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  1. #1
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    Default Condensate drain diagram

    Does anyone have a correct diagram or picture of a horizontal (attic) mounted A/C unit with both primary and secondary traps with the vent in the proper location? I would love to have a diagram I could put in my reports to show how it is supposed to be done.
    I keep looking for a correct example on my inspections, but NOBODY does it right! I have gotten close a couple of times, but there is always some kind of defect that I do not want to use as an example.
    Thanks, Jim

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    Jim Luttrall
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    Dallas, Texas

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    Jim,

    I think Jerry Mc. posted one on here before but I can't locate it at this moment. Maybe he can find it if he did.

    Your right, I've never seen the condensate drain lines done correctly either. Seems something is wrong with all of them.

    Found one close the other day but it had condensation pouring out of the secondary to the exterior. So no go.

    It looked correct looking down at it from the front of the unit, but looking at it from the side it was obvious the primary drain line was running uphill causing the condensate to back up into the coil and drain to the secondary.

    Rick


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    As I recall a great deal of discussion took place over this

    This is what both of today's looked like
    Yep, that's over an inch of rusty water in that pan. No float or moisture sensor.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    Your right Barry, that is part of the reason I was so specific in my request. I wanted to avoid beating that horse to death again

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Does anyone have a correct diagram or picture of a horizontal (attic) mounted A/C unit with both primary and secondary traps with the vent in the proper location? I would love to have a diagram I could put in my reports to show how it is supposed to be done.
    I keep looking for a correct example on my inspections, but NOBODY does it right! I have gotten close a couple of times, but there is always some kind of defect that I do not want to use as an example.
    Thanks, Jim
    I took this picture of an installation manual last week at an inspection. Sorry it only talks about the secondary drain. In my area the AHJ's do not require a secondary if a pan is installed with an automatic cutoff attached in the pan.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    Jim
    This is all I could find in my files at the moment - hope it helps?

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    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    Fritz, we are tripping over terminology I think. I don't want to tread on Jerry P's turf here by correcting anyones terminology, but for the sake of clarity, there are three distinct drain systems in most attic mounted a/c units here. The primary drain, the secondary drain, and the emergency or overflow pan and drain.
    Both the primary and secondary drain ports connect to the evaporator drain pan inside the cabinet and will leak conditioned air out the pipe if there is no trap or if the vent is installed on the wrong side of the trap on the primary.
    The emergency overflow pan does not need a trap since it is just an external pan and drain to a conspicuous location.

    Scott the verbiage above the diagram that says in black and white that both the primary and secondary need to be trapped is very helpful. Any idea what brand of unit or model that was?

    Thanks Jerry M. I think I have already stolen most of those from your previous posts, but I will check my files, you never know when you are going to need a good diagram.
    I am still looking for that holy grail photo or diagram that shows everything correct though.
    Thanks everyone!
    Jim

    Jim Luttrall
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    Jim,

    That diagram is in all the Lennox installation manuals, for example:

    http://www.hvac-direct.com/pdf_files...on/505059c.pdf


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    Screen captures for anyone who needs them:

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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    Thanks Michael, I have looked at several Lennox and other instruction sheets and never found the clear cut verbiage until today from you and Scott.
    BTW, what program do you use for the screen capture?
    Jim

    Jim Luttrall
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    Dallas, Texas

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    Fritz, I will agree with you on that, almost every one I see is wrong even in new builds.
    I see bunches of pans that have big rust spots under the secondary pipe due to condensation forming in the pan from the cold air blowing on it.
    As I tell my customers, go up in the attic and pass your hand near the a/c unit and connections when it is running. If you feel cold air; it is wrong.

    Simple explanation that is easily understood by everyone except the guy running the condensate drains!
    I also add to use mineral oil to prime the secondary trap to provide for and prevent evaporation of the trap seal.

    For those math whizzes out there, I would like to see an annual dollar cost of energy for those 3/4 inch holes. I also wonder if the duct blaster testing guys seal those holes during the test. It seems an open 3/4 inch hole or two would eat up most of the leakage tolerance for the duct system. I have read some less than flattering practices for the energy rater techs that work for the builder though.
    Jim

    Jim Luttrall
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    MW Snap here on the laptop. It's pretty good, but I have a better one on the office computer, can't remember its name offhand, I'll have to look it up.

    Meanwhile, can someone point me to the code section which requires that condensate indirect waste drain connections be air gaps rather than air breaks?

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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    I don't want to tread on Jerry P's turf here by correcting anyones terminology, but for the sake of clarity, there are three distinct drain systems in most attic mounted a/c units here. The primary drain, the secondary drain, and the emergency or overflow pan and drain.
    Close.

