches to the house to keep the unit off the ground. Some of the cheaper models will sell the line-set separately, which can cost $100+. The better brands include a standard length line, but if you need longer then you have to pay more. For hookup, you're supposed to have a licensed electrician for the electrical, and a licensed AC guy for the coolant. I think some models shipp with precharged line-sets & quick connects that you could technically DIY, but I think you might be risking any sort of warranty if it's not installed by licensed people. A by the books install adds quite a bit to the otherwise reasonable equipment costs that you see online.

 

 

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post #35 of 78 Old 05-23-2014, 09:17 PM
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I have a Mitsubishi 1ton unit in my theater - works very well.

Noise is not an issue as the unit runs rather quiet except if the room is hot (or cold) and I want to change several degrees - unit kicks into high gear and this can be heard in third row until it gets near the set point temp

Here is an in-progress pic (the unit is still white and does stick out, but I rarely look at the rear of my theater:rolleyes:)

The room is well insulated and this is the only HVAC for the space (over garage)

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post #36 of 78 Old 05-24-2014, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Unless you run it yourself wink.gif
Yeah, but I bet one in fifty guys would be willing to do electric. Chances are, if you not hanging the unit, your not doing the electric either.
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post #37 of 78 Old 05-24-2014, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefdvr27 View Post


Yeah, but I bet one in fifty guys would be willing to do electric. Chances are, if you not hanging the unit, your not doing the electric either.


My theater is still in 'bare studs' stage, and the Mini-Split contractor said if I got the wire to the spot where the penetration would be made for the outdoor unit, he would do the rest.   He said he wasn't willing to have me buy the unit and him 'install' (so, I am looking elsewhere), but the few people I have spoken with - none have had an issue with me doing the electric myself.

 

If I had to fish wires through walls and what not, it wouldn't be an option for me - but running a simple line is very easy.

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post #38 of 78 Old 05-24-2014, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefdvr27 View Post

Yeah, but I bet one in fifty guys would be willing to do electric. Chances are, if you not hanging the unit, your not doing the electric either.

The electric is actually the easy part IMO. The control lines and feed lines are more challenging I think.

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post #39 of 78 Old 05-25-2014, 10:22 AM
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We're having two mistubishi heat pumps installed in an in-law apartment. The electric is $1,400. The total cost (after $1,000) rebate is $11,000. I have run many electrical wires myself, but I don't have the time to figure out the codes for this run (part inside and part outside), pull a permit, get it inspected, etc. Two 12,000 BTU Hyper heat systems will be installed. Electricians here are incredibly expensive, which is why I do a lot of my own work (plus I have a Master's in Electrical Engineering and several copies of the NEC).

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post #40 of 78 Old 06-05-2014, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
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How about heat too? Would a split AC unit work with heat too ?

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post #41 of 78 Old 06-05-2014, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

How about heat too? Would a split AC unit work with heat too ?

Most manufacturers offer a choice,neither ac only, or both. Obviously, both cost more, but in my climate, in a basement theater, I want both options.
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post #42 of 78 Old 06-06-2014, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmhvball View Post

Most manufacturers offer a choice,neither ac only, or both. Obviously, both cost more, but in my climate, in a basement theater, I want both options.

The ones we are installing go down to about -5 F. The do lose efficiency, though, at those temperatures. Another nice feature is they can provide dehumidification with no AC or heat. They have others that go down to higher temperatures (such as 40F or 15F), and those are cheaper. For the money you save, you could install baseboard electric heat (and still come out ahead probably) for the few times you need it, if your HT is in the basement for instance and you use it once a week or so.

Bob
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post #43 of 78 Old 06-06-2014, 01:25 PM
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My 12,000btu Mitsubishi units provide, heat, AC, and dehumidify

 

I have used them for 1 year (dedicated Theater, Garage/workshop, and high ceiling loft area) - all work great.  Noise is minimal in the theater.

 

Somewhat happy I don't live where several of you do as my 3 units installed before elec coop rebates was $7700 (elec, plumbing for condensate line, units, line-sets and install)

This was during new construction which does help on cost I believe.

 

Have no problem with units keeping up with high (.100deg) and low (<0deg) temps - loft and theater are very well insulated.

The garage is insulated well but not well sealed - space is 24' x 14' x 15' and the unit cools and heats with minimal effort (opening the door takes a bit to catch back up)

 

I was a bit skeptical about the mini-splits so for most of our house we installed a ground source heatpump - given the cost and similar efficiency between the systems I likely would have added 3 mini-splits and skipped the ducted GSHP if I was to do it again.

