View Full Version : No safety Pan

David Banks
04-27-2007, 02:45 PM
New condo rehab. Second floor. No safety pan. Builder says not needed. He should not leave installation manual around. I felt bad because he was a young guy and was doing some good things. Oh well make the HVAC sub pay.

Eric Barker
04-27-2007, 03:43 PM
Well if the manual can't be used for installation might as well use it to prove the inspector knows what he's talking about. I photo those things a lot when they're laying around - sure stops the debates.

Rick Hurst
04-27-2007, 04:36 PM

That furnace is installed to close to the door when closed. Think its supposed to have a (3) inch minimum clearance.

Tim Moreira
04-27-2007, 07:05 PM
My first thought was there is no pan because there is no clearance to install a pan with the door closed.

Jerry Peck
04-27-2007, 07:59 PM
In Florida, believe it or not, but as of December 6, 2006, an auxiliary drain pan is no longer required, it is 'one of the option', another one of the options, and the one all are now using, is to dead end the secondary condensate drain opening into a shut off switch.

That's right, when the primary condensate line blocks up and overflow into the secondary drain line, the unit shuts off.

Now, I ask (and ask, and ask, and ask, ... ) when you have an iced up coil, what happens to all that melting water when the unit shuts down?

(I have the answer: It overflows all over.)

Thom Walker
04-27-2007, 09:23 PM
Hi David,
I think there might be some confusion with the instructions. Unless I'm missing something, you appear to be in a section of the manual that does not pertain to that specific installation. The page you pictured pertains to upflow, horizontally installed units ABOVE conditioned spaces and with a right side discharge. What you have is a sideflow (down flow), vertically installed unit WITHIN the conditioned spaces and (I assume because it's not in the picture) a top discharge. Though it is true that it is on the second floor, it is still within the conditioned space.

I was also confused by your explanation. Was this one condo on the second floor above another condo, or was it the second floor of the same condo?

That aside, Section M1411.3.1 is far more detailed in IRC 2006 than it was in 2003. Section M1411.3.1.1 is new for IRC 2006 and covers Water level monitoring devices for installations where pan installation is not possible.

Let me be on record for saying installations without auxilliary pans are stupid ideas. See Jerry P's post for the reason. But they will happen, like when some genius chooses a direct upflow system and places it on the second floor. But this was not the case from what I can see in your picture and a pan should have been present. I think Tim nailed it, but was too kind. The builder chose the wrong location because the closet is not big enough.

Let's give the installer the benefit of the doubt. Let's say that there was absolutely nowhere else he could have installed it. Then he would need to install a water level monitoring device in the evaporator coil pan to shut the system down. Otherwise, irrespective of if this is one condo or two; irrespective of if its in or above the conditioned space, he absolutely did need a pan. This is true because to do otherwise could "cause damage to building components from overflow of the equipment drain pan or stoppage of the primary drain."

Rick; the clearance for the furnace unit may be appropriate depending upon the Manufacturer instructions.

Rick Hurst
04-27-2007, 09:49 PM
I've never seen one furnace install that did not recommend a minimum clearance of (3) inches from the front panel.
Every Goodman I've seen does.


Thom Walker
04-27-2007, 10:19 PM
That's why "may" was in bold and underlined.:)

Joe Nernberg
04-27-2007, 10:54 PM
I agree with David. The installation instructions have never let me down. Here are two examples that make it into my inspection report.

David Banks
04-28-2007, 02:48 AM
Rick. I got on Goodman's sight last night and found some High Efficiency furnaces installation manuals and the ones I saw said 1 inch clearance to combustibles in the front. Here is one.
Tim I thought the same thing but the washer had a safety pan in the closet across the way and it fit. Very thin sheet metal.
Thanks All.