DIY Guide: Steps To Replace Damaged Outdoor AC Unit Pad

Posted by Michael Griffin on November 29th, 2019

Air conditioning repair in Palm City is usually best left to the experts because of the complex parts involved but replacing a damaged concrete pad is not one of them. In old split AC units, the outdoor component is supported by a hard concrete platform reinforced by a hard layer underneath to prevent the unit from sinking into the soil or coming in contact with the dirt. But concrete slab may sink and crack due to the expansion and contraction of the soil, concrete’s weight, snow, rain, sunlight, plant growth, etc. Narrow and shallow cracks can be patched and a minor tilt may not be a cause of concern.

If the pad tilts enough to cause the copper pipes to come loose or cause leakage then the pad could be leveled with longboard and sand. But if it sinks too low and is damaged beyond repair you need to replace it. You could create a new platform (which will take a lot of time and effort) or use a prefabricated pad.

Tools & Materials Needed
You need a new pad, sledgehammer/demolition hammer, safety gear, measuring tape, roller, spade, barrow, and crowbar.

Steps For Installing New Pad
Before you start, check with utility companies about any lines that may be below the pad. Once you get the go-ahead, gather the necessary items and follow these steps:

Order new pad
At present, there are many prefabricated platforms available on the market. Using them makes the process easier because you don’t have to create a new one. They are usually available in concrete and plastic. Concrete slabs are cheaper but plastic slabs are more durable against outside elements. Measure your current pad and order a new one that matches its dimensions. You can also go to the store and drive the platform back home.

Disconnect outdoor air conditioning unit
For this step, you might want to call an air conditioning repair in Palm City. If you know the steps, then check with the services to make sure that your warranty and insurance won’t be invalidated for doing so. Once you are sure, switch off the unit and disconnect it from the outdoor power outlet and indoor unit with the appropriate tools.

Move the unit
Use the support of your legs and not the back to lift and move the outdoor unit. Heavy lifting with the back’s support can cause backache and other problems. You can use your legs by bending your knees while keeping the back straight, holding the unit and standing up. Move it to a hard surface away from dirt. You can take someone’s help for this step if you need.

Demolish old pad
Put on safety glasses, gloves, overalls and mask for safety from dust. Take a sledgehammer and start hammering the pads starting with the cracks, corners or edges. Don’t hold it above your head, hold it at shoulder height and bring it down on the surface. If you’re having a hard time with the sledgehammer, try a demolition hammer instead. Use a crowbar to pry the broken parts apart. Then use a spade to remove the debris and place it in a barrow. Dispose of the debris at a landfill or reuse it as a filling.

Place new pad
Lay the new platform in the place where the old one was. Make sure that the platform is not tilted. If it is, you might want to flatten the ground below with a roller and place the slab again. You can also find a new spot to install it. Make sure it’s at least 1 foot far from the house’s exterior.

Reinstall outdoor unit
Lift the unit with the support of your legs and place it on the platform. Attach the unit using rubber pads and anchor bolts. Either get a licensed AC repairman to reconnect the pipes and wires or do it yourself. Switch on the unit and rest.

With these steps, you can finish the replacement within a day.

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Michael Griffin

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Michael Griffin
Joined: May 16th, 2018
Articles Posted: 174

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