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Understanding the Different OD Sizes of Copper Pancake Coils and SWG

Copper pancake coils are widely used in the HVAC industry for their efficient heat transfer capabilities and space-saving designs. In this short blog post, we will explore the significance of different Outside Diameter (OD) sizes of copper pancake coils and their relationship with Standard Wire Gauge (SWG), providing valuable insights for HVAC professionals and enthusiasts.

1. Copper Pancake Coil OD Sizes:

Copper pancake coils are known for their flat, circular shape, making them ideal for compact installations in air conditioning and refrigeration systems. These coils are available in various OD sizes, allowing for flexibility in system design and installation. The most common OD sizes for copper pancake coils include:

a. 1/4" OD: This smaller size is suitable for residential air conditioning systems, small refrigeration units, and applications that require limited cooling capacity.

b. 3/8" OD: The 3/8" OD copper pancake coils are commonly used in both residential and commercial air conditioning systems. They offer a balance between size and cooling capacity, making them versatile for a range of HVAC applications.

c. 1/2" OD: Copper pancake coils with a 1/2" OD are typically employed in larger residential air conditioning units, some commercial HVAC systems, and medium-sized refrigeration systems.

d. 5/8" OD: The 5/8" OD copper pancake coils are used in larger-scale HVAC applications, including commercial air conditioning systems, heat pumps, and larger refrigeration units.

2. Relationship between OD Sizes and Standard Wire Gauge (SWG):

In addition to the OD sizes, copper pancake coils are also specified using the Standard Wire Gauge (SWG) measurement system. SWG is a standardized system that determines the thickness of the copper tubing used in the pancake coils.

The SWG for copper pancake coils typically ranges from 14 to 22, with a higher number indicating a thinner wall thickness. For instance, a 14 SWG copper pancake coil will have a thicker wall compared to a 22 SWG coil.

The choice of SWG depends on several factors, such as the cooling capacity required, system efficiency, and the level of durability desired. Thicker SWG copper pancake coils provide better resistance to corrosion and physical damage, but they may slightly reduce heat transfer efficiency compared to thinner-walled coils.


Understanding the different Outside Diameter (OD) sizes and Standard Wire Gauge (SWG) of copper pancake coils is crucial for HVAC professionals and enthusiasts alike. The OD sizes determine the physical dimensions of the coils, enabling proper fitting and compatibility with different systems. Meanwhile, the SWG measurement provides insights into the wall thickness, impacting factors such as durability, heat transfer efficiency, and resistance to corrosion.

By selecting the appropriate OD size and SWG for copper pancake coils, HVAC professionals can optimize system performance, ensure space-efficient installations, and maintain efficient heat transfer in air conditioning and refrigeration applications.

View our range of Copper pancake coils, copper pipes and copper fittings here:

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