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post #44 of 78 Old 06-29-2014, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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I have forced hot air oil heat now and would have duct work through the home but I'm trying figure out a good way to make the theater an independent zone. Is the heater loud ?

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post #45 of 78 Old 07-08-2014, 05:05 AM
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I had my Mr. Slim Mini Split installed last week. It seems very quite, HOWEVER, at this stage I don't have drywall in yet, so my 'noise floor' in the basement isn't real low - so, seeming 'quite' now isn't real telling.

My theater room is immediately to the right of the stairs from the 1st floor. I am planning on putting a duct fan of some sort under the stairs, and running flex duct into the front corner of the theater room for an Air Supply.

I have Return Air ducts for my 1st floor running through my theater soffit, so, I am going to tap into them and put some Duct Liner in it to help with sound. This return is 20' or so from the main line, and another 20' from the actual HVAC unit, as well, so, it gives some travel distance to reduce the sound.

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post #46 of 78 Old 07-08-2014, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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My dad only has AC ones and they are indeed quiet but is need heat too for mine.
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post #47 of 78 Old 07-08-2014, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
My dad only has AC ones and they are indeed quiet but is need heat too for mine.
I just looked at the Mr. Slim publication for a 12,000 btu unit.. (found here http://ecomfort.com/PDF_files/Mitsub...s_Brochure.pdf)

The AC only unit appears to have 5 different strengths with the Decibels being:

19/22/30/37/45

That compares to the Heating & Cooling Unit which lists 4 levels at:
22/31/39/42 Cooling
22/31/40/42 Heating

I am new enough to all this, that those seem very similar to me... I definitely wanted the Heating capability after some input from others on this site.
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post #48 of 78 Old 07-08-2014, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
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21 or 22db is more than acceptable. That is very quiet. 42db not so much, you can hear that in a quiet room. But I think it's unreasonable to expect these things to be unheard at full tilt too.

I am ok with whisper mode during my movie.

For those with other solutions- how does this volume compare to say duct feed from hot air furnace and outside AC ?

I currently have oil (no NG on my street) with a forced hot air furnace. My house already has duct work for this heating system, and I'd like to add central AC (we have window units). But my theater I want on a separate zone I think (everyone says do this) so the idea I have is just run a split unit for the theater with heating and cooling- and run the rest of the house off the house system.

Make sense ? Is this as quiet or quieter than using normal duct system ?

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post #49 of 78 Old 07-09-2014, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
21 or 22db is more than acceptable. That is very quiet. 42db not so much, you can hear that in a quiet room. But I think it's unreasonable to expect these things to be unheard at full tilt too.

I am ok with whisper mode during my movie.

For those with other solutions- how does this volume compare to say duct feed from hot air furnace and outside AC ?

I currently have oil (no NG on my street) with a forced hot air furnace. My house already has duct work for this heating system, and I'd like to add central AC (we have window units). But my theater I want on a separate zone I think (everyone says do this) so the idea I have is just run a split unit for the theater with heating and cooling- and run the rest of the house off the house system.

Make sense ? Is this as quiet or quieter than using normal duct system ?
In my theater the mini-split is mounted high on rear wall about 5 feet behind the projector.
I have the epson 5030ub which I can hear running in very quiet scenes or no movie - it is louder than my mini-split most of the time.

The only occasion where the mini-split runs on high speed mode is if we turn down the temp set point by > 3' from current temp.
I have a well insulated large room - we have had times with 20 people in the room with equipment running at high level and the mini-split was able to keep the desired room temp without running in high mode
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post #50 of 78 Old 07-09-2014, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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For heat or cooling? I was wondering if heating is louder or not ? I have some experience with cooling but no experience with them for heating...

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post #51 of 78 Old 07-09-2014, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
For heat or cooling? I was wondering if heating is louder or not ? I have some experience with cooling but no experience with them for heating...
We have spec'ed a Mitsubishi 120,000 BTU/hr ducted mini-split unit (heat pump). Another issue I'm grappling with is the ability to remotely control the unit. Mitsubishi has a "closed" control system that does not use standard thermostats, so I need to find out if/how I can control the unit from by iRule remote control system. I want the HVAC fans to come on and stay on when the theater is in use. If I can't control the Mitsubishi, I may switch to another brand.
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post #52 of 78 Old 07-09-2014, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
For heat or cooling? I was wondering if heating is louder or not ? I have some experience with cooling but no experience with them for heating...
I had 2 of the 12k BTU units in my old house that I added. I can't say I noticed any real difference in sound when on a preset speed for heat vs AC. To be fair, they were both in general living areas with higher noise floors, so perhaps there is a more noticeable difference when in a well soundproofed room.

