Contractor Forum

1.  Zoom-lock tool

Posted 7 days ago
Hi All,
I am wondering if anybody has any experience with the zoom-lock tool for doing refrigerant piping?
If so, I would greatly appreciate any thoughts and opinions, as well as the pros and cons, etc...

It seems like it has the potential of saving a lot of time on jobs, as well as eliminating the inherent hazards associated with using open flame torches.

We are a smaller company, doing primarily residential replacement work.  I am also interested to know if anybody encounters problems with being able to use this tool and fittings to adapt to new outdoor units and indoor coil's?



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Anthony Maynor
A. Maynor Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.
Apex NC
(919) 361-0993
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2.  RE: Zoom-lock tool

Posted 6 days ago
Zoom lock: We have one, it is nice, it does save time, it will probably save some TXV and other components by not having any crap in the lines form brazing without a nitrogen purge. But............ Fitting are expensive, super expensive. I do not mind paying for an expensive tool but the fittings are nuts. I think a 1/1-8 elbow is $15 or $20.
Here is my take, great for change outs where you only have a few connections. But i priced fittings out do do a large 14 system commercial project and fittings added up to $12,000 vs $1,000 for typical. Do i see it saving $11,000 in labor, not too sure. Lets do some fun math, once a line set is run in soft copper, i allow for a max of 8 hours per system to punch it out, braze it in, wire it up and start it up. So for 14 systems that would be 112 hours. Well we can imagine that not all of that is for brazing, but for argument sake lets say it is. even at $75 an hour for our loaded labor break even, it would cost me $8,400 to punch out all those systems. So it would have cost me an extra $2,600 to use zoom lock. or 35 hours of time i could have spent somewhere else. so no savings on this large job and i am sure its double what i calculated because it does not take 8 hours to braze in a split system.
So it does not save enough labor to justify the cost of the fittings. Once again change outs you can price in 4 fittings and then it will save you time and help with equipment life all while adding it to your job cost or your sale price, so essentially not costing you. Can you imagine over pricing a construction job by $11,000, you would never get the job.
The other issue are special fittings like reducers and things are hard to come by and some systems still require at least two brazed connections so it will never be 100% braze-less.
Hope this helps, just my 5 cents.

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Dave Miller
Owner
Superior Heating & Air, Inc.
Bluffton SC
(843) 682-2665
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3.  RE: Zoom-lock tool

Posted 5 days ago
I have not used the zoom lock so I can't speak for its effectiveness.  We have been using the pro press on plumbing and gas and it's great. For plumbing it definitely speeds it up.  On gas I would much prefer the fittings versus flaring. 

The biggest reason we haven't bought on is that until the condensers and coils have a way to connect from the box, you still have to have the torches which is one of the selling points. I have heard that some braze on the zoom lock fittings at the shop before sending it out but that doesn't fit us. 

I will say that on the large projects, it may cost more for fittings vs labor but if you are trying to maximize gross profit per hour then it maybe worth it.  High labor and low materials vs low labor and higher material. 

Tyler Kime 
Sent from my iPhone
General Manager
Standard Heating & Air Cond. Co., Inc.
205-322-2679 office
205-271-4332 direct






4.  RE: Zoom-lock tool

Posted 4 days ago
every tool has its time and place; for a big job it doesn't make much sense to zoom lock it. Unless---the other guy quoting the job is facing the same torch issues you are


Gary Wilson, Owner
Wilson Services, Inc.
Northampton, MA
413-584-3317
gary@wilsonph.com
www.wilsonph.com







5.  RE: Zoom-lock tool

Posted 3 days ago
We have found the Zoomlock tool to be everything it says it is, we use it on 90 percent of our residential condenser installs. We have had zero leaks period. Not to mention the time saved in not having to braze with nitrogen on, it turns installs into easy one man projects if need be.

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Samuel Petrie
CEO/President
Red Barn Electric, LLC
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6.  RE: Zoom-lock tool

Posted 2 days ago

Samuel,

 

May I ask how you tie onto at the condenser and coils?  Are you cutting it back a bit to fit the ZL fitting on?

 

Thanks,

 

 

Tyler B. Kime

General Manager

Standard Heating & Air Cond. Co. Inc.

205-322-2679

205-271-4332 direct

205-322-2913 fax

www.WeSetTheStandard.com

standard-air-plumbing-insulation-logo-web

 






7.  RE: Zoom-lock tool

Posted 2 days ago
Yes we but the bell end off of the coil or outdoor unit.

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Samuel Petrie
CEO/President
Red Barn Electric, LLC
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8.  RE: Zoom-lock tool

Posted 6 days ago
my 1st experience was great. 1 1/8" line, a torch would have been a joke, no leaks. held a vac like a rock.

The second experience wasn't so good but I'm not sure if my guys cleaned and de-burred per book

Then in another job I squeezed in a 3/8 and a 1/4 coupling in a very difficult and tight ductless situation; help like a rock, beautiful.

So, I like it, my guys don't.

Fittings are costly, but I'll gladly pay the freight


Gary Wilson, Owner
Wilson Services, Inc.
Northampton, MA
413-584-3317
gary@wilsonph.com
www.wilsonph.com