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Thread: Condensate pump

  1. #1
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    Default Condensate pump

    Is it proper to have the condensate drain trapped before entering the condensate pump. Also why is a GFCI outlet required. Would this not prohibit condensate from draining when the GFCI is tripped?

    Thanks in advance,
    Sid

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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by sidney alstad View Post
    Is it proper to have the condensate drain trapped before entering the condensate pump. Also why is a GFCI outlet required. Would this not prohibit condensate from draining when the GFCI is tripped?

    Thanks in advance,
    Sid
    Depends, but the trap is to stop air moving in and out of the condensate line not for the sewer gas.

    GFCI - Wet is not as bad as dead.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    When you say "Depends", what does this mean. In the past I know that I had seen traps before entering the condensate pump. I have uploaded a picture of yesterday's encounter that was not trapped. Is this okay as well?...and I have uploaded one more picture of PEX being utilized for the dishwasher drain pipe. I had never seen this?..it has to be hard to use the high loop method with PEX. Is PEX an approved drain line?

    Sid

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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by sidney alstad View Post
    When you say "Depends", what does this mean. In the past I know that I had seen traps before entering the condensate pump. I have uploaded a picture of yesterday's encounter that was not trapped. Is this okay as well?...and I have uploaded one more picture of PEX being utilized for the dishwasher drain pipe. I had never seen this?..it has to be hard to use the high loop method with PEX. Is PEX an approved drain line?

    Sid
    "Depends" answer was because you did not provide a picture or specifics like "Furnace condensate drain" or "A/C condensate," and depends on whether the unit is inside the conditioned space or outside like in an attic. While you need to follow the manufacturers specifications in all respects, leaking conditioned air into an unconditioned area ranks higher on my list than if it leaks into a conditioned space.

    As for your specific picture, yes it should have a trap and is specified as such by most manufacturers on both the primary and secondary drains of air conditioning units. I know of no exemptions based on the use of a condensate pump or not.

    I would recommend posting the dishwasher drain in the appropriate section for a better response and to avoid confusion.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by sidney alstad View Post
    Is it proper to have the condensate drain trapped before entering the condensate pump. Also why is a GFCI outlet required. Would this not prohibit condensate from draining when the GFCI is tripped?

    Thanks in advance,
    Sid
    The GFCI protected outlet at the AC condenser outside is where the GFCI is required. It is there for the HVAC tech working out there with electric tools and such for his electric shock protection where it could possibly be very wet or even damp outside with that metal cabinet, water, solid connection to the ground etc etc etc.

    As far as the trap in a condensate line.......There is always suppose to be a trap in a condensate line.

    The pump draws water down in the after it fills up the receptacle a bit. The pump is not drawing directly out of the condensate drain line. The condensate drain line drips into that receptacle. It does not sit in the water.


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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    I thought it should be trapped (condensate line) at all times. The realtor was present and he informed me that he's seen numerous condensate lines that were not trapped, and that had me second guessing myself.
    One of the reasons I inquired about the condensate pump plugged into the GFCI outlet was that each time I turned on the two bathroom switches, the GFCI in the adjoining utility room would trip. There were several outlets downstream of this GFCI that were connected to it. It may be a faulty GFCI.
    I have a couple of inquiries to address with a code official on Monday morning and may ask him also about the trap although we are not allowed to mention code in our inspection reports in NC.

    Thank you Jim for your answers.


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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Sidney,
    I took a look at the NC SOP's and could not find anywhere where it says an inspector can not cite Code.
    Keep in mind that I am not saying you should, but I can't find where it says you CAN'T.
    JF


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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Jack,

    I should clarify, if we do cite code, the entire report must be written up per code for said year of construction. I believe I heard at the last CE that the NCHILB under pressure from the National Board of Realtors has adapted this. I will search their newsletter.

    Sid


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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by sidney alstad View Post
    I thought it should be trapped (condensate line) at all times. The realtor was present and he informed me that he's seen numerous condensate lines that were not trapped, and that had me second guessing myself.
    One of the reasons I inquired about the condensate pump plugged into the GFCI outlet was that each time I turned on the two bathroom switches, the GFCI in the adjoining utility room would trip. There were several outlets downstream of this GFCI that were connected to it. It may be a faulty GFCI.
    I have a couple of inquiries to address with a code official on Monday morning and may ask him also about the trap although we are not allowed to mention code in our inspection reports in NC.

