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  1. #1
    David Block's Avatar
    David Block Guest

    Default What were they thinking?

    I was inspecting this 40 year old house that had just recently been rehabbed by an investor. The roof was a couple months old. While on the roof, I didn't see a vent pipe for the furnace and no vent pipes were visible through the exterior walls...I assumed an electric furnace/heat pump system. I found a mid-efficiency gas furnace in the basement and knew right away I was about to find something interesting. In the attic space I found the vent pipe terminating in the attic space. There was a roof vent placed over top of the vent pipe. I know roofers are not HVAC guys but could you really be that dense to think that this setup is alright. Luckily the home has been unoccupied with the utilities shutoff. Who knows how long it would have taken before the roof sheathing caught fire. I love inspecting rehabbed houses...I always find the most unique things.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Chicago IL
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    1,940

    Default Re: What were they thinking?

    I had one like that one time. The owner actually told the roofers to leave the vent in the attic.
    - He didn't like the look of the metal pipe and cap coming out of this new arch. shingle roof.
    - And besides, it's a raw attic, 'Can't you feel all the breeze in here'? 'The fumes will just get blown out'. 'We don't use the furnace that much anyway'.

    I swear it's true. I wish I was making it up. Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut. Him not having kids might have been better for society in the long run.

    www.aic-chicago.com
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: What were they thinking?

    David, I think you are relying on facts not in evidence.

    What were they thinking? Answer, they weren't.

    Nobody can possibly be that ignorant... can they?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  4. #4
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: What were they thinking?

    What were they thinking? Answer, they weren't.
    Let's be fair now. Thinking is not always an option for tradesmen . . . It's not their fault, they just don't have any capacity . . .


  5. #5
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    Default Re: What were they thinking?

    Jim, that's a very good point. The homeowner in my post, also 'thought' it was OK, because they ran the flue over to the roof vent. I think it was about a foot below the vent.
    Other than that, let's not blame it all on the tradesmen, how about just the roofers or the HGTV do it yourselfers?
    Have fun.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Succasunna NJ
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    Default Re: What were they thinking?

    David;

    It also looks like a single wall vent.

    Double wall is needed when passing thru an unconditioned space.

    Darren www.aboutthehouseinspections.com
    'Whizzing & pasting & pooting through the day (Ronnie helping Kenny helping burn his poots away!) (FZ)

  7. #7
    Bob White's Avatar
    Bob White Guest

    Default Re: What were they thinking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Miller View Post
    David;

    It also looks like a single wall vent.

    Double wall is needed when passing thru an unconditioned space.

    But it's not passing through, is it?


  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: What were they thinking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob White View Post
    But it's not passing through, is it?
    Now you are beginning to sound like Jerry, using technicalities in wording and all.

    Crimeny, what's next?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
    Robert Koch's Avatar
    Robert Koch Guest

    Default Re: What were they thinking?

    Passing through the floor/ceiling assembly.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Chicago, IL
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    Default Re: What were they thinking?

    I thought THIS was sorta' special: a little "ramp" catching some sort of leakage or condensation from the far side of the air handler (there is no drain for the pan, but there is a float switch at the far end of the pan, not visible in this picture),.

    I presume they must have installed that elbow and vertical tube because they did not have a plug.

    anyway, mu question is: can you even drain the A-coil's pan from below like that?... I've always see it done on the side on a horizontal air handler.

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  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Default Re: What were they thinking?

    call the city premit department and see if a permit was pulled and if it was--did the city inspect the completion on this---highly think not
    charlie


  12. #12
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    Default Re: What were they thinking?

    Charlie,

    It may have been a permitted job, and that ramp added later.

    Regarding Michael's "I presume they must have installed that elbow and vertical tube because they did not have a plug." ... the city likely 'required' that "vent" for the auxiliary drain pan ... not that it needs one, but, I've actually seen municipal inspectors require the same thing.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
    imported_John Smith Guest

    Default Re: What were they thinking?

    I dont know, is the "ramp" a big deal? Remember in the old days, they used to use chains for downspouts.

    Interesting though


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Chicago, IL
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    Default Re: What were they thinking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    the city likely 'required' that "vent" for the auxiliary drain pan ... not that it needs one, but, I've actually seen municipal inspectors require the same thing.
    In that case, they are clinically insane.

    ------------

    To get back to my question,

    1) Are there A-Coils intended to drain through the bottom like that in horizontal installations... I've never seen one with a condensate drain on the bottom before, only on the sides.

    2) If so, how should the trap be laid out?

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  15. #15

    Default Re: What were they thinking?

    Good morning Michael,

    In answer to your first question, yes, a drain pan can be drained through the bottom if designed to do that by the manufacturer but, like you, I've never seen the application.

    Regarding the second question about trapping the condensate line if there is no diagram on the evaporator cabinet illustrating the trap layout you'll need to refer to the manufacturer's installation instructions.

    One of the great things about the internet is that many manufacturers now put their installation manuals on the net. I've used it many times to determine what was supposed to be done.

    Good luck,

    Don Norman


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