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  1. #1
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    Default See photo...FLOAT SWTICH QUESTION FOR THE HVAC EXPERTS

    I have seen some older float switches that immediately shut down the unit when tested by lifting the float. Today I saw paired two AC units with the same brand of "Electrical disconnect" (Do not want to call it a "Float switch" since it may not be designed to "Float" but rather to "detect" water.

    Anyway, these switches had a movable shaft that I lifted and held up for a minute. Neither AC unit was interrupted and contined to operate.

    See photo. Does anyone know if these devices are "water detectors" or float switches"?? Went to the website and the specs did not really say how it worked. Should they shut off when I left the small sliding shaft?

    By the way, these were brand new units in a brand new home.See photo.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: See photo...FLOAT SWITCH QUESTION FOR THE HVAC EXPERTS

    They may have shut the outdoor unit (condenser unit) off and not the air handler.

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: See photo...FLOAT SWTICH QUESTION FOR THE HVAC EXPERTS

    Hi Jerry, the condensers stayed on. Full system stayed on.


  4. #4
    David Bell's Avatar
    David Bell Guest

    Default Re: See photo...FLOAT SWTICH QUESTION FOR THE HVAC EXPERTS

    The switch is not wired correctly, or no good. I wire them to break r so it shuts down the whole system and the homeowner knows there is a problem. I use those often and have yet to have a problem with any of them. I like them because the float height is adjustable to the pan depth.


  5. #5
    Phil Brody's Avatar
    Phil Brody Guest

    Default Re: See photo...FLOAT SWTICH QUESTION FOR THE HVAC EXPERTS

    Agreed, probably not wired right, but isn't any real water in the pan a sign of a problem ? Why not a wet switch ?


  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: See photo...FLOAT SWTICH QUESTION FOR THE HVAC EXPERTS

    A sign of a problem is when there is water in the overflow/emergency pan!

    Jess
    www.aplusinspector.com
    (815) 941-2345

  7. #7
    David Bell's Avatar
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    Default Re: See photo...FLOAT SWTICH QUESTION FOR THE HVAC EXPERTS

    I prefer float switches to sensors especially in attic installs.


  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Philadelphia PA
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    Default Re: See photo...FLOAT SWTICH QUESTION FOR THE HVAC EXPERTS

    Is there any problem with testing floats like this by hand? Does the AC equipment care if you shut it down and then back on again quickly, or repeatedly?

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: See photo...FLOAT SWTICH QUESTION FOR THE HVAC EXPERTS

    Only when the AC is on. It puts a strain on the compressor and the compressor won't kick on until it has been off long enough so that it won't overload the breaker.

    Don't know about the heat strip on an electric heater though...


  10. #10
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    Default Re: See photo...FLOAT SWTICH QUESTION FOR THE HVAC EXPERTS

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    Only when the AC is on....
    Well, isn't that when you'd be testing the float? When the AC is on?

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: See photo...FLOAT SWTICH QUESTION FOR THE HVAC EXPERTS

    You could test it with the heat on!


  12. #12
    Phil Brody's Avatar
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    Default Re: See photo...FLOAT SWTICH QUESTION FOR THE HVAC EXPERTS

    You can't test it with the heat on unless it's a heat pump. The unit can be legitimately wired to disable only the compressor. If the unit utilizes heat strips it won't effect functionality.


  13. #13
    David Bell's Avatar
    David Bell Guest

    Default Re: See photo...FLOAT SWTICH QUESTION FOR THE HVAC EXPERTS

    When wired to break R you can test it in any mode. I use these in 95% direct vent horizontal furnace installs also.


  14. #14
    Phil Brody's Avatar
    Phil Brody Guest

    Default Re: See photo...FLOAT SWTICH QUESTION FOR THE HVAC EXPERTS

    But not everybody wires them to break R, most I know interrupt the condenser and break Y. If the condenser continues to run with the switch activated there is a problem.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: See photo...FLOAT SWTICH QUESTION FOR THE HVAC EXPERTS

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Brody View Post
    But not everybody wires them to break R, most I know interrupt the condenser and break Y. If the condenser continues to run with the switch activated there is a problem.

    The manufacturer of that secondary float switch specifies that the unit is be connected to R. I know some will wire it another way, but hey, that's what it says...

    http://www.aquaguardusa.com/index.ph...id=140&lang=en

    Dom.


  16. #16
    David Bell's Avatar
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    Default Re: See photo...FLOAT SWTICH QUESTION FOR THE HVAC EXPERTS

    Just as a sidebar, the condensate does not seem to be trapped before the tee connecting the pan drain. I can't tell from the picture whethter that is the primary or secondary drain but it should not be piped directly together without a trap.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: See photo...FLOAT SWITCH QUESTION FOR THE HVAC EXPERTS

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bell View Post
    Just as a sidebar, the condensate does not seem to be trapped before the tee connecting the pan drain. I can't tell from the picture whethter that is the primary or secondary drain but it should not be piped directly together without a trap.

    What I think you are looking at, at least what I think I am seeing, is:
    a) primary condensate on left which goes to a tee (with a clean out up? hopefully it is not a vent up) then down to ??? (a trap would be correct)
    b) secondary condensate on the right which goes to down to a trap (hopefully, I see something behind the foam insulation)
    c) drain from auxiliary drain pan
    d) moisture detector switch of a float switch style

    Hot Dang! That install at ALL the goodies!

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

  18. #18
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    Default Re: See photo...FLOAT SWTICH QUESTION FOR THE HVAC EXPERTS

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bell View Post
    Just as a sidebar, the condensate does not seem to be trapped before the tee connecting the pan drain. I can't tell from the picture whethter that is the primary or secondary drain but it should not be piped directly together without a trap.
    Yep, and it is hard to tell from the picture but it looks like they have the primary drain vent pipe ahead of the trap which will waste air into the attic along with the secondary that is tied into the drain pan line. In short, there is a bunch of air leaking into the attic and it needs to be fixed with properly positioned traps and drain line vents.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  19. #19
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    Default Re: See photo...FLOAT SWITCH QUESTION FOR THE HVAC EXPERTS

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Yep, and it is hard to tell from the picture but it looks like they have the primary drain vent pipe ahead of the trap which will waste air into the attic along with the secondary that is tied into the drain pan line. In short, there is a bunch of air leaking into the attic and it needs to be fixed with properly positioned traps and drain line vents.

    Unless that is a: (bold added for highlighting)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    What I think you are looking at, at least what I think I am seeing, is:
    a) primary condensate on left which goes to a tee (with a clean out up? hopefully it is not a vent up) then down to ???


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

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