    Thank you Jim for your answers.
    I do not call out the lack of a P-trap in systems where the condensate drain is after the blower motor as it is in typical gas heater systems. If however, the drain is prior to the blower as it is in most heat pumps, the I call out the lack of a trap.

    I made this decision after speaking to engineers at Trane here in Tyler.

    Bruce

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by JB Thompson View Post
    I do not call out the lack of a P-trap in systems where the condensate drain is after the blower motor as it is in typical gas heater systems. If however, the drain is prior to the blower as it is in most heat pumps, the I call out the lack of a trap.

    I made this decision after speaking to engineers at Trane here in Tyler
    .

    Bruce
    One way it is slightly drawing air in the other way it is blowing conditioned air out. Why draw in outside air unless it is done elsewhere intentionally or blow conditioned air into an attic space wasting a serious amount of energy.

    I inspected a home last last week with four systems. All four systems were blowing conditioned air out the 3/4 inch primary and secondary line. That would be like cutting a 3 inch round hole in the side of each unit and blowing the conditioned air into the attic. No multiply that times 4 systems. Now you have a 12 inch hole in the side of a unit in the side of one of the units.

    Does it really matter what Trane says. We are home inspectors. We write up concerns in the home whether it be for repair, safety or just throwing money out the window. That is what we are all about.....is it not. Either way it is not right.

    Either way I write it up and explain it to my clients on the report and verbally.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    On condensing furnaces, every manufacturer supplied condensate fitting is trapped. As for trapping to a pump, If the pump can be assured of having at least a residual amount of condensate, a pipe that is angle cut and terminates at or near the bottom of said pump should satisfy all codes.


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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Sid,
    Thats sounds like folklore to me. I see nothing about citing codes anywhere in the NC SOP's.
    Not trying to argue here, but I just don't see it anywhere. I know there's nothing like that in ASHI Sop, or TN SOP.

    I have a feeling someone stated an "opinion" about citing code, and then it gets repeated a few times, and the next thing you know, someone says it's a requirement.

    However, I would not put it past a Board of Realtors trying to put there finger into the laws and regulations for home inspectors. Very interesting.

    I think if it was something the BOR is trying to implement, I would get a big group of HI's to get very vocal about not letting them set your SOP's.
    JF


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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Jack, I have pasted amended board rules below:

    see line 21


    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']Senate Bill 1007*-Third Edition Page 5[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']1 PART IV. HOME INSPECTION REPORTS[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']2 SECTION 4.1. G.S. 143-151.58 is amended by adding two new subsections to[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']3 read:[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']4 "(a1) Summary Page. A written report provided under subsection (a) of this section for[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']5 a prepurchase home inspection of three or more systems must include a summary page that[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']6 contains the information required by this subsection. All other subject matters pertaining to the[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']7 home inspection must appear in the body of the report. The summary page must contain the[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']8 following statement: 'This summary page is not the entire report. The complete report may[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']9 include additional information of interest or concern to you. It is strongly recommended that[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']10 you promptly read the complete report. For information regarding the negotiability of any item[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']11 in this report under the real estate purchase contract, contact your North Carolina real estate[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']12 agent or an attorney.'[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']13 The summary page must describe any system or component of the home that does not[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']14 function as intended, allowing for normal wear and tear. The summary page may describe the[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']15 following:[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']16 (1) Any system or component that, based upon documented visible evidence,[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']17 either requires subsequent examination because the system or component[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']18 appears not to function as intended or that requires further investigation by a[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']19 specialist.[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']20 (2) Any system or component that poses a safety concern.[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']21 (a2) State Building Code. If a licensee includes a deficiency in the written report of a[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']22 home inspection that is stated as a violation of the North Carolina State Residential Building[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']23 Code, the licensee must do all of the following:[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']24 (1) Determine the construction date or dates of the home.[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']25 (2) Determine the State and municipal building codes in effect at the time of[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']26 construction.[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']27 (3) Conduct the home inspection using the building codes in effect at the time of[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']28 the construction."[/FONT]


