How to Disconnect a Mini Split: A Comprehensive Guide

Disconnecting a mini-split system requires careful attention to detail and proper safety precautions. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of safely disconnecting your mini-split, ensuring that you can remove the unit without causing any damage or environmental harm.

Gather the Necessary Tools

Before you begin the disconnection process, you’ll need to gather the following tools:

  1. Adjustable Wrench: This versatile tool will be used to manipulate the service valves on the outdoor unit.
  2. Hex Wrenches: A set of hex wrenches, also known as Allen wrenches, will be necessary for removing the electrical panel covers and accessing the refrigerant line connections.
  3. Pipe Cutter or Close-Quarters Zero Clearance Pipe Cutter: If the refrigerant lines cannot be easily disconnected, you may need to use a pipe cutter to sever the lines.
  4. Refrigerant Recovery Equipment: If you plan to reuse the refrigerant, you’ll need a refrigerant recovery system to safely capture and store the refrigerant.
  5. Refrigerant Disposal Containers: Proper disposal of the refrigerant is essential, so you’ll need suitable containers to hold the recovered refrigerant.
  6. Protective Gear: Wear gloves, safety glasses, and a respirator to protect yourself during the disconnection process.

Turn Off the Power

how to disconnect a mini splitImage source: Flickr

  1. Locate the Circuit Breaker: Identify the circuit breaker or fuse that supplies power to both the indoor and outdoor units of your mini-split system.
  2. Turn Off the Power: Flip the circuit breaker to the “Off” position or remove the fuse to completely disconnect the power to the mini-split system.
  3. Verify the Power is Off: Double-check that the power is indeed off by attempting to turn on the indoor and outdoor units. Neither unit should respond.

Disconnect the Electrical Wiring

  1. Remove the Electrical Panel Covers: Use the appropriate hex wrenches to remove the electrical panel covers on both the indoor and outdoor units.
  2. Identify the Wiring Connections: Carefully examine the wiring connections, taking note of the wire colors, terminal locations, and any labeling or numbering that may be present.
  3. Disconnect the Wires: Gently disconnect each wire from its corresponding terminal, taking care not to damage the wires or terminals.
  4. Label the Wires: To ensure proper reconnection later, label each wire with its corresponding terminal or connection point.
  5. Secure the Wires: Neatly bundle and secure the disconnected wires to prevent them from interfering with the rest of the disconnection process.

Locate and Close the Service Valves

  1. Identify the Service Valves: On the outdoor unit, locate the service valves for the refrigerant lines. These are typically found on the side or back of the unit.
  2. Close the Service Valves: Using the adjustable wrench, slowly and carefully close the service valves by turning them clockwise. This will prevent any remaining refrigerant from escaping during the disconnection process.
  3. Verify the Valves are Closed: Double-check that the service valves are fully closed by attempting to turn them further. They should not move any more.

Disconnect the Refrigerant Lines

  1. Assess the Refrigerant Line Slack: Examine the refrigerant lines to see if there is enough slack to simply disconnect them from the service valves.
  2. Use a Pipe Cutter if Necessary: If the refrigerant lines are not long enough to disconnect easily, use a pipe cutter or close-quarters zero clearance pipe cutter to carefully sever the lines.
  3. Cap the Refrigerant Lines: After disconnecting the refrigerant lines, immediately cap the open ends to prevent any contaminants from entering the system.

Dispose of the Refrigerant Properly

  1. Recover the Refrigerant: If you plan to reuse the refrigerant, use a refrigerant recovery system to safely capture and store the remaining refrigerant in the system.
  2. Dispose of the Refrigerant: Refrigerant is harmful to the environment and must be disposed of properly. Contact a local HVAC professional or refrigerant recycling center to ensure the safe and environmentally responsible disposal of the refrigerant.

Reconnect the System (If Necessary)

If you plan to reinstall the mini-split system in the future, you’ll need to reconnect the electrical wiring and refrigerant lines. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or consult a licensed HVAC technician to ensure a proper and safe reconnection.


Disconnecting a mini-split system requires attention to detail and adherence to safety protocols. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can safely disconnect your mini-split system and prepare it for relocation or disposal. Remember, if you are not comfortable performing these tasks, it is always best to consult a licensed HVAC professional.


  1. How to disconnect air conditioner lines safely – YouTube
  2. Mini-split inside unit Disconnect – Electrician Talk
  3. How To Disconnect an Air Conditioner & Pump Refrigerant Into Unit – YouTube