My contractor installed this system yesterday, at my property:

"Trane T4TTR6060C1000A RX16 5 TON XR16 A/C 16 SEER rating R410A".

Everything is working fine. I just do not like aesthetically how he put it. He turned the control panel to be at the front and the line set comes from the back to the front and connects from the front to the unit. I imagined the line set is supposed to come and connect from the back of the unit. So, all the pipes stay between the wall and the unit.

My contractor explained me that he cannot do it, because he needs 3 feet of clearance for the service area, and that will require to move the unit to much away from the wall if I want it to be connected from the back of the unit.

Question: What should be a clearance area between a unit and a wall when a line set is connected from the back of the unit? And is it common practice to connect it from the front?

Here are also the pictures of that installation: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B7uO-n40pIiESGJBdmhlUnFkbDQ&usp=sharing

enter image description here

  • I'd probably have rotated it 45 degrees clockwise from where it is. At this point I think you plant a shrub and forget about it.
    – isherwood
    Apr 27, 2016 at 19:16
  • I do not understand why he could not turn the panel to the opposite corner (in diagonal, facing to the corner of my house), turn the line set on the wall, and connect the line from the back.
    – vlr
    Apr 27, 2016 at 19:27
  • 1
    @isherwood installing a condensing unit not squared up to the building, is just asking for a callback. No way a customer is going to be happy with that.
    – Tester101
    Apr 27, 2016 at 22:14
  • @isherwood If it is not too much to ask, how much space do you usually leave between the unit and the wall, considering that placement and if the control panel is faced to the right (and not to the left, as it is now)
    – vlr
    Apr 28, 2016 at 6:37
  • I don't have a specific answer as I'm not an HVAC installer. I was a general contractor, though, and we made it our business to be sure ugly things like this didn't happen.
    – isherwood
    Apr 28, 2016 at 15:04

2 Answers 2


According to Trane installation instructions, the technician is correct. They do require 3' of clear space in front of the control box.

enter image description here

As for why the technician chose this orientation, I can only speculate. It looks to me like the access panel is on the corner of the unit, which would mean there has to be 3' clear space at the corner. Obviously the technician could not install the unit in these two orientations.

enter image description hereenter image description here

Since then the building would encroach upon the clear space required. This only left him with two choices.

enter image description hereenter image description here

Given these two choices, I would agree that the technician made the best choice. If the unit would have been installed in the other orientation, it would have potentially left the line sets in the path of folks moving through the gated area at the corner of the building.

In the end. If you're not happy with the installation, you should contact the company and discuss with them what options are available.

  • So a suggestion by Trane, and not a requirement. As an installer I'd have done more to create a better aesthetic outcome, even if it meant fudging clearance a bit.
    – isherwood
    Apr 27, 2016 at 20:36
  • @isherwood the diagram may be in the "suggested locations" section, but the 3' is a requirement ("Three (3) feet clearance must be provided in front of the control box"). This is consistent with NEC 110.27(A)(1).
    – Tester101
    Apr 27, 2016 at 22:06
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    @Tester101 As I understand the top picture, the wall is behind the unit. So, 3 feet is between right side of the unit (where the control panel is for that sketch) and the bush. When the bottom picture is a view from the right side. And the bottom picture shows 12' between the unit and the wall. So, 3 feet is required clearance indeed, but if my contractor just turn it as in that picture, it would be required from the right side of the unit, and not from the wall.
    – vlr
    Apr 28, 2016 at 6:44
  • instead he chose to turn the control panel to the left, because of unknown reason, and it looks ugly now.
    – vlr
    Apr 28, 2016 at 6:45
  • 2
    Looks like a poor design by Trane. Why can't you square it with the exterior wall and access if from the side? Really poor thinking on Trane's part. Corner access requiring two adjacent sides to have clearance? Silly.
    – ArchonOSX
    Apr 28, 2016 at 11:04

I think what nobody is seeing the condensing unit is right up against the house, if you wanted it that close to the house that's the only option there wad

  • 1
    Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. Unfortunately, it isn't clear what you're saying here. A few edits might help. May 26, 2018 at 11:42

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