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  1. #1
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    Question Secondary condensation drain

    Almost every attic installation I find the following:
    Primary drain is installed correctly with trap and routed to exterior. Secondary drain port has plug left in it. The unit has drain pan below it with a secondary drain coming off of it and routed to exterior. My question is how should the secondary line be connected. Should it be connected directly to the drain line coming off the pan with a trap installed after that?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Secondary condensation drain

    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Tarter View Post
    Almost every attic installation I find the following:
    Primary drain is installed correctly with trap and routed to exterior. Secondary drain port has plug left in it.
    Not good, see below.

    The unit has drain pan below it with a secondary drain coming off of it and routed to exterior.
    That is actually an auxiliary pan and auxiliary drain, which would be a tercerary drain line, however, there are options available to not have this drain line.

    My question is how should the secondary line be connected.
    Yes, absolutely! There should be a primary condensate drain line with a trap, and a secondary condensate drain line with a trap.

    Now, where than secondary condensate drain line drains to is the only question, it could be drained to the auxiliary drain pan or it could be drained to the exterior.

    Should it be connected directly to the drain line coming off the pan with a trap installed after that?
    Off the secondary condensate opening in the unit is what you are referring to, correct? If so, then yes, that is where it should be connected and it is also required to be trapped.

    The auxiliary drain line off the auxiliary drain pan is not required to be trapped.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Secondary condensation drain

    So what your saying is that the secondary drain with trap can drain directly into the axillary drain pan below.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Secondary condensation drain

    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Tarter View Post
    So what your saying is that the secondary drain with trap can drain directly into the axillary drain pan below.

    Trent,

    As one option, yes.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  5. #5
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Secondary condensation drain

    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Tarter View Post
    Almost every attic installation I find the following:
    Primary drain is installed correctly with trap and routed to exterior. Secondary drain port has plug left in it. The unit has drain pan below it with a secondary drain coming off of it and routed to exterior. My question is how should the secondary line be connected. Should it be connected directly to the drain line coming off the pan with a trap installed after that?

    Do the primaries you see have a cleanout then a trap then a vent. If not they are wrong as well. As far as just having a plug in the secondary drain line that is completely wrong then the water backs up into the unit and IF the a coil cbinet is sealed up well it will not even drip into the overflow pan.

    My opinion is that the secondary drain line should have a cleanout then a trap then a vent. Or the secondary drain opening should have a float switch installed in a short piece of line so if it does back up into the secondary drain line the float switch rises and shuts the system down alerting the occupants that there is a problem and they need to call an HVAC company for repairs.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Secondary condensation drain

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Do the primaries you see have a cleanout then a trap then a vent. If not they are wrong as well.

    My opinion is that the secondary drain line should have a cleanout then a trap then a vent.
    Ahhh ... I see in the second part you added "my opinion" ... good because there is no requirement for a "clean out then a trap then a vent" and not having them is NOT wrong.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Secondary condensation drain

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Ahhh ... I see in the second part you added "my opinion" ... good because there is no requirement for a "clean out then a trap then a vent" and not having them is NOT wrong.

    Stupid isn't wrong ?????? Why would one not have a cleanout instead of just glued joints. Push a brush thru and cleaned out. Why do something half way. Just because a code does not say anything about needing one is it not our Holier than though opinion suppose to include common sense realated good building sense ideas. Any good HVAC company I have run into spends the extra dollar (if that) on parts and another 5 minutes (if that on labor and adds a trap. With out a clean out how would one dump bleach down the drain and thru the trap with out cutting a line or opening the A coil cabinet. That to me is in the good building practices book of things to do. Again, any good HVAC company will have a trap cleanout/bleach hole


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Secondary condensation drain

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Stupid isn't wrong ??????
    Not when we are talking about what is REQUIRED.

    Stupid is stupid. And of course STUPID IS WRONG, but we were talking about what was REQUIRED, in which case BEING STUPID IT NOT wrong.

    Did that make any sense?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  9. #9
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Secondary condensation drain

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Not when we are talking about what is REQUIRED.

    Stupid is stupid. And of course STUPID IS WRONG, but we were talking about what was REQUIRED, in which case BEING STUPID IT NOT wrong.

    Did that make any sense?
    Perfect sence that "stupid is right"


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Secondary condensation drain

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Perfect sence that "stupid is right"

    Ted,

    I said "stupid is stupid", which does not make stupid is right.

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

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Secondary condensation drain

    I'm stupid for reading all the stupid replies......... Now if we can just get dumb and dumber to reply!

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Secondary condensation drain

    Jerry,

    Have you ever seen one installed properly and do you possibly have a picture or a diagram to show how the condensate drain lines should be installed?

    Rick


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Secondary condensation drain

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Jerry,

    Have you ever seen one installed properly and do you possibly have a picture or a diagram to show how the condensate drain lines should be installed?

    Rick

    Rick,

    I believe someone here posted a photo a while back which showed the condensate lines routed properly and we all commented on it.

    There are several options, so making a drawing would include drawing the options too.

    Basically, though:

    1) Primary condensate drain line:
    - - requires a trap as close to the unit as possible
    - - needs to drain to the exterior
    - - may have a cleanout between the trap and the unit but is not required
    - - may have a vent on the far side of the trap away from the unit but is not required
    - - may have shut off switch installed here, or

    2) Secondary condensate drain line:
    - - requires a trap as close to the unit as possible
    - - may be drained to exterior
    - - may be drained to auxiliary drain pan
    - - may have a cleanout between the trap and the unit but is not required
    - - may have a vent on the far side of the trap away from the unit but is not required
    - - may have shut off switch installed ... or here, or

    3) Auxiliary drain pan:
    - - may be drained to a conspicuous place
    - - may have shut off switch

    4) Equipment condensate drain pan:
    - - may have shut off switch ... or here

    As you can see, that could make for an interesting to follow drawing.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Secondary condensation drain

    First one is the norm the second is the exception and I would like to hug the guy .........not that way

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    Mike Schulz License 393
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  15. #15
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Secondary condensation drain

    Getting close but not a cigar yet. Still looking. I do have a couple of almost perfect ones some where.

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  16. #16
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Secondary condensation drain

    Getting closer but no cleanout or insulation

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Secondary condensation drain

    Mine is pretty good. Clean outs with caps. Primary to exterior, secondary to pan, with drain from pan to exterior and float switch on pan for back up. They should insulate but not required here.

    What I like better is the thing a mig jig that screws in the secondary on the unit and wired to shut the unit off. I'm guessing it's a float switch?

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Secondary condensation drain

    Mike,

    That looks like a poor drain pan installation though. How is it to drain being what appears to be "level". Was there a slope on the pan?

    Every HVAC contractor has told me that the emergency drain pan should be strapped underneath the unit and not be laying on the decking as shown in your picture.

    Opinions?

    rick


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Secondary condensation drain

    Never heard of strapping, what would it's purpose be?
    The pan was designed for HVAC. Not sure it's pitched but would not matter. The drain is at the bottom edge of the side lip and you have a backup float.

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Secondary condensation drain

    Thats a lot of piping work.

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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Secondary condensation drain

    Three times the traps needed and they still didn't get it right
    LOL

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

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