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Thread: Condensate line

  1. #1
    Larry King's Avatar
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    Default Condensate line

    Hey guys / gals could you look at the attached photo and let me know if you think this looks okay?
    Thanks,

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Condensate line

    Nope, way too many things wrong with it.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  3. #3
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensate line

    Pa leeze

    Like Jerry said. Way to much going on there and that is a close up pic. I can only imagine what the overall shot of that set up looks like.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Condensate line

    Improper trap on primary drain. Secondary drain line not installed. Need to remove plug, install elbow and make sure the pan has a secondary drain line routed to the exterior.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Condensate line

    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Tarter View Post
    Improper trap on primary drain.
    Improper in several ways.

    Secondary drain line not installed. Need to remove plug, install elbow
    That would only change what is wrong as that is the wrong way to correct the no secondary condensate line - it also requires a trap, a proper trap.

    and make sure the pan has a secondary drain line routed to the exterior.
    Or has a shut off switch ... or both.

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  6. #6
    Craig Ervin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensate line

    It's not that bad. The pipe is configured to make a 3" trap, and then is vented after the trap like it should be. The issue I do see is California does not allow the use of hard 90's in the trap. So if they used a couple 45 it would be 100% legal. The overflow in the A-coil is still pluged and that should have a trap too, before dumping into the pan. As stated above. ( can't see drain in pad, but it could be there) I like to see a Tee and not an ell at the Coil side so it can be blowed clean if need be, the cap would not be glued on for access.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Condensate line

    Given that the secondary trap would be dry unless (ok, until) the primary clogged, do people put mineral oil or some such thing in the secondary?

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  8. #8
    Craig Ervin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensate line

    It's not a bad idea for attic mounted A-coils. Add some water and then a bit of oil to help with evaporation. Otherwise it just a 3/4" hole to blow cold air into the attic. I like to see a Tee there too, so water and oil can be added into the secondary trap.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Condensate line

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Ervin View Post
    It's not that bad. The pipe is configured to make a 3" trap, and then is vented after the trap like it should be.
    - The trap should be ... horizontal ...
    - The vent should be higher then the primary condensate opening ...
    - The primary condensate drain line to the right is sloped to much ... (which would corrected when the drain is rotated horizontal) ...
    - The secondary condensate drain opening is plugged ...
    - The secondary condensate drain opening (obviously - because it is plugged) does not have a secondary drain line and no trap for the missing secondary drain line ...

    The AHU is setting on a concrete block turned the wrong way and is setting on the galvanized pan ...
    The duct work looks like it is dropping on the right side ...

    And you don't consider that "bad"?

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Condensate line

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    Given that the secondary trap would be dry unless (ok, until) the primary clogged, do people put mineral oil or some such thing in the secondary?
    Yes, because the secondary condensate drain line should be trapped and the trap should not be dry.

    Mineral oil, glycerin, etc.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  11. #11
    Craig Ervin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensate line

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    -
    And you don't consider that "bad"?
    Well at least it has the vent after the trap, that seems to be always missing! The local build dept goes from one thing to the next, but a while back it was condensate drains.

    Thats why I added the building dept PDF doc, as that is what they want to see here locally. To bad they don't have a few pic showing right and wrong. I looked on-line and every pic I could find had issues

    I thought I had some pic's from a last nov/dec, but I guess not. A few drains done right

    I need to make a drawing or find some good pictures.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Condensate line

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Ervin View Post
    I need to make a drawing or find some good pictures.

    Look in the installation instructions, they have good drawings and pictures in there ... hmmmmm ... is that possibly for those installers and inspectors (code) who have a problem reading ... hmmmm ...

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  13. #13
    Mike Truss Guy's Avatar
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    Wink Re: Condensate line

    Drunken contractors?


  14. #14
    Craig Ervin's Avatar
    Craig Ervin Guest

    Default Re: Condensate line

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Look in the installation instructions, they have good drawings and pictures in there ... hmmmmm ... is that possibly for those installers and inspectors (code) who have a problem reading ... hmmmm ...
    I take it you have not look in one of those install manuals lately, why do you think there are so many ways people plumb condensate drains.

    Look at page 14, as you can see they don't show how to plumb an a-coil
    Furnace manufactures are only concern with the furnace. I don't have a pdf version of an a/c coil handy, but they says basiclly nothing too.

    No disrepect here, but I think you got it all wrong on that last post. Maybe I got it all wrong and you will post up some manufactures PDF on condensate plumbing

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  15. #15
    Craig Ervin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensate line

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Truss Guy View Post
    Drunken contractors?
    Mike do you have any technically input? Maybe you could post a pic of a condensate drain line done correctly for us

    Edit... My goal here is to create a possible sticky, as I see a lot of post related to condensate drains on this forum. It would be nice to have some technical documents and pictures to help others.


  16. #16
    Mike Truss Guy's Avatar
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    Cool Re: Condensate line

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Ervin View Post
    Mike do you have any technically input? Maybe you could post a pic of a condensate drain line done correctly for us

    Edit... My goal here is to create a possible sticky, as I see a lot of post related to condensate drains on this forum. It would be nice to have some technical documents and pictures to help others.
    If I were a plumber or AC contractor, I would say more, but that's the only explanation I could think of for the photo. Look in the structural issue threads for some of my technical input. Have a great day and good luck with your goal. Goals are good.


    ..and drunk contractors are a reality out there. You can sometimes spot the signs by the beer cans left on the site on Friday afternoon.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Condensate line

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Ervin View Post
    I take it you have not look in one of those install manuals lately, why do you think there are so many ways people plumb condensate drains.

