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  1. #1
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    Default collapsed condensate line

    On a recent home inspection, I observed the flexible rubber condensate line, from high efficiency furnace/ac, to be totally collapsed for approx. 6ft. en route to the plumbing drain, which was properly trapped. This was a first for me. Any thoughts? Dale Potter Mass. home inspector

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: collapsed condensate line

    Quote Originally Posted by dale potter View Post
    On a recent home inspection, I observed the flexible rubber condensate line, from high efficiency furnace/ac, to be totally collapsed for approx. 6ft. en route to the plumbing drain, which was properly trapped. This was a first for me. Any thoughts? Dale Potter Mass. home inspector
    I would bet that the units manufacturer requires PVC, CPVC, ABS or maybe even flexible polyvinyl hose like you see with a condensation pump. Garden hoses or rubber hoses I doubt are included in the list from the manufacturer.

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: collapsed condensate line

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I would bet that the units manufacturer requires PVC, CPVC, ABS or maybe even flexible polyvinyl hose like you see with a condensation pump. Garden hoses or rubber hoses I doubt are included in the list from the manufacturer.
    If the hose went directly to the sump pump, I can see it possibly being collapsed by the pump. However, if the drain is properly trapped, as is specified in the OP, then the pump would be pulling from the trap, not the hose. In such situation, a collapsed hose would indicate a clogged trap, where the trap is not venting to atmosphere.

    Also, a collapsed hose indicates a possible clog where the collapse starts. Otherwise, it is indicative of the evaporator drain outlet being clogged, which would create negative pressure in the hose. In any case, the evaporator drain pan and connectors need inspection and repair.

    Last edited by Jimmy Roberts; 12-30-2013 at 09:45 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: collapsed condensate line

    Quote Originally Posted by dale potter View Post
    On a recent home inspection, I observed the flexible rubber condensate line, from high efficiency furnace/ac, to be totally collapsed for approx. 6ft. en route to the plumbing drain, which was properly trapped. This was a first for me. Any thoughts? Dale Potter Mass. home inspector
    Welcome to the forum Dale. We are a very visual lot, so pictures help a lot. The long and the short of it is, its a drain line and its collapsed! Further evaluation and repair is needed by licensed HVAC contractor. If you need a reason for concern; if the condensate backs up into the furnace the furnace will detect a fault and cease to function, leaving the home without heat.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: collapsed condensate line

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    The long and the short of it is, its a drain line and its collapsed! Further evaluation and repair is needed by licensed HVAC contractor.
    Huh??

    Why does a collapsed condensate drain hose need "further evaluation" ... either it is ... or it is not ... collapsed, and that is visible - what needs to be 'further evaluated' about that? "Replaced" I could see as in "The collapsed condensate drain hose needs to be replaced with a proper condensate drain made of the proper material."

    Further evaluate a collapsed condensate line which one can see is collapsed? That's a stretch (pun intended) and a new one on me.

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

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    Default Re: collapsed condensate line

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Huh??

    Why does a collapsed condensate drain hose need "further evaluation" ... either it is ... or it is not ... collapsed, and that is visible - what needs to be 'further evaluated' about that? "Replaced" I could see as in "The collapsed condensate drain hose needs to be replaced with a proper condensate drain made of the proper material."

    Further evaluate a collapsed condensate line which one can see is collapsed? That's a stretch (pun intended) and a new one on me.
    Why is it collapsed???? What is the correct corrective action???? Replace with the same type or something else???? Is it installed correctly or not????

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: collapsed condensate line

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Huh??

    Why does a collapsed condensate drain hose need "further evaluation" ... either it is ... or it is not ... collapsed, and that is visible - what needs to be 'further evaluated' about that? "Replaced" I could see as in "The collapsed condensate drain hose needs to be replaced with a proper condensate drain made of the proper material."

    Further evaluate a collapsed condensate line which one can see is collapsed? That's a stretch (pun intended) and a new one on me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Why is it collapsed???? What is the correct corrective action???? Replace with the same type or something else???? Is it installed correctly or not????
    Guess you did not read this part of my post so I will post it again for you:
    - "The collapsed condensate drain hose needs to be replaced with a proper condensate drain made of the proper material."