I think Mits had dB data on their data sheets at the various speeds but don't recall if for heat vs AC.
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post #53 of 78 Old 07-09-2014, 05:27 PM
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I called up a HVAC guy here and asked for a rough estimate for a dual zone minisplit (7000 and 9000 BTU).
He quoted me $3400 for a Fujitsu unit, and $4000 to install, and that did *NOT* include electrical.
He also said that that drain lines needed to be run for condenser run-off.

$4000 sounded REALLY high for installing, especially since it did not include electrical. Am I crazy, or is it really going to cost me nearly $10k to cool two rooms???

FYI, I've been looking at this for my 140sqft office and 325sqft theater
Mitsubishi 21,000 BTU 18 SEER Ductless Dual Zone Heat Pump I-SEE 9+12
I was also considering this to use with it in the theater to reduce it's footprint:
Mitsubishi 11,100 BTU Ceiling Cassette Heat Pump Air Handler

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post #54 of 78 Old 07-09-2014, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Buy it for $3000 (shop around ) and spend $250 on supplies and DIY. It's just wires and hoses. There's instructions how to hook them up you can reference.

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post #55 of 78 Old 07-09-2014, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefdvr27 View Post
Quote:Originally Posted by Mfusick 

Unless you run it yourself

Yeah, but I bet one in fifty guys would be willing to do electric. Chances are, if you not hanging the unit, your not doing the electric either.
Running wire is easy..........at least run wire and use appropriate conduit so all the electrician has to do is hook up.

I am running 12-2 to panel to first can, then wire to other three cans without attaching electrical. I staple to code but feel better letting electrician do all connects. Works for me, but I have a close relationship with electrician and he is willing to work with me.
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post #56 of 78 Old 07-09-2014, 07:34 PM
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http://www.absolutecomfortair.com/in...oning-systems/ Is what i have in my home, and i love it! It is pretty much a thermostat for just about every room and a combination of electric dampers that add or subtract air supply to reach that room temp setting. This was a better value than adding those ugly wall hanging units, and got rid of the cold/hot spots your average HVAC system produces.
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post #57 of 78 Old 07-09-2014, 07:41 PM
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I have a one ton mini-split serving my theater room. I have the air-source heat pump option, so it does both heating and cooling. I have not noticed a difference in noise between the different modes of operation - the noise generation should not really change, as its just a reversing valve in the outdoor unit.

If I run my unit on high, you can hear it if you are listening - but then again, I am usually watching a movie so its not a big deal. Rarely have I even used the unit on high mode.

I bought a "cheap" unit, knowing it wouldn't be used too often. I bought a Coaire unit at cost through a connection I had. I paid $850 for the unit (including the liquid/suction copper lineset, and outdoor unit wall mount). I routed the copper lines and installed the power to the unit by myself. I brought in an HVAC buddy that helped me pull a vacuum on the line (required step before you release the refrigerant into the lineset).

There are two main reasons I installed a mini-split
1. I built my theater room in my unfinished basement. My house was heated/cooled with one zone, so adding zoning capabilities was going to be more expensive than the mini-split, plus there was not enough room to make the ductwork routing work.

2. I wanted to be able to cool my theater, even during the winters in Iowa. I added the low-ambient controller to the outdoor unit that allows it to run down to 0 or lower (I can't remember the exact temperature).

By adding the minisplit, I was able to maintain the soundproofed shell that I worked so hard to maintain (its much easier to soundproof a 2" diameter hole for the lineset than it is to soundproof two 12"x12" or larger duct openings).

They are not the most beautiful units - but if you really cared about that, you could go with a ducted minisplit in order to hide the indoor fan unit.

So far the decisions I have made for heating/cooling my theater room have not forced me to post on the "things you would do differently" thread
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post #58 of 78 Old 07-09-2014, 11:32 PM
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My house does not have any ductwork, it was built in the early 30s, and we use evaporative coolers for cooling now. For the most part they aren't bad, but yesterday and today it was 100 degrees AND humid, so it pretty much sucked in the house. Also, the air never gets into the basement, and if I'm going to put a sealed theater down there I need a way to cool it. As it turns out, the perfect place for the unit outside is where I ripped up a lot of landscaping and will be redoing it, so I can hide it behind some bushes

As for running electrical, I can run most typical residential things, lights, outlets, etc. I'll run it back to the box, but won't hook it up, I'll bring in a real electrician for that. Since is says it needs 208/230v I prob won't run that myself.