    Look at page 14, as you can see they don't show how to plumb an a-coil
    Furnace manufactures are only concern with the furnace. I don't have a pdf version of an a/c coil handy, but they says basiclly nothing too.
    So, let me get this straight ... you are saying it does not do something which is not being discussed, and does not show what is not even addressed in that installation instructions (the installation of the evaporator coil) then admit you don't have the installation instructions for the evaporator coil ... and they want us to believe you when you say it is wrong?

    First and foremost, post applicable installation instructions.

    Your response was like saying that the repair manual for my car does not show the 4 wheel drive transfer case when I was asking about the F 350 4x4 we used to own. Huh?

    Keep focused ... concentrate on the pendulum as it swings back and forth ... concentrate ... you are getting drowsy .... when you awake you will remember what was being discussed ...

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  18. #18
    Craig Ervin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensate line

    So Jerry you don't have any tech to post either.

    So let's open this up. Show off you condensate plumbing knowledge.

    Post a Pic, drawing whatever. It must pass the build dept inspection as outlined in the PDF I posted above.

    Now I have read some of Jerrys post and he knows what it takes to do it correctly thats not the issue, it's posting the supporting documentation to do it right.


  19. #19
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensate line

    Park City is in the Mountains at about 7200 feet and most of the year AC is not used. If you inspect ten condensate lines 8 of them will look like this. Could the county and or city over ride the IRC code, dictating secondary lines and traps are not required. I get into this every time with the seller, and some HVAC subs, regarding traps , secondary lines and shut offs.

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Condensate line

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Ervin View Post
    So Jerry you don't have any tech to post either.

    So let's open this up. Show off you condensate plumbing knowledge.

    Post a Pic, drawing whatever. It must pass the build dept inspection as outlined in the PDF I posted above.
    Craig,

    I forgot you are new to this board ... (you ask yourself what does that matter) ... otherwise you would have seen those posted many times.

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  21. #21
    Craig Ervin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensate line

    Thanks Jerry, now you can see where I (we) get in trouble. Both of those drawings forgot to add a clean out. Locally a clean out is required.
    Can't use hard 90's as depicted in one drawing. Do you see a vent after the trap?? No so that would be the third thing wrong. So now you see where I was going with this.

    I know each location is different, so we need to just go the UBC here.

    Now you know why I was going to make a drawing. Just need to find the right program, but will use a pencil if all else fails.




  22. #22
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    Default Re: Condensate line

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Ervin View Post
    Thanks Jerry, now you can see where I (we) get in trouble. Both of those drawings forgot to add a clean out. Locally a clean out is required.
    Can't use hard 90's as depicted in one drawing. Do you see a vent after the trap?? No so that would be the third thing wrong.

    I knew CA as weird, but to require those things is really far out man.

    Whether or not they are actually required would depend on the language in the code. *IF* the code referred only to installation in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions, then nothing else would be required, however, *IF* the code referred to installation in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions AND this code ... then the installation must meet the most restrictive of BOTH.

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  23. #23
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensate line

    I have several pics but seem to be able to only pull up this one. Not quite right but this I use to explain to clients.

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  24. #24
    Mike Truss Guy's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Condensate line

    Our condensate lines all just penetrate the wall and drip on the ground. I had not seen them connect to a sink before. In my house the subs neglected to continue the lines all the way to the outside. They terminated inside the wall at the top plate. About 2 months after we moved in we had a humid day and all of a sudden the ceiling in the dining room got a huge wet spot. I checked every plumbing joint in the bathroom above before the builder figured it out. They fixed it all for free of course.


  25. #25
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensate line

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Truss Guy View Post
    Our condensate lines all just penetrate the wall and drip on the ground. I had not seen them connect to a sink before. In my house the subs neglected to continue the lines all the way to the outside. They terminated inside the wall at the top plate. About 2 months after we moved in we had a humid day and all of a sudden the ceiling in the dining room got a huge wet spot. I checked every plumbing joint in the bathroom above before the builder figured it out. They fixed it all for free of course.

    Shhhh

    Don't comment to much on that pic. The debate is huge as to whether it is right or wrong and both side are adamant about it.

    They were probably thinking they were doing the drain thing correctly at your home and them just drip it right outside next to the foundation. That picture (as far as I am concerned) is the best way to handle condensation water other than a trap at the secondary drain line or a float type cut off switch.

    Some people concider the attachement under the sink at the tail piece double trapped. Of course it is not because it does not end directly at the trap but above it. Some don't like the idea of stagnant condensate water in the drain line of the sink. Of course the bath sink is one of the most heavily used and hand sanitizers, alcohol from moutwash and of course sink cleaning goodies like bleach and things keep this from becoming a problem. Just my opinion and I should not have posted it as you will see above I deleted it a couple of times to keep the thunder down.


  26. #26
    Craig Ervin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensate line

    I fixed the drawing Ted, as a lot of places don't allow the condensate to be connected to the city sewer.
    But clean-outs and traps are a must, some building inspectors also want to see a vent after the trap, like every other plumbing drain.
    Each building inspector has there pet peeves and even if the installer guide says it's not needed and they ask for it. Its a no brainier just change it to what they want as it takes little time and money. I save my challenges for when it does cost $$$. So for me, I install a clean-out, trap, vent even when the installer guide might not call for clean-out, or vent. Everyone has a trap

    I forgot the camera and will post a couple pic as that explains it without reading.









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    Last edited by Craig Ervin; 04-25-2009 at 12:28 AM.

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