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  1. #1
    Tony Escamilla's Avatar
    Tony Escamilla Guest

    Default Condensate Line or Drip Pan

    I was inspecting 2 HVAC units in an attic yesterday and came to realize that neither of the systems had a primary or secondary condensate line. Rather, each on drained directly into the drip pan. This has caused rust damage of the pans and the underside of the evaporators. My question is this: Is a primary condensate line required??? See photo.


    Tony Escamilla
    Villa Home Inspections
    Los Angeles Home Inspector, San Bernardino Home Inspection, Orange County Home Inspction - Certified Home Inspector

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Condensate Line or Drip Pan

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Escamilla View Post
    I was inspecting 2 HVAC units in an attic yesterday and came to realize that neither of the systems had a primary or secondary condensate line. Rather, each on drained directly into the drip pan. This has caused rust damage of the pans and the underside of the evaporators. My question is this: Is a primary condensate line required??? See photo.


    Tony Escamilla
    Villa Home Inspections
    Los Angeles Home Inspector, San Bernardino Home Inspection, Orange County Home Inspction - Certified Home Inspector
    Yes, you must have a drain line with a proper trap on that line to keep air from being sucked into the system.

    The rust is most likely from the internal pan in the coil cabinet. Chances are that pan is rusted out and needs replacing if you are seeing damage to the underside of the cabinet.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
    David Bell's Avatar
    David Bell Guest

    Default Re: Condensate Line or Drip Pan

    I am not seeing a coil drain. Was the coil installed correctly? Or are the condensate taps located towards the top of the coil? If so the coil was never converted for horizontal use, or is not for horizontal use at all.


  4. #4
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Condensate Line or Drip Pan

    Unless the drain lines are in the back of the unit. On occasion the lines will be coming in on one side and they will have drains on the backside. Crazier things have happened. sometimes.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,049

    Default Re: Condensate Line or Drip Pan

    It needs a primary and secondary drain system. The pan is intended as part of the secondary backup. That setup is expensive damage waiting to happen.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Condensate Line or Drip Pan

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    It needs a primary and secondary drain system. The pan is intended as part of the secondary backup.

    Originally, it was intended to be an auxiliary pan under the unit in case both the primary and the secondary backed up, but then builders and contractors started complaining and gripping and ... today's codes allow what was prohibited in the past, and the owners/occupants suffer the consequences for the builders and contractors being able to save a few bucks.

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

  7. #7
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Condensate Line or Drip Pan

    Here is the coil in a house I inspected last month. The house was 10 year old and has been sold once before. The evaporator coil was installed on it's side so all of the condensate collected in the bottom of the coil cabinet because there was no drain pan in this position. The seller had the coil re-installed properly but I told the buyer not to expect the coil cabinet to last as long as it should if all had been installed correctly in the first place. There is still no secondary drain but we are working on that.

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