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    Default Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    This propane fired furnace (13 YEARS old, located in crawlspace below house) has rudimentary condensate drain lines that I realize are not trapped. But beyond that, how many things are wrong with this?? Two condensate lines are present: one from the AC coil and one from the furnace. How would you describe the problems, beyond the lack of traps.Condensate drain from furnace&AC.JPG

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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernie Simpson View Post
    This propane fired furnace (13 YEARS old, located in crawlspace below house) has rudimentary condensate drain lines that I realize are not trapped. But beyond that, how many things are wrong with this?? Two condensate lines are present: one from the AC coil and one from the furnace. How would you describe the problems, beyond the lack of traps.Condensate drain from furnace&AC.JPG
    If the drain line is close to the bottom of the condensate pump reservoir then it is effectively trapped by water that remains in the bottom. Might not satisfy code as it is not a "trap", but does the job. The overflow switch is not connected to the control panel to stop the compressor or furnace in the event of pump failure.

    Last edited by Vern Heiler; 01-28-2014 at 09:42 PM. Reason: Add switch
    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    It needs an in-line trap on the condensate line that is coming off the evaporator. The trap acts as an air block and prevents stuff (unfiltered air, bugs, etc..) from getting into the system. All manufacturers require them to be installed. The line from the furnace does not need to a trap.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Thank you gentlemen. In addition to my own comments I have inserted yours (in quotes but no attribution - sorry) into the report.


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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    You do not have, from what I see in the picture, a secondary or over flow line into the pan or anywhere else. You also have no float cut off switch visible to cut the unit off stopping the production of condensate water so if all else fails as in the drain line from the pan being block the unit shuts down.

    Both the primary and secondary (overflow drain line) need traps with clean outs at the front of the traps and the primary line needs a vent so water can continue to flow properly after the trap. The traps keep the conditioned air from blowing into the attic added to what Scott indicated. You should also have at least the primary drain line insulated a few feet from the unit as the condensate water is very cold and the pipe will sweat and drip o the insulation/plywood work area/ceiling below.

    HVAC trap.jpg That picture is one way an HVAC man handled it with a trap on the main line and directly into the secondary, overflow line they mounted a float cut off switch. Maybe not the best way to do it but as long as the float cut off switch decides to keep working it should handle the overflow concern quite well. They have no pan under the unit which of course is wrong and no insulation o the main line.

    I showed you that because I like this particular trap but the vent has a cap on it. It does have the clean out for the trap and vent and another cap they can clean the line out back into the unit as well.The vent should be left open and of course extend a few inches above the pipe. If water backs up in the line with the vent the same height as the pipe. Instead of water pushing back into the unit it would overflow the trap. As mentioned there is no pan under this unit to even catch any overflow/back up.

    That pipe you show possible going into the bottom of the sump, is wrong as you can pull water from the trap and of course it really does not act as a trap anyway.


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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    You do not have, from what I see in the picture, a secondary or over flow line into the pan or anywhere else. You also have no float cut off switch visible to cut the unit off stopping the production of condensate water so if all else fails as in the drain line from the pan being block the unit shuts down.

    Both the primary and secondary (overflow drain line) need traps with clean outs at the front of the traps and the primary line needs a vent so water can continue to flow properly after the trap. The traps keep the conditioned air from blowing into the attic added to what Scott indicated. You should also have at least the primary drain line insulated a few feet from the unit as the condensate water is very cold and the pipe will sweat and drip o the insulation/plywood work area/ceiling below.

    HVAC trap.jpg That picture is one way an HVAC man handled it with a trap on the main line and directly into the secondary, overflow line they mounted a float cut off switch. Maybe not the best way to do it but as long as the float cut off switch decides to keep working it should handle the overflow concern quite well. They have no pan under the unit which of course is wrong and no insulation o the main line.

    I showed you that because I like this particular trap but the vent has a cap on it. It does have the clean out for the trap and vent and another cap they can clean the line out back into the unit as well.The vent should be left open and of course extend a few inches above the pipe. If water backs up in the line with the vent the same height as the pipe. Instead of water pushing back into the unit it would overflow the trap. As mentioned there is no pan under this unit to even catch any overflow/back up.

