MRCOOL DIY Ductless Mini Split

Hey Everyone!  I installed a MRCOOL DIY Ductless Mini Split in my home office about 10 months ago.  I also installed the same unit in my workshop – view blog post and video here.  The DIY Ductless Mini Split stopped cooling, so I filed a warranty claim with MRCOOL to replace it.  Keep reading to find out how I filed my warranty claim and how I replaced my mini split.

 

Items I Used:

 

Intro and Background

How to Install a Ductless Mini Split - Part 2 - Intro

I installed a ductless mini split (MRCOOL model: DIY-18-HP-230A) upstairs in my workshop in October of 2016.  It worked great during the winter and spring.

My DIY mini split stopped cooling in May of 2017, so I notified MRCOOL via email and notified them of my problem.  The folks at MRCOOL were very responsive and we traded a few emails regarding troubleshooting tips and results.  Unfortunately, we were not successful in resolving my issue.  MRCOOL informed me I would need to call a certified HVAC professional and have them check my unit.

Low Refrigerant – May 2017

The HVAC professional tested my unit and determined my DIY ductless mini split was low on refrigerant.  After spending roughly 30 minutes checking for a refrigerant leak, he could not find a leak.  The HVAC technician and I came to the conclusion my MRCOOL mini split was not properly pre-charged from the factory.  Or, refrigerant was lost during the installation. Either way, my ductless mini split needed more refrigerant.  He added more refrigerant and my mini split began cooling again.

Low Refrigerant – August 2017

My MRCOOL mini split stopped cooling again in August.  I didn’t spend much time in my home office in June and July, so it is quite possible it stopped cooling in June or July.  I did not call MRCOOL for this issue; rather, I called my HVAC professional again.

The HVAC professional put his gauges on my mini split and explained my unit was in a ‘vacuum’.  This means the unit has no refrigerant whatsoever.  It was obvious now my mini split definitely had a leak.  After he recharged the unit with refrigerant, he spent over an hour taking apart my ductless mini split (outside and inside unit) to locate the leak.  Despite his best efforts, he could not find the leak.

 

MRCOOL Warranty Claim

I found the original email chain I sent to MRCOOL in May and used it to notify them of my updated issue.  They responded immediately and asked for additional information from the unit.  Once I provided them with the serial numbers, receipt, and a few other items – they shipped a new inside unit and line set.  It arrived at my home 2 days later.

MRCOOL – A Different Perspective

I was definitely irritated I had to pay an HVAC professional to diagnose my MRCOOL ductless mini split issue on two separate occasions.  Especially considering my unit was under warranty and less than a year old.

After thinking about the situation from MRCOOL’s perspective, I began to understand why it is not feasible for MRCOOL to have technicians spread throughout the country to diagnose warranty issues.  These units are roughly half the cost of the similar units.  It is not possible for MRCOOL to sell their DIY mini splits at such an affordable price and pay technicians throughout the country for maintenance issues.  The technicians would significantly raise MRCOOL’s operating costs.  This increased operating cost would be passed to the consumer in order for MRCOOL to remain profitable and stay in business.

Traditional Mini Split vs DIY Mini Split

There is a ‘give and take’ with just about everything and mini splits are no different.  A conventional DIY mini split costs approximately $3800.00 with a full warranty, which includes diagnosis and troubleshooting.  The MRCOOL DIY Ductless Mini Split of similar size is $1,450.00 with a warranty that is not as comprehensive as the conventional system.  In other words, pick your poison.

Now, on to the steps I took to install my mini split I received as a result of my warranty claim.