    Answers all of your questions and still does not require "further evaluation" ... JUST FIX IT - THE CONTRACTOR will determine what to use and how to do it and he/she does not need to be told to "evaluate it" - this is one of those DUH! Things where the contractor does not need to be told what to do, the contractor needs to be able to do THEIR WORK as they see fit. THE HOME INSPECTOR DID THE EVALUATION - "the condensate line is collapsed" - the how, what, where, when, and why does not need to be stated nor does "further evaluation" need to be stated.

    Come on, guys, if you are not going to "evaluate" it then get out of the business, that is what you are being paid to do, pushing that off to the contractor is not doing your job. How many of you guys are still putting down that old 'have licensed contractor evaluate' for each deficient item you find? That was Old Home Inspector lore as to being CYA, all it did was make the inspector look bad because that was what the inspector was getting paid to do.

    How many of you guys, and gals, still put that in your reports for each item? I'm guessing (and hoping) either none or very few still do that.

    'Yes ma'am, sure does look fuzzy and mold-like to me.' - I thought home inspectors were past that crap?

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: collapsed condensate line

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Guess you did not read this part of my post so I will post it again for you:
    - "The collapsed condensate drain hose needs to be replaced with a proper condensate drain made of the proper material."

    Answers all of your questions and still does not require "further evaluation" ... JUST FIX IT - THE CONTRACTOR will determine what to use and how to do it and he/she does not need to be told to "evaluate it" - this is one of those DUH! Things where the contractor does not need to be told what to do, the contractor needs to be able to do THEIR WORK as they see fit. THE HOME INSPECTOR DID THE EVALUATION - "the condensate line is collapsed" - the how, what, where, when, and why does not need to be stated nor does "further evaluation" need to be stated.

    Come on, guys, if you are not going to "evaluate" it then get out of the business, that is what you are being paid to do, pushing that off to the contractor is not doing your job. How many of you guys are still putting down that old 'have licensed contractor evaluate' for each deficient item you find? That was Old Home Inspector lore as to being CYA, all it did was make the inspector look bad because that was what the inspector was getting paid to do.

    How many of you guys, and gals, still put that in your reports for each item? I'm guessing (and hoping) either none or very few still do that.

    'Yes ma'am, sure does look fuzzy and mold-like to me.' - I thought home inspectors were past that crap?
    I wish that were true in NC. The statement "requires further evaluation by licensed" is a means of leaving the door open for the contractor doing the work and documenting that that has been done.

    Taken from NCHLB Code of Ethics (2013-2014) - Student Guide.pdf pg. 27

    "Third, Board Rule 11 NCAC 08.1105(c)(2) states that home inspectors shall not offer or perform any other job function requiring an occupational license unless the home inspector holds such valid occupational license. Combined, the measurements, calculations, conclusions and recommendations performed by the home inspector may be viewed by a licensed contractor as beyond the expertise and28
    training of the home inspector. Similar issues may arise when assessing the condition of electrical, plumbing and structural systems and components."

    I am confident that I know what mold looks like but am hamstrung by the SOB.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: collapsed condensate line

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Guess you did not read this part of my post so I will post it again for you:
    - "The collapsed condensate drain hose needs to be replaced with a proper condensate drain made of the proper material."

    Answers all of your questions and still does not require "further evaluation" ... JUST FIX IT - THE CONTRACTOR will determine what to use and how to do it and he/she does not need to be told to "evaluate it" - this is one of those DUH! Things where the contractor does not need to be told what to do, the contractor needs to be able to do THEIR WORK as they see fit. THE HOME INSPECTOR DID THE EVALUATION - "the condensate line is collapsed" - the how, what, where, when, and why does not need to be stated nor does "further evaluation" need to be stated.

    Come on, guys, if you are not going to "evaluate" it then get out of the business, that is what you are being paid to do, pushing that off to the contractor is not doing your job. How many of you guys are still putting down that old 'have licensed contractor evaluate' for each deficient item you find? That was Old Home Inspector lore as to being CYA, all it did was make the inspector look bad because that was what the inspector was getting paid to do.

    How many of you guys, and gals, still put that in your reports for each item? I'm guessing (and hoping) either none or very few still do that.

    'Yes ma'am, sure does look fuzzy and mold-like to me.' - I thought home inspectors were past that crap?
    I know this is always a debate with you but fact is you answered your question yourself.

    "THE CONTRACTOR will determine what to use and how to do it and he/she does not need to be told to "evaluate it"

    So how is the contractor going to figure out what is going on and what needs to be done for the repair? Wait, I know. He/she is going to do their own evaluation.