    That pipe you show possible going into the bottom of the sump, is wrong as you can pull water from the trap and of course it really does not act as a trap anyway.
    Ted, the unit is in the crawlspace so an overflow pan is not required. The float cut off switch is inside the condensate pump reservoir (not hooked up). This is a furnace and not a heat pump system so the condensate line has positive air pressure, the water in the reservoir will not be sucked back into the system and if the pipe is close to the bottom of the reservoir it does act as a trap. I consed that it does not meet mfg. installation but it does work all the same.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Ted, the unit is in the crawlspace so an overflow pan is not required. The float cut off switch is inside the condensate pump reservoir (not hooked up). This is a furnace and not a heat pump system so the condensate line has positive air pressure, the water in the reservoir will not be sucked back into the system and if the pipe is close to the bottom of the reservoir it does act as a trap. I consed that it does not meet mfg. installation but it does work all the same.
    That brings up the question. If it is in a crawl why do you say no pan required as you cannot discharge water into a crawl. So if it does back up in the unit then it overflows?after it fills the condenser cabinet up and finds a leak some where to drain out? on to the floor of the crawl?

    Also I did not mean the water would suck back into the unit but the pump when it kicks on would suck the water out of the sump base and pull the water out of the trap! If there were a trap.


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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    That brings up the question. If it is in a crawl why do you say no pan required as you cannot discharge water into a crawl. So if it does back up in the unit then it overflows?after it fills the condenser cabinet up and finds a leak some where to drain out? on to the floor of the crawl?

    Also I did not mean the water would suck back into the unit but the pump when it kicks on would suck the water out of the sump base and pull the water out of the trap! If there were a trap.
    Many of the furnaces/air handlers are in the crawlspace around here. None of the units in the crawlspace have overflow pans installed because the pan is only required to protect finished or conditioned spaces below the condensing coil.

    Because the sump lid is not air tight, the pump would not create a vacuum to pull water out of a trap.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    From the IRC:
    - 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:
    - - - (blah, blah, and more blah)

    Keep in mind the "why" water is not permitted to be discharged into the crawlspace, then re-read this part: "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"

    "Why" is water not allowed to be discharged into the crawlspace?

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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    From the IRC:
    - 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:
    - - - (blah, blah, and more blah)

    Keep in mind the "why" water is not permitted to be discharged into the crawlspace, then re-read this part: "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"

    "Why" is water not allowed to be discharged into the crawlspace?
    I am sure the difference between "discharge" and accidental leak are the reason pans are not installed or required in my area.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    I am sure the difference between "discharge" and accidental leak are the reason pans are not installed or required in my area.
    Vern,

    I can only presume that you missed the part I am using bold and underlining to highlight below.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    From the IRC:
    - 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:
    - - - (blah, blah, and more blah)

    Keep in mind the "why" water is not permitted to be discharged into the crawlspace, then re-read this part: "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"

    "Why" is water not allowed to be discharged into the crawlspace?
    Those parts address your "accidental leak" thinking - that code section does, indeed, address "accidental leak" in the "overflow" and "or stoppage" wording.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Vern,

    I can only presume that you missed the part I am using bold and underlining to highlight below.



    Those parts address your "accidental leak" thinking - that code section does, indeed, address "accidental leak" in the "overflow" and "or stoppage" wording.
    Perhaps you could describe the damage caused by a little water to a crawlspace, typically clay in the Piedmont of NC.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Perhaps you could describe the damage caused by a little water to a crawlspace, typically clay in the Piedmont of NC.
    Elevated moisture and humidity levels.

    From there, what can happen has been discussed here, and shown in photos posted here, on many occasions by many inspectors.

    Any of those inspectors who have seen, discussed, and/posted photos of elevated moisture levels in crawlspace is welcome to describe what they have seen.

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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Elevated moisture and humidity levels.

    From there, what can happen has been discussed here, and shown in photos posted here, on many occasions by many inspectors.

    Any of those inspectors who have seen, discussed, and/posted photos of elevated moisture levels in crawlspace is welcome to describe what they have seen.
    We are talking about an unplanned, infrequent event that does not damage any building component.

    From "SECTION .1100 - NC HOME INSPECTOR STANDARDS OF PRACTICE AND CODE OF ETHICS .1101 DEFINITIONS".

    “Under floor crawl space” means the area within the confines of the foundation and between the ground and the underside of the lowest floor structural component.


    “Component” means a readily accessible and observable aspect of a system, such as a floor, or wall, but not individual pieces such as boards or nails where many similar pieces make up the component.

    The crawlspace soil is not a component.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    We are talking about an unplanned, infrequent event that does not damage any building component.