My parents had a zoning system in their old house and loved it, it was one of the first upgrades they did when they bought the home they have now

Found the manual here so I'll see what is involved with installing it. It's a pretty UNfinished area where they will go, so I imagine it shouldn't be too bad to run things.

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post #59 of 78 Old 07-10-2014, 05:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzy49 View Post
As for running electrical, I can run most typical residential things, lights, outlets, etc. I'll run it back to the box, but won't hook it up, I'll bring in a real electrician for that. Since is says it needs 208/230v I prob won't run that myself.
The electric is a direct 12/2 Wire from your Panel to the Location where it needs to go outside. The 208/230V really just is driving the Breaker, so, it needs to be a two pole, 20 amp breaker, and they use both the white & black wire in the 12/2 as "Hot" wires (i.e., so, no neutral in this set up). Nothing special about running the wire itself though.

Putting the breaker in the box is relatively easy too... but if your not comfortable, by all means, hiring a professional makes a lot of sense. If you did do it yourself... turn off all the other breakers in the panel box, then the main panel breaker at top, install the new breaker, then start by turning main breaker on, then the individual breakers. This was suggested to me by an electrician friend... he said most of the time the professionals don't turn off the other breakers/ main panel breaker, but it makes DIYers feel a little more comfortable (which, it does make me feel better, even if not truly needed!)

I had a contractor install my Mr. Slim, and wasn't sure how much wire they would need at the 'exit the house to outside' location, so, I started with my coiled up wire at the exit the house location, and ran it back to the panel. That way, the contractor could cut the wire where needed depending on the exact penetration location & how much wire they needed..

I believe you need a Refrigerant System vacuum of some sort, which I didn't have and didn't know how to use if I did have, so, contracted it out.

Mine is directly outside my theater space, so, it only took them (2 of them) 3-4 hours to install.
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post #60 of 78 Old 07-10-2014, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by kmhvball View Post
The electric is a direct 12/2 Wire from your Panel to the Location where it needs to go outside. The 208/230V really just is driving the Breaker, so, it needs to be a two pole, 20 amp breaker, and they use both the white & black wire in the 12/2 as "Hot" wires (i.e., so, no neutral in this set up). Nothing special about running the wire itself though.

Putting the breaker in the box is relatively easy too... but if your not comfortable, by all means, hiring a professional makes a lot of sense. If you did do it yourself... turn off all the other breakers in the panel box, then the main panel breaker at top, install the new breaker, then start by turning main breaker on, then the individual breakers. This was suggested to me by an electrician friend... he said most of the time the professionals don't turn off the other breakers/ main panel breaker, but it makes DIYers feel a little more comfortable (which, it does make me feel better, even if not truly needed!)
I have a master's degree in electrical engineering, multiple copies of the NEC, have redone a room in my former house including all electrical (added many new circuits, hospital-grade isolated ground outlets for the main equipment, you name it), and have added or rewired at least 9 ceiling fans, lights, and bathroom fans. The issue for me is the amount of research and time it takes me relative to paying an electrician. If it's something I've done in the past, and I know all the building and electrical codes and have time to take out a permit and get the work inspected, I'll do it myself. Otherwise, I'll considering hiring it out, especially if I have to do a lot of research to figure out how to do the work correctly.

Plus, things are always more time consuming than you think they're going to be. Consider the following. Our pool pump went out, so we bought a new one that was 203V instead of 115V. I knew the wiring inside the house supported 230V, as I had previously added a timer and had determined the wiring then. How long do you think it would take to do the research and convert the wiring from 115V to 230V. I though it would take be not much time, but it ended up taking me basically two days. For one, I had to figure out water-tight wiring connections suitable for a pool pump, and buy everything. I then couldn't find a 230V 15 amp GFCI. I had to go to an electrical supply house. Then, I realized the box outside for the pump had only 3/4 inch holes, but I needed 1/2 inch water-tight connectors to connect to the pump. Where's the 3/4 to 1/2 inch converter? Not at Lowe's or Home Cheapo. I had to go to the electrical supply house again. This was a simple job, and it took me two days to do the research, get the part, etc. And I took a day off of work to do this, and I don't have it inspected as of yet.

So, I looked at the complexity of installing the wiring for the heat pumps and just decided it would take me too long to figure out how to do and to do.

Bob
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