    - The primary drain,
    - the secondary drain,
    - the auxiliary pan and drain
    - a cutoff switch which will shut the unit off and allow overflowing condensate to run all over, damaging whatever it can

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    Meanwhile, can someone point me to the code section which requires that condensate indirect waste drain connections be air gaps rather than air breaks?
    INDIRECTWASTE PIPE. A waste pipe that discharges into
    the drainage system through an air gap into a trap, fixture or
    receptor.

    While nothing "allows" for the condensate to be connected to a sanitary drain, that would be an "indirect waste" and would fall under the requirements for, and definition of, "indirect wastes", see above.

    However, the above said, I will repost the code section which does not allow for condensate to be connected to the sanitary waste system through the trap as shown in that drawing:

    - P2706.3 Prohibited waste receptors.
    Plumbing fixtures that are used for domestic or culinary purposes shall not be used to receive the discharge of indirect waste piping.
    - - Exceptions:
    - - - 1. A kitchen sink trap is acceptable for use as a receptor
    for a dishwasher.
    - - - 2. A laundry tray is acceptable for use as a receptor for a
    clothes washing machine.

    I.e., the only traps/fixtures used for domestic OR culinary purposes which are allowed to receive indirect wastes, and the only wastes those are allowed to receive are: 1) kitchen sink trap may receive waste from a dishwasher; 2) laundry tray/sink may receive waste from the clothes washing machine.



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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    Thanks.

    So, in theory at least, most every drain pan on a utility room floor is incorrectly plumbed...?

    Oh man... no way I'm gonna' win *that* battle...

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    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 05-01-2008 at 06:47 AM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    So, in theory at least, most very drain pan on a utility room floor is incorrectly plumbed...?
    Yep.

    Oh man... no way I'm gonna' win *that* battle...
    You can, it just takes patience and stick-to-it-tiveness.

    Here is the reference for the water heater pan drain:


    P2801.5.2 Pan drain termination.
    The pan drain shall extend full-size and terminate over a suitably located indirect waste receptor or shall extend to the exterior of the building and terminate not less than 6 inches (152 mm) and not more than 24 inches (610 mm) above the adjacent ground surface.

    Correct, "over", not "into" or "in". And that "over" height must meet the air gap space requirements shown in the code, basically twice as high above the drain as the pipe is large, 2" minimum (basically - it's more complicated, as I showed in the other recent post related to this very thing).


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  17. #17
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    I like this one I saw this week . . .

    [ATTACH][/ATTACH]

    Aaron

    Last edited by Aaron Miller; 05-17-2008 at 12:14 PM.

  18. #18
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    OOooh.... that's goinna create a NAsty smell!!

    rr


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Rushing View Post
    OOooh.... that's goinna create a NAsty smell!!

    rr
    It's trapped what's the problem?

    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    During the winter months, at least where the heating season is longer, evaporation can occur. There is a chance that sewer smells can enter the house. Over the years I only came across one house where sewer smells were entering the house. When I turned on the furnace, it smelled.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    I saw this yesterday..
    I'm used to seeing the "float switch" variety installed on the catch pan.
    this one won't even allow water to hit the pan...

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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    Victor:

    One stop shopping:

    Likely, other's make a similar package.

    Attached Files Attached Files

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Here is the reference for the water heater pan drain:


    P2801.5.2 Pan drain termination.
    The pan drain shall extend full-size and terminate over a suitably located indirect waste receptor or shall extend to the exterior of the building and terminate not less than 6 inches (152 mm) and not more than 24 inches (610 mm) above the adjacent ground surface.

    Correct, "over", not "into" or "in". And that "over" height must meet the air gap space requirements shown in the code, basically twice as high above the drain as the pipe is large, 2" minimum (basically - it's more complicated, as I showed in the other recent post related to this very thing).

    Is there similar language ("over a") for A/C condensate drains?

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    M1411.3 in the 2003 IRC
    Too long for me to type today, but there is a substantial amount of info there.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Condensate drain diagram

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    Is there similar language ("over a") for A/C condensate drains?
    This is a specific as it gets ( which is 'not very' specific) for a/c condensate drains (the main thing it says is 'where not to' discharge to):

    From the 2006 IRC. (underlining is mine)

    - M1411.3 Condensate disposal.
    Condensate from all cooling coils or evaporators shall be conveyed from the drain pan outlet to an approved place of disposal. Condensate shall not discharge into a street, alley or other areas where it would cause a nuisance.



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