    From "SECTION .1100 - NC HOME INSPECTOR STANDARDS OF PRACTICE AND CODE OF ETHICS .1101 DEFINITIONS".

    “Under floor crawl space” means the area within the confines of the foundation and between the ground and the underside of the lowest floor structural component.


    “Component” means a readily accessible and observable aspect of a system, such as a floor, or wall, but not individual pieces such as boards or nails where many similar pieces make up the component.

    The crawlspace soil is not a component.
    We are talking about an unplanned event which may well continue on for a long time without notice.

    So, you are trying to say that the floor system is not a component? Seems to me that the floor system, be it floor trusses or floor joists, fits your NC definition of "component" to a tee, or, should I say 'to a tea' and invite you to "Join me for a spot of tea and crumpets old chap"?

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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Perhaps you could describe the damage caused by a little water to a crawlspace, typically clay in the Piedmont of NC.
    I'll bite

    I have seen piers pushing up in the middle of homes due to slight leaks in clay soil making roller coasters of floors wit crawls under them. You say slight leakage. If in fact the main line gets blocked and does not make it to the sump then it is not a slight leak it is a dozen gallons of water a day or more in the summer time swelling that clay soil or just making the crawl damp and the moisture in would rise, mold or rot to form etc etc etc.

    There should be a pan under a unit no matter where it is. The harm caused no matter where it is when the condensate water is running freely in a home, attic crawl space is immeasurable.

    Or something like that!


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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I'll bite

    I have seen piers pushing up in the middle of homes due to slight leaks in clay soil making roller coasters of floors wit crawls under them. You say slight leakage. If in fact the main line gets blocked and does not make it to the sump then it is not a slight leak it is a dozen gallons of water a day or more in the summer time swelling that clay soil or just making the crawl damp and the moisture in would rise, mold or rot to form etc etc etc.

    There should be a pan under a unit no matter where it is. The harm caused no matter where it is when the condensate water is running freely in a home, attic crawl space is immeasurable.

    Or something like that!
    With your and Jerry's logic, there should be a pan under every sink, refrigerator, toilet, tub, and anything else that uses or makes water. If I were to write up a evaporator in a crawlspace without a overflow pan, I would be laughed out of town. When the AHJ does not require it, and logic can't support it, it is not a good idea to put it in the report.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    With your and Jerry's logic, there should be a pan under every sink, refrigerator, toilet, tub, and anything else that uses or makes water. If I were to write up a evaporator in a crawlspace without a overflow pan, I would be laughed out of town. When the AHJ does not require it, and logic can't support it, it is not a good idea to put it in the report.
    All I can say is.....Hw often do you think anyone goes into a crawl?

    That will answer the why question

    As far as sinks etc. You will see in the home if they are leaking

    As far as water heaters you cannot discharge TPRs to crawls or pans to crawls or HVAC systems in the homes to crawl etc

    Not arguing just trying to show you the "Logic" behind it as you say.

    You also cannot discharge dryers to crawls.


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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    All I can say is.....Hw often do you think anyone goes into a crawl?

    That will answer the why question

    As far as sinks etc. You will see in the home if they are leaking

    As far as water heaters you cannot discharge TPRs to crawls or pans to crawls or HVAC systems in the homes to crawl etc

    Not arguing just trying to show you the "Logic" behind it as you say.

    You also cannot discharge dryers to crawls.
    To discharge something is an intentional act.

    I have seen many leaks beneath sinks, refrigerators, tubs, etc. that were only detectable from the crawlspace.

    Let me ask you what you intend to do with the water collected in the pan? The crawlspace is below grade in most cases.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    To discharge something is an intentional act.

    I have seen many leaks beneath sinks, refrigerators, tubs, etc. that were only detectable from the crawlspace.

    Let me ask you what you intend to do with the water collected in the pan? The crawlspace is below grade in most cases.
    Well. What are you going to do with the main line condensate? It is below grade!

    Anyway. Not trying to argue. You just cannot let intentional, possible, maybe, occasional, sometimes, a little or a lot of dribbles to multiple gallons of water drain into the crawl no matter what the reason where it may be coming from. Yes you need a pan under the unit as well as the water heater on the floor above the crawl and yes they all have to drain to the exterior.

    Just have to write it up no matter what goes on in the rest of the neighborhood, town, city, county or state.

    How do you (home owner) keep track of it.

    A funny little thing like maintenance.


