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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    McKinney Texas
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    475

    Default Noise from main AC drain below bathroom sink

    