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by sidney alstad View Post
    Jack, I have pasted amended board rules below:

    see line 21


    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']Senate Bill 1007*-Third Edition Page 5[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']1 PART IV. HOME INSPECTION REPORTS[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']2 SECTION 4.1. G.S. 143-151.58 is amended by adding two new subsections to[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']3 read:[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']4 "(a1) Summary Page. A written report provided under subsection (a) of this section for[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']5 a prepurchase home inspection of three or more systems must include a summary page that[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']6 contains the information required by this subsection. All other subject matters pertaining to the[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']7 home inspection must appear in the body of the report. The summary page must contain the[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']8 following statement: 'This summary page is not the entire report. The complete report may[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']9 include additional information of interest or concern to you. It is strongly recommended that[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']10 you promptly read the complete report. For information regarding the negotiability of any item[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']11 in this report under the real estate purchase contract, contact your North Carolina real estate[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']12 agent or an attorney.'[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']13 The summary page must describe any system or component of the home that does not[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']14 function as intended, allowing for normal wear and tear. The summary page may describe the[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']15 following:[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']16 (1) Any system or component that, based upon documented visible evidence,[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']17 either requires subsequent examination because the system or component[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']18 appears not to function as intended or that requires further investigation by a[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']19 specialist.[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']20 (2) Any system or component that poses a safety concern.[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']21 (a2) State Building Code. If a licensee includes a deficiency in the written report of a[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']22 home inspection that is stated as a violation of the North Carolina State Residential Building[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']23 Code, the licensee must do all of the following:[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']24 (1) Determine the construction date or dates of the home.[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']25 (2) Determine the State and municipal building codes in effect at the time of[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']26 construction.[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']27 (3) Conduct the home inspection using the building codes in effect at the time of[/font]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']28 the construction."[/font]
    It does not say that you must do the entire inspection according to code and list the code.

    They appear to be talking about the particular item. Not the entire inspection even though by itself, this one 27 (3) read by itself makes it appear that way.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by sidney alstad View Post
    When you say "Depends", what does this mean. In the past I know that I had seen traps before entering the condensate pump. I have uploaded a picture of yesterday's encounter that was not trapped. Is this okay as well?...and I have uploaded one more picture of PEX being utilized for the dishwasher drain pipe. I had never seen this?..it has to be hard to use the high loop method with PEX. Is PEX an approved drain line?

    Sid
    In the picture the secondary condensate drain is capped off. To me this means if the main condensate drain gets blocked the water runs into the bottom of the cabinet and causes it to rust and create a situation where mold can grow inside the unit. Do you guys normally write up a capped off secondary as a repair item? The code does not seem to require the secondary drain to be connected but most manufactures installation instructions does. The code seems to be more concerned about protecting the structure from damage than what happens to the unit if the main drain gets blocked.


  16. #16
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    In the picture the secondary condensate drain is capped off. To me this means if the main condensate drain gets blocked the water runs into the bottom of the cabinet and causes it to rust and create a situation where mold can grow inside the unit. Do you guys normally write up a capped off secondary as a repair item? The code does not seem to require the secondary drain to be connected but most manufactures installation instructions does. The code seems to be more concerned about protecting the structure from damage than what happens to the unit if the main drain gets blocked.

    This is what I like to see and should be done with this particular set up to keep water fram draining back down to the floor below and causing damage.

    A float cut off switch can and should be used in so many instances it would save a lot of grief later down the road. This includes just blowing conditioned air in to the no conditioned space it may be in such as an attic.

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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by sidney alstad View Post
    Jack, I have pasted amended board rules below:

    see line 21


    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']Senate Bill 1007*-Third Edition Page 5[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']1 PART IV. HOME INSPECTION REPORTS[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']2 SECTION 4.1. G.S. 143-151.58 is amended by adding two new subsections to[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']3 read:[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']4 "(a1) Summary Page. A written report provided under subsection (a) of this section for[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']5 a prepurchase home inspection of three or more systems must include a summary page that[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']6 contains the information required by this subsection. All other subject matters pertaining to the[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']7 home inspection must appear in the body of the report. The summary page must contain the[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']8 following statement: 'This summary page is not the entire report. The complete report may[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']9 include additional information of interest or concern to you. It is strongly recommended that[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']10 you promptly read the complete report. For information regarding the negotiability of any item[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']11 in this report under the real estate purchase contract, contact your North Carolina real estate[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']12 agent or an attorney.'[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']13 The summary page must describe any system or component of the home that does not[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']14 function as intended, allowing for normal wear and tear. The summary page may describe the[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']15 following:[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']16 (1) Any system or component that, based upon documented visible evidence,[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']17 either requires subsequent examination because the system or component[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']18 appears not to function as intended or that requires further investigation by a[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']19 specialist.[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']20 (2) Any system or component that poses a safety concern.[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']21 (a2) State Building Code. If a licensee includes a deficiency in the written report of a[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']22 home inspection that is stated as a violation of the North Carolina State Residential Building[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']23 Code, the licensee must do all of the following:[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']24 (1) Determine the construction date or dates of the home.[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']25 (2) Determine the State and municipal building codes in effect at the time of[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']26 construction.[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']27 (3) Conduct the home inspection using the building codes in effect at the time of[/FONT]
    [FONT='Times New Roman','serif']28 the construction."[/FONT]
    Not a problem........ Simply say that X does not meet established building practices and it should be corrected! OR I found that X is not installed properly and for increased safety it needs to be corrected. If it is not corrected it could cause a fire or death.

    Always a way to say something is wrong without citing the code!

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

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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    "(a2) State Building Code. If a licensee includes a deficiency in the written report of a home inspection that is stated as a violation of the North Carolina State Residential Building Code, the licensee must do all of the following:
    (1) Determine the construction date or dates of the home.
    (2) Determine the State and municipal building codes in effect at the time of construction.
    (3) Conduct the home inspection using the building codes in effect at the time of the construction."

    Notice it specifically states if the report references the NC Residential Building Code. NC adopts the IRC almost completely in whole, Last I checked it adopted the NEC with only 8 exceptions of which it only delayed adoption of the 8 items for a year. The current NC SOP only restricts you from using the NC RESIDENTIAL BUILDING CODE. If you feel you must refer to CODE in the report, reference the IRC, not the NC RBC.

    As Scott mentioned, the phrase Commonly Accepted Building Practices very effectively skirts the specific reference to any code.

    The issue regarding traps in condensate lines is a MANUFACTURERS INSTALLATION requirement. No need to even worry about code here.

    Just because a Realtor says its OK, does not mean its OK. You are the expert on building inspection, not the Realtor. Just because it is that way on every house on the street, or sold by the Realtor, does not make it right. It just means it is being done wrong lots of times. 9 out ot 10 manufactured stone installations are wrong.

    Hopefully you have taken the NC mandatory training for this year. If not, you only have 3 more months. You will notice that the licensing board makes several mentions that it expects home inspectors to become more familiar with building code and other building reference material. It even references appendix M of the building code.

    Read, study, learn the code. Use it as a tool to help you inspect. If the agent wants to tell you how to do your job, then offer some suggestions on how she might do her job.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  19. #19
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    This is what I like to see and should be done with this particular set up to keep water fram draining back down to the floor below and causing damage.

    A float cut off switch can and should be used in so many instances it would save a lot of grief later down the road. This includes just blowing conditioned air in to the no conditioned space it may be in such as an attic.
    Your picture is what I had in mind also. I always write up a capped off secondary drain as needing repair.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by sidney alstad View Post
    Jack, I have pasted amended board rules below:

    see line 21


    Senate Bill 1007*-Third Edition Page 5

    1. PART IV. HOME INSPECTION REPORTS
    2. SECTION 4.1. G.S. 143-151.58 is amended by adding two new subsections to
    3. read:
    4. "(a1) Summary Page. A written report provided under subsection (a) of this section for
    5. a prepurchase home inspection of three or more systems must include a summary page that
    6. contains the information required by this subsection. All other subject matters pertaining to the
    7. home inspection must appear in the body of the report. The summary page must contain the
    8. following statement: 'This summary page is not the entire report. The complete report may
    9. include additional information of interest or concern to you. It is strongly recommended that
    10. you promptly read the complete report. For information regarding the negotiability of any item
    11. in this report under the real estate purchase contract, contact your North Carolina real estate
    12. agent or an attorney.
    13. The summary page must describe any system or component of the home that does not
    14. function as intended, allowing for normal wear and tear. The summary page may describe the
    15. following:
    16. (1) Any system or component that, based upon documented visible evidence,
    17. either requires subsequent examination because the system or component
    18. appears not to function as intended or that requires further investigation by a
    19. specialist.
    20. (2) Any system or component that poses a safety concern.
    21. (a2) State Building Code. If a licensee includes a deficiency in the written report of a
    22. home inspection that is stated as a violation of the North Carolina State Residential Building
    23. Code, the licensee must do all of the following:
    24. (1) Determine the construction date or dates of the home.
    25. (2) Determine the State and municipal building codes in effect at the time of
    26. construction.
    27. (3) Conduct the home inspection using the building codes in effect at the time of
    28. the construction.
    Okay, now that I can read it...and without indicating any opinion on what the language of the above does or does not say, nor its impact...

    Has this Bill actually been pased by your entire legislature, been harmonized, signed into law, codified, and become effective in law? (Thinking of the myraid of such bills which are not every session in all States/Commonwealths).


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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    T.M.,

    You realize that photo example isn't really "endorsable", as a trap or primary condensate drain, right?

    One cannot take materials, such as PVC or other, torch it, bend it, fold it, modify it in ways not permitted and call the result a trap, or endorse it as a proper, let alone a functioning trap or drain!

    As pictured, I would further expect the possiblity of contamination of the pan. Not an indirect connection.

    I doubt it will properly function as a "trap", let alone properly function as a drain. Even with a float switch up at the pan, the pictured would not prevent water damage via column of water up your "vent".



    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 07-18-2010 at 03:17 PM.

  22. #22
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    T.M.,

    You realize that photo example isn't really "endorsable", as a trap or primary condensate drain, right?

    One cannot take materials, such as PVC or other, torch it, bend it, fold it, modify it in ways not permitted and call the result a trap, or endorse it as a proper, let alone a functioning trap or drain!

    As pictured, I would further expect the possiblity of contamination of the pan. Not an indirect connection.

    I doubt it will properly function as a "trap", let alone properly function as a drain. Even with a float switch up at the pan, the pictured would not prevent water damage via column of water up your "vent".

    They function perfectly. You can actually buy them exactly like that and there are in fact some slightly smaller ones. I see them installed a hundred times a year or more and they all function quite well.


  23. #23
    David Bell's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    T.M.,

    You realize that photo example isn't really "endorsable", as a trap or primary condensate drain, right?

    One cannot take materials, such as PVC or other, torch it, bend it, fold it, modify it in ways not permitted and call the result a trap, or endorse it as a proper, let alone a functioning trap or drain!

    As pictured, I would further expect the possiblity of contamination of the pan. Not an indirect connection.

    I doubt it will properly function as a "trap", let alone properly function as a drain. Even with a float switch up at the pan, the pictured would not prevent water damage via column of water up your "vent".

    An indirect connection to what? Can't see where it drains to. My guess is outdoors.The tee extension for trap cleaning is higher than the top of the drain pan, the switch is located at the secondary which if wired correctly will shut the unit off in time to prevent damage. I see no issues with the drain here.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    It is pinched. It will not function properly, nor prevent sucking of air via the "vent". Someone was an elbow (offset) or two short on the install.


  25. #25
    David Bell's Avatar
    David Bell Guest

    Default Re: Condensate pump

    It's a preformed trap sold daily at any HVAC supply house. I have installed hundreds of these and they perform as well as an other trap on the market. I have since switched to see thru traps, but that is only to further prevent clogs.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bell View Post
    It's a preformed trap sold daily at any HVAC supply house. I have installed hundreds of these and they perform as well as an other trap on the market. I have since switched to see thru traps, but that is only to further prevent clogs.
    I just had to preserve that. I won't bother to respond at the moment, as the tears in my eyes from laughing so hard make hunting and pecking out a response rather diffuclt. Thank you for the best chuckle since the recent reduction in subscribed members.


  27. #27
    David Bell's Avatar
    David Bell Guest

    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    I just had to preserve that. I won't bother to respond at the moment, as the tears in my eyes from laughing so hard make hunting and pecking out a response rather diffuclt. Thank you for the best chuckle since the recent reduction in subscribed members.
    I do what I can to help. But if thats the best laugh you have had in some time I feel sorry for you.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    This is what I like to see and should be done with this particular set up to keep water fram draining back down to the floor below and causing damage.

    A float cut off switch can and should be used in so many instances it would save a lot of grief later down the road. This includes just blowing conditioned air in to the no conditioned space it may be in such as an attic.

    Ted, this appears to be for the internal drip pan. I was under the impression that an external drip pan was also required and the condensate line was to be insulated to prevent condensation from dripping off the chilled pipe (not required for the drip pan pipe). Could you explain please.

    Rich


  29. #29
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Goeken View Post
    Ted, this appears to be for the internal drip pan. I was under the impression that an external drip pan was also required and the condensate line was to be insulated to prevent condensation from dripping off the chilled pipe (not required for the drip pan pipe). Could you explain please.

    Rich
    In this picture there is no way of adding an external pan as the return air pulls up from below.

    In a perfect world where a float cut of switch never hangs up or go bad an overflow pan would never be required. But we all know a horizontal application should have one.

    I have seen the set up in the picture even on horizontal applications with a drip pan under then as well.Just this past Friday I saw an attic horizontal application that had a float cut of switch in the overflow line and in the pan. Thursday I saw one in the main condensation drain line and in the pan. I did not quite get that one but hey, why not.I guess the overflow line could get blocked up as well and if the primary gets backed up and the water did not go out the secondary then the water rises and cuts the unit off.I should add that there was also one in the pan.

    As far as the pipe being insulated in the picture, well, it does get cold and can sweat and sometimes does drip on the floor but in some of these cases where it is all electric these closets do not have the weather stripping around the door and the sweating is extremely slight. It should be insulated.

    Anyway I love the idea of the float switch being in the overflow (secondary) but there is that time when that float may hang up and still not keep the water from flowing out of the inner pan and onto the floor. Again this application prohibits a pan. I guess you could lay one on the floor below but that is going a little deep as well.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Rich,

    I inquired about the secondary pan because they where installing these air handlers in second floor closest around here. I was told as long as it has that secondary shut off switch a pan was not needed. Until recently I have never seen a condensate insulated. More contractors are picking up on this and implementing the installation "but" I don't believe it's enforced here.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  31. #31
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Here are the requirements in NC. As you can see you don't always needs a backup drain pan.

    307.2.3 Auxiliary and secondary drain systems.
    In addition
    to the requirements of Section 307.2.1, a secondary
    drain or auxiliary drain pan shall be required for each cooling
    or evaporator coil or fuel-fired appliance that produces
    condensate, where damage to any building components will
    occur as a result of overflow from the equipment drain pan
    or stoppage in the condensate drain piping. One of the following
    methods shall be used:

    1. An auxiliary drain pan with a separate drain shall be
    provided under the coils on which condensation will
    occur. The auxiliary pan drain shall discharge to a
    conspicuous point ofdisposal to alert occupants in the
    event of a stoppage ofthe primary drain. The pan shall
    have a minimum depth of 1.5 inches (38 mm), shall
    not be less than 3 inches (76 mm) larger than the unit
    or the coil dimensions in width and length and shall be
    constructed of corrosion-resistant material. Metallic
    pans shall have a minimum thickness of not less than
    0.0276-inch (0.7 mm) galvanized sheet metal. Nonmetallic
    pans shall have a minimum thickness of not
    less than 0.0625 inch (1.6 mm).

    2. A separate overflow drain line shall be connected to
    the drain pan provided with the equipment. Such
    overflow drain shall discharge to a conspicuous point
    of disposal to alert occupants in the event of a stoppage
    of the primary drain. The overflow drain line
    shall connect to the drain pan at a higher level than the
    primary drain connection.

    3. An auxiliary drain pan without a separate drain line
    shall be provided under the coils on which condensate
    will occur. Such pan shall be equipped with a
    water-level detection device conforming to UL 508
    that will shut off the equipment served prior to overflow
    of the pan. The auxiliary drain pan shall be constructed
    in accordance with Item 1 of this section.