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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    The problem is in recommending a pan be installed, which the buyer will request from the seller, and the seller will want to know why he needs to upgrade above and beyond code requirements. Remember the seller can lodge a complaint against the HI as well as the buyer! Not somewhere I want to go!

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    With your and Jerry's logic, there should be a pan under every sink, refrigerator, toilet, tub, and anything else that uses or makes water.
    Nope. The plumbing code does not require it.

    If I were to write up a evaporator in a crawlspace without a overflow pan, I would be laughed out of town. When the AHJ does not require it, and logic can't support it, it is not a good idea to put it in the report.
    Have you discussed this with your AHJ and asked about it?

    When I was in South Florida doing inspections, there were several other inspectors who got together and we started asking the local AHJ why we were not seeing what was in the code ... did not take long and we started seeing those things.

    Same thing happened with some of the Texas inspectors, they started asking why no sediment traps were being installed, after a while they started seeing sediment traps installed.

    Sometimes all it takes is some reasonable discussion and questions and the AHJ thinks about things it never thought about before - and sometimes (many times from my experience) the AHJ begins to address those items with contractors.

    No doubt the contractors will cry foul and say they've 'never had to do that before', but when the AHJ points to the code and says 'there is why' and explains it to the contractors ... the contractors do not have a choice, not if they want to pass inspections.

    Try it, you'll like it.

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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Nope. The plumbing code does not require it.



    Have you discussed this with your AHJ and asked about it?

    When I was in South Florida doing inspections, there were several other inspectors who got together and we started asking the local AHJ why we were not seeing what was in the code ... did not take long and we started seeing those things.

    Same thing happened with some of the Texas inspectors, they started asking why no sediment traps were being installed, after a while they started seeing sediment traps installed.

    Sometimes all it takes is some reasonable discussion and questions and the AHJ thinks about things it never thought about before - and sometimes (many times from my experience) the AHJ begins to address those items with contractors.

    No doubt the contractors will cry foul and say they've 'never had to do that before', but when the AHJ points to the code and says 'there is why' and explains it to the contractors ... the contractors do not have a choice, not if they want to pass inspections.

    Try it, you'll like it.
    From the IRC:
    - 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:
    - - - (blah, blah, and more blah)

    The "a secondary drain or auxiliary drain pan" and the "One of the following methods shall be used:
    - - - (blah, blah, and more blah)" parts are what I see as hurdles in that argument.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler
    (blah, blah, and more blah)" parts are what I see as hurdles in thatrharrell@port-orange.org argument.
    I can post that when I get back to my office.

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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I can post that when I get back to my office.
    The "a secondary drain or auxiliary drain pan" The OR will probably be the bigger issue!

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Vern,

    I am attaching the 2012 NC requirements for auxiliary and secondary condensate drain systems.

    - - - Updated - - -
    My posts got combined together, so I am combining the comments.:
    - Here is another interesting bit from the 2012 NC requirements for condensate pumps.

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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Vern,

    I am attaching the 2012 NC requirements for auxiliary and secondary condensate drain systems.

    - - - Updated - - -
    My posts got combined together, so I am combining the comments.:
    - Here is another interesting bit from the 2012 NC requirements for condensate pumps.
    If the AHJ were to consider moisture in the crawlspace as damage to a building component, installation of a water detection device in the condensate line would satisfy code. A pan does not have to be installed.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    If the AHJ were to consider moisture in the crawlspace as damage to a building component, installation of a water detection device in the condensate line would satisfy code. A pan does not have to be installed.
    A pan was one of four options, actually, a pan may have been two of the four option, I've forgotten what it said and cannot bring it up while I am typing.

    The NC code gives 4 options ... NONE of which are installed, and the condensate pump IS missing the required pan if is supposed to be in - along with the other items which were not correct.

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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    A pan was one of four options, actually, a pan may have been two of the four option, I've forgotten what it said and cannot bring it up while I am typing.

    The NC code gives 4 options ... NONE of which are installed, and the condensate pump IS missing the required pan if is supposed to be in - along with the other items which were not correct.
    Recommending a pan as the "only" acceptable option has been the main topic of this thread, and as you said "NC code gives 4 options". The AHJ still has to consider a leak into the crawlspace as damage to a building component to require any of the four. That may be an argument to take to the AHJ at a slower time. As I have never seen a pan installed in a vented crawlspace and few if any moisture sensing switches (other than in a pump), I can see this as taking a very long time to change.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Oh I see, said the blind man, your a liar said the dummy! I just looked at the OP's pic again and what do you think I saw?