    The home inspector found the concern. The contractor will do their own evaluation of the situation before any repairs are done. Yes it needs repair. I believe it is you constantly saying not to get into the hows of fixing. Personally I do but that is a another discussion.

    If I see 6 items right up front I will mention those concerns and then call for a further, (deeper) evaluation as I know the contractor will do. Once all those items are found I also state that an HVAC contractor just may find more items during their evaluation. I call for a complete extended evaluation of the system. All the time unless everything else checks out just wonderfully???????

    We are there for a limited time. If we spent as long as each contractor doing an evaluation of their systems we would be there 3, 4, 5 6 times longer doing a home inspection.

    Foundation? We find the obvious visual concerns and call for an engineer or foundation company to do a further, deeper evaluation. We are not going to spend the time they are just for the foundation and we are not engineers or a foundation company. We know what to look for and write it up. It simply deserves another set of eyes/equipment etc. And what are they going to do when they get there? There own evaluation. Hence it needs further evaluation.

    I hope you had a wonderful year Jerry and I hope the New Year brings you wealth, comfort and happiness.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: collapsed condensate line

    [QUOTE=Vern Heiler;235649]I wish that were true in NC. The statement "requires further evaluation by licensed" is a means of leaving the door open for the contractor doing the work and documenting that that has been done.

    Taken from NCHLB Code of Ethics (2013-2014) - Student Guide.pdf pg. 27

    "Third, Board Rule 11 NCAC 08.1105(c)(2) states that home inspectors shall not offer or perform any other job function requiring an occupational license unless the home inspector holds such valid occupational license. Combined, the measurements, calculations, conclusions and recommendations performed by the home inspector may be viewed by a licensed contractor as beyond the expertise and28
    training of the home inspector. Similar issues may arise when assessing the condition of electrical, plumbing and structural systems and components."[quote]

    Nothing in there (I downloaded the Student Guide and read through that part) says or indicates that the home inspector is not doing the 'evaluation', in fact the opposite may be the case; also, nothing in there says that the home inspector is to write "further evaluation by licensed contractor" either.

    I am confident that I know what mold looks like but am hamstrung by the SOB.
    I am sure that most people who have gone through grade school and above 'know what mold looks like'.

    What to heck do you mean by "but am hamstrung by the SOB" ... I know what "SOB" typically means, but I doubt that is the meaning you were giving it, or maybe you were giving it that meaning and another meaning too?

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

  11. #11
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    Default Re: collapsed condensate line

    What to heck do you mean by "but am hamstrung by the SOB" ... I know what "SOB" typically means, but I doubt that is the meaning you were giving it, or maybe you were giving it that meaning and another meaning too?

    Must have been a typo, SOP

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: collapsed condensate line

    I recommend that the condensate line be 3/4 PVC as the furnace condensate is acidic and can deteriorated the rubber and clear poly type. Not a big deal here, recommend that it be replaced.

    Dan Hagman
    ProSite Home Inspections
    Des Moines, Iowa

  13. #13
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    Default Re: collapsed condensate line

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hagman View Post
    I recommend that the condensate line be 3/4 PVC as the furnace condensate is acidic and can deteriorated the rubber and clear poly type. Not a big deal here, recommend that it be replaced.
    When I was not retired and designing communications rooms, I recommended (read that "specified") 1" copper gravity drains. Pumps always stopped at the most critical times.... middle of snow storms, etc., and as the alarms actually worked we would know. For some reason, things would grow in the plastic lines, that is why copper.


  14. #14
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    Lightbulb Re: collapsed condensate line

    Quote Originally Posted by dale potter View Post
    I observed the flexible rubber condensate line . . . to be totally collapsed for approx. 6ft. en route to the plumbing drain, which was properly trapped. This was a first for me. Any thoughts?
    Did this condensate drain run across the floor to the floor drain? Could something have been sitting on the hose that would have crushed it? Could it be so old that the rubber /material is breaking down?

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
    www.housesmithe.com

  15. #15
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    Default Re: collapsed condensate line

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Aldering View Post
    Did this condensate drain run across the floor to the floor drain? Could something have been sitting on the hose that would have crushed it? Could it be so old that the rubber /material is breaking down?
    If it ran across the floor it should have been flagged for no mechanical protection.


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