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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    116

    Default Secondary condensate in attic

    Ok so I have found myself having to defend my findings. Listing agent sent a HVAC repair tech out to evaluate the AC units in this house I inspected. 2 condenser units are installed at the outside. No fuses were installed in the disconnect panel beside the older unit on the right. Service label on the furnace indicated that both units were evaluated just prior to my inspection. I called that company and they shared with me that both units were found to be in poor condition and were referred to sales for replacement. I actually found the newer unit to be functioning as intended however I called out that there is no secondary condensate discharge pipe in the attic. A also reported that a small puddle of water was observed on the OSB floor beside the catch pan. Buyers agent sent me the response from Cougar Mechanical. I have attached his notes. I would like to read some other thoughts on this. It seems none of us are on the same page here and I cant understand why. Thanks for the help.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Secondary condensate in attic

    For some reason the notes didn't load so I will type his notes exactly as he wrote them.

    Service requested- 2 Ac's not running and home inspector says drain pan too small.

    Upon showing up to the property, I turned both AC sytems on they worked perfectly- Both blowing nice and cold. Also upon inspection of the horizontal unit in attic, found the overflow drain pan to be of sufficient size and placement. Covers underside of coil. Thats all you need. It is deep as well.

    He underlined both however made no mention of installing fuses or making changes to the electrical. At time of inspection fuses were missing and no voltage was detected at the conductors.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Secondary condensate in attic

    In picture 4 you can see the puddle of water beside the pan on the floor. It is leaking from the refrigerant line where it enters the cabinet.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    1,258

    Default Re: Secondary condensate in attic

    When I run into this, my first move is to try to find the instructions for the manufacturer. That usually shuts things down pretty fast as far as the HVAC tech is concerned. This HVAC guy is a little out there. No drain on the pan, I'm assuming. I don't know if I would even bother replying to the other realtor, but I would tell your client that this guy appears pretty incompetent, and I wouldn't take any recommendation from him seriously.

    I like that they were referred to sales for replacement.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,250

    Default Re: Secondary condensate in attic

    Unless they performed some sort of magic on that condenser unit with no fuses in the disconnect, or the disconnect was by-passed (creating a different problem, but still a problem) - they, or someone else, had to have installed the disconnect pullout in that disconnect.

    Still, that white wire in the disconnect is required to be re-identified to other than white or green, is that NM of a suitable size to meet the minimum ampacity on the nameplate?, and that blue wire going to ground is required to be re-identified to green, and, there is no deadfront panel (or did you remove it and it just is not visible in the photo?).

    The right condenser unit is not mounted properly - the left side needs to be fully supported, and neither the right nor the left side should be on wood, that wood should be concrete. I have to wonder 'why' the right unit was raised up that high when the left unit is left down that low.

    The air handler in the attic, photos 3 and 4 both look to be the same unit, and the auxiliary condensate pan IS too small, it is required to be at least 3" larger than the unit above it.

    Additionally, there is no trap in the primary condensate drain line; the auxiliary condensate pan requires either a drain line from it or a water level shut off switch to shut the unit off before the auxiliary pan overflows.

    The PVC primary condensate drain line is not properly supported, maximum spacing between supports is 4 feet and that looks like more than 4 feet (although the photo may be deceiving in that respect).

    At the far end of the (heater unit? - brown cabinet) is that insulation just coming loose from metal duct, or is that ductboard which has come loose?

    Is there a disconnect at each unit in the attic? A disconnect is required at each unit.

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: Secondary condensate in attic

    One of the important things to remember in cases like this is that the HVAC guy is working for the Seller. The Seller presumably told him to 'save their butt' and get them out of giving a credit or replacement. It's easy to not take those evaluations seriously. It's much harder to stop laughing. I wouldn't respond to the other agent either. You aren't working for them. If the client requests it I provide a punchlist of the obvious issues as Jerry mentioned. Also providing the manual from the manufacturer is a big plus.
    Obviously with units of that age you want to report the age to the client and the likelyhood that replacement will be needed sooner rather than later. The pictures you provided clearly show there are problems. Let the client and his attorney decide how to handle it once you provide the client with further info.
    You may also want to check your local Code. Our Code requires a full drain pan, pan drain and secondary drain installed for any units installed in an attic. There's a couple other requirements but I'd have to look it up specifically.
    I just had a Condo on Sunday where the tankless was run into the same B-vent as the furnace. I flagged it immediately. Listing agent swore up and down it was OK, done by a licensed Plumber and approved by the City. He stated I didn't know what I was talking about. I downloaded the install manual from Bosch and attached it to the report. With a big Warning triangle, bold lettering and separate highlighted box, the install manual specifically stated that it wasn't allowed. So much for Mr. Knowitall agent. I also did a permit search, nothing. Imagine that.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,777

    Default Re: Secondary condensate in attic

    Bill,
    You say that you are defending yourself. Go to the offensive.
    Tell the buyer to have the system inspected by their own HVAC company. And request that the HVAC inspection be specific and detailed in general and specifically detailed in the areas you reported and are in question.
    .
    You saw what you say and wrote what you wrote. Let them disprove your position by siting specific code and manufacture requirements which make the installations correct.

    "... Both blowing nice and cold...." "...overflow drain pan to be of sufficient size and placement. Covers underside of coil. Thats all you need. It is deep as well. " Not very detailed nor specific. Sounds like something the sellers agent would say.

    How about temp at duct was______.
    Delta temp at coil were _______ , ________.
    And so on.


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