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Oh I see, said the blind man, your a liar said the dummy! I just looked at the OP's pic again and what do you think I saw?
    I just looked back at it too and I think you saw at least two obvious things - one which we both missed in that photo and one which I know I did not miss in that photo:

    a) there is an auxiliary pan laying on the ground, however, the flex duct is laying in the pan (at least looks like it is laying in the pan) and is required to be at least 4" above the ground and is also required to be above minimum flood elevation (as is the equipment).

    b) there is no auxiliary pan under the condensate pump (plus, the shut off switch is not connected as was mentioned in an earlier post) - the condensate pump should also be raised up above flood elevation

    c) ... wait ... this makes three things, not two things ... so call this a)1) if that helps as it is a continuation of a): the auxiliary pan is laying on the ground, which is not good for metal pans and things, it should be raised up off the ground (and above flood elevation with everything else).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  32. #32
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    The absolute countless times I have seen a home damaged from anywhere from relentless but slight drips to full on leaks, such as a pan continuously running over because it has no place to drain, has cost home owners endless amounts of money to rectify. One mentioned clay soil. It swells like a sponge taken out of a wrapper where it has been sitting for years dry as a bone and then wetting it and it blows up twice the size. Along with it expanding it holds water and continuously adds moisture to the crawl rotting joists and flooring. . Mold. Lifting piers up and cracking walls and ceilings and lifting floor and jamming doors and windows etc etc etc

    An AC system pumps countless gallons of water every day in operation in the summer. With a primary clogged and no shut off valve in the pan so it shut water production off and no drain on the pan it is as though one is leaving a faucet cracked open all day long.

    I am not quite sure where the no damage to the home is coming from. I have literally never seen a leak in a crawl that has been going on for some time that has not done damage in some way or literally many ways.

    Anyway. Bored morning so I though I would repeat kind of what I said already.

    12 inches of expansive clay soil can swell up to 14 inches or more when saturated. It can hold that moisture for a long period of time before going in the only direction it can, down into the soil saturating deeper and deeper under the home. 3 feet of saturated expansive clay soil pushes up on those piers in the local 6 inches or more.

    All that spells damage from discharging gallons of water everyday into a crawl. Maybe more damage than leaking onto a ceiling as you will see that and fix it quicker. Even if there is no swelling of soil, all the water in the crawl just ruins everything from mold to rot to sickness in the home etc.

    Anyway. Good morning gentlemen.


  33. #33
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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    From "SECTION .1100 - NC HOME INSPECTOR STANDARDS OF PRACTICE AND CODE OF ETHICS .1101 DEFINITIONS".

    “Under floor crawl space” means the area within the confines of the foundation and between the ground and the underside of the lowest floor structural component.


    “Component” means a readily accessible and observable aspect of a system, such as a floor, or wall, but not individual pieces such as boards or nails where many similar pieces make up the component.

    The crawlspace soil is not a component.
    So what you are saying is that "SECTION .1100 - NC HOME INSPECTOR STANDARDS OF PRACTICE AND CODE OF ETHICS .1101 DEFINITIONS" is not complete in its description of a crawlspace and needs to be updated?


  34. #34
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    Default Re: Condensate drain lines not trapped. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I'll bite

    I have seen piers pushing up in the middle of homes due to slight leaks in clay soil making roller coasters of floors wit crawls under them. You say slight leakage. If in fact the main line gets blocked and does not make it to the sump then it is not a slight leak it is a dozen gallons of water a day or more in the summer time swelling that clay soil or just making the crawl damp and the moisture in would rise, mold or rot to form etc etc etc.

    There should be a pan under a unit no matter where it is. The harm caused no matter where it is when the condensate water is running freely in a home, attic crawl space is immeasurable.

    Or something like that!
    I'd like to add to this from experience. The built-in pans that may come with HVAC units can leak. And when they do things can get interesting as stated above. A secondary pan under the unit would not be overkill and this pan should also be alarmed. I have seen secondary pans work in many situations.
    Gravity condensate lines should be insulated and is required in many jurisdictions.

    When a set of alarm contacts is provided by the pump manufacturer-----they should be used! These pumps will eventually fail.

    The only comment that I have about the pumps is there should also be an audible alarm included with the pump.

    As I am writing this a thought occured to me.... do you test the pan? I know where I came from we required a test of the pans, internal and external, to insure no leakage.


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