    4. A water level detection device conforming to UL 508
    shall be provided that will shut off the equipment
    served in the event that the primary drain is blocked.
    The device shall be installed in the primary drain line
    upstream of the primary drain line trap, the overflow
    drain line, or in the equipment-supplied drain pan,

    located at a point higher than the primary drain line
    connection and below the overflow rim of such pan.
    Exception:
    Fuel-fired appliances that automatically
    shut down operation in the event of a stoppage in the
    condensate drainage system.

    307.2.3.1 Water-level monitoring devices.
    On
    down-flow units and all other coils that do not have a secondary
    drain and do not have a means to install an auxiliary
    drain pan, a water-level monitoring device shall be
    installed inside the primary drain pan. This device shall
    shut off the equipment served in the event that the primary
    drain becomes restricted. Externally installed
    devices and devices installed in the drain line shall not be

    permitted.



  32. #32
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    Rich,

    I inquired about the secondary pan because they where installing these air handlers in second floor closest around here. I was told as long as it has that secondary shut off switch a pan was not needed. Until recently I have never seen a condensate insulated. More contractors are picking up on this and implementing the installation "but" I don't believe it's enforced here.
    Am I imagining things again or have you not been on here for a while


  33. #33
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Hey Ted, your correct I haven't. I have been so slammed with inspections that I hadn't had time for anything. Then July came and it skidded to a stop,hence frequent this site for some great advise, laughter and bantering... lol. Just noticed A.D banned..... wtf happened. Never mind I see your thin skinned post.
    On another note I believe the last time i was on here you where just getting out of the hospital. I hope your fairing well.

    Last edited by Mike Schulz; 07-22-2010 at 05:10 PM.
    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  34. #34
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    Hey Ted, your correct I haven't. I have been so slammed with inspections that I hadn't had time for anything. Then July came and it skidded to a stop,hence frequent this site for some great advise, laughter and bantering... lol. Just noticed A.D banned..... wtf happened.
    Ahhh, just a little something, something. I feel that will change soon. Yeah never know.

    AD being a bit harsh to some that found it a little heavy. Then he was trying to point out a particular individual about free advertising and a combination of things. Then there was just a bit of a session of snide remarks. You know....the usual stuff.

    Some are very happy and many are a bit disappointed.

    I would be in the crowd that happens to like the good, the bad and the ugly. It sure keeps thing fresh.


  35. #35
    Bert de Haan's Avatar
    Bert de Haan Guest

    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    .....

    I inspected a home last last week with four systems. All four systems were blowing conditioned air out the 3/4 inch primary and secondary line. That would be like cutting a 3 inch round hole in the side of each unit and blowing the conditioned air into the attic. No multiply that times 4 systems. Now you have a 12 inch hole in the side of a unit in the side of one of the units.

    ....
    I understand your point but your math is faulty.


  36. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Florida
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    552

    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    Here are the requirements in NC. As you can see you don't always needs a backup drain pan.

    307.2.3 Auxiliary and secondary drain systems.........
    OK... see that. From my experience, unless otherwise specified, the contractor will go the most economical route and use a sensor---drip pans, if F&I correctly, will cost more. From an inspection point of view, would you note the presence or absence of the sensor as SOP in a report?


  37. #37
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Bert de Haan View Post
    I understand your point but your math is faulty.
    What I did not mention were the small air leaks around the rest of each unit.

    I may have been stretching it a bit but the seriousness of wasted energy on conditioned air blowing into an attic adds up to quite a wallet full of cash at the end of the year.


  38. #38
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    "Depends" answer was because you did not provide a picture or specifics like "Furnace condensate drain" or "A/C condensate," and depends on whether the unit is inside the conditioned space or outside like in an attic. While you need to follow the manufacturers specifications in all respects, leaking conditioned air into an unconditioned area ranks higher on my list than if it leaks into a conditioned space. ... snipped ...
    Traps are per manufacturer's instructions. I've found a lot of installation instructions left behind from various manufacturers. Most frequent brands I find in this area include Goodman, Carrier, Trane, York, Ruud, and Lennox. I do not find an across-the-board uniform requirement for traps or the handling of secondary drains. I would love to see the industry create a set of uniform installation instructions. Jim do you have a source for installation instructions? Most manufacturer's send you to a dealer for info.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  39. #39
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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Stuart those left behind manuals are required to be left with the equipment. I agree on your trap statement. The ports are there so make it standard to utilize them.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  40. #40
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tyler, TX
    Posts
    719

    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    ....

