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  1. #1
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    Default air handler internal condensate device?

    I was explaining to a client why the heatpump air handler in the finished basement needed a secondary condensate drain, etc., when the agent said that the last time I brought that up the builder told him that the air handler had an internal device, like a water detector or float switch, etc., built into the unit.
    This sounded bogus to me, so I called Goodman, and they verified that for their equipment, anyway, it was bogus.
    Does anyone know of any manufacturer that includes an internal condensate device of some kind that takes the place of a secondary drain?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: air handler internal condensate device?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    the builder told him that the air handler had an internal device, like a water detector or float switch, etc., built into the unit.

    ...

    Does anyone know of any manufacturer that includes an internal condensate device of some kind that takes the place of a secondary drain?
    It is allowed by code (if it was done according to the code exception). What I explain to the owners is that a secondary condensate line will drain the overflowing water to the outside, the shut off switch simply shuts the unit off and any overflowing water now goes inside.

    Thought I should add the code: (bold and underlining are mine)
    - M1411.3.1 Auxiliary and secondary drain systems. In addition to the requirements of Section M1411.3, a secondary drain or auxiliary drain pan shall be required for each cooling or evaporator coil 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. Such piping shall maintain a minimum horizontal slope in the direction of discharge of not less than 1/8 unit vertical in 12 units horizontal (1-percent slope). Drain piping shall be a minimum of 3/4-inch (19 mm) nominal pipe size. One of the following methods shall be used:
    - - 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, the overflow drain line or the equipment-supplied drain pan, located at a point higher than the primary drain line connection and below the overflow rim of such pan.


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

  3. #3
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: air handler internal condensate device?

    Secondary drain line at the least or float cut off switch in the secondary drain hole. No one needs a code or rule. Just common sense. Show your client and the Realtor and the builder this picture I took today for the reason for a secondary something. The top of the heat exchanger was rotted and the evap coil was leaking into the exchanger due to no secondary drain or cut off switch. As to your question. I have never heard of or seen a system with a built in float cut off switch

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Near Philly, Pa.
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    1,643

    Cool Re: air handler internal condensate device?

    John, I think he is confusing the secondary heat exchanger drain on a CAT IV furnace with the aux. drain on the evap. pan.

    Mfrs don't add anything they don't have to that would:
    a) possibly cause their phone to ring with complaints
    b) cost more to produce

    Forget about damage, liability and claims--that's all just about out the window as far as being proactive is concerned. There is no requirement in the ANSI Stds for listing therefore it is not factory installed.

    If someone does find one, I'm sure its one in a thousand.

    Note the coil is not integral to the furnace but a separate component. Can be other brands. The coil mfr. sees it as somebody else's problem. They did provide an aux port, often twice as many coils are made for vertical and horizontal placement.

    What the code is not clear on is what this wet switch should disable. Depending upon the technicians personal preference, some break 'R' meaning power to the whole unit, others break 'Y' just for cooling.

    You may see the condensate pump breaking R while the aux breaks only Y. The logic is, break the device making the water but if possible leave the fan on.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Charlotte NC Licensed in NC and SC
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    597

    Default Re: air handler internal condensate device?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    I was explaining to a client why the heatpump air handler in the finished basement needed a secondary condensate drain, etc., when the agent said that the last time I brought that up the builder told him that the air handler had an internal device, like a water detector or float switch, etc., built into the unit.
    This sounded bogus to me, so I called Goodman, and they verified that for their equipment, anyway, it was bogus.
    Does anyone know of any manufacturer that includes an internal condensate device of some kind that takes the place of a secondary drain?

    Trane units can have these but its an optional part that has to be installed.
    Search for this internal condensate switch kit BAYICSKIT01A to see some of the units that have the capability.

    Bruce King, B.A. King Home Inspections, LLC
    www.BAKingHomeInspections.com
    Certified Master Inspector, Independent Inspectorwww.IndependentInspectors.org

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