    Does it really matter what Trane says. We are home inspectors. We write up concerns in the home whether it be for repair, safety or just throwing money out the window. That is what we are all about.....is it not. Either way it is not right.

    Either way I write it up and explain it to my clients on the report and verbally.
    Well, I was looking for my installation instructions (for my units) and the evaporator coil instructions aren't there. My point in mentioning the Trane engineers is this: if they don't recommend it and (subsequently it is NOT in their instructions), then I guess, "Yes", it does matter what they say (mfr supersedes code). But as I said, I cannot find my instructions and they've removed all of their online instructions.

    I have a call in to one of the engineers to see if he can email me some.

    I haven't looked at other mfrs b/c time has been fleeting of late. All I'm saying is that I'm not as concerned with it on positive pressure systems especially if the unit is properly connected above the trap at a bathroom sink or another appropriate place.

    Bruce

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  41. #41
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tyler, TX
    Posts
    719

    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Ahhh, just a little something, something. I feel that will change soon. Yeah never know.

    AD being a bit harsh to some that found it a little heavy. Then he was trying to point out a particular individual about free advertising and a combination of things. Then there was just a bit of a session of snide remarks. You know....the usual stuff.

    Some are very happy and many are a bit disappointed.

    I would be in the crowd that happens to like the good, the bad and the ugly. It sure keeps thing fresh.
    What happened? When? How do you all know?

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  42. #42
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Fredericksburg, VA
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    885

    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    Stuart those left behind manuals are required to be left with the equipment. I agree on your trap statement. The ports are there so make it standard to utilize them.
    I have an "Advisory" category in my reports. I think instead of worrying about whether traps and the handling of secondary drains are recommended or required is just putting in a statement of why they should be installed and what can happen if not.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  43. #43
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    I have an "Advisory" category in my reports. I think instead of worrying about whether traps and the handling of secondary drains are recommended or required is just putting in a statement of why they should be installed and what can happen if not.
    I agree with you. Explaining everything to the client is paramount. Here in the Great State of Texas, we must report.....

    The inspector shall:
    (1) report the type of system(s); and
    (2) report as Deficient:
    (A) inoperative unit(s);
    (B) inadequate cooling as demonstrated by its performance in the reasonable judgment of the inspector;
    (C) inadequate access and clearances;
    (D) noticeable vibration of the blower fan or condensing fan;
    (E) deficiencies in the condensate drain and auxiliary/secondary pan and drain system;
    (F) water in the auxiliary/secondary drain pan;
    (G) a primary drain pipe that terminates in a sewer vent;
    (H) missing or deficient refrigerant pipe insulation;
    (I) dirty evaporator or condensing coils, where accessible;
    (J) damaged casings on the coils;
    (K) a condensing unit lacking adequate clearances or air circulation or that has deficiencies in the condition of fins, location, levelness, or elevation above ground surfaces;
    (L) deficiencies in mounting and operation of window or wall units; and
    (M) deficiencies in thermostats.

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  44. #44
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: Condensate pump

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    Traps are per manufacturer's instructions. I've found a lot of installation instructions left behind from various manufacturers. Most frequent brands I find in this area include Goodman, Carrier, Trane, York, Ruud, and Lennox. I do not find an across-the-board uniform requirement for traps or the handling of secondary drains. I would love to see the industry create a set of uniform installation instructions. Jim do you have a source for installation instructions? Most manufacturer's send you to a dealer for info.
    Stu - Which installation guide are you specifically looking for? I've recently been searching for several HVAC products and have been able to get a number downloaded. I may have one that you are looking for.

    As JB noted Trane no longer lists their guides on their main website. They push all that out to local dealers. If you happen across the right dealer you can snare a bunch of their guides. I was fortunate in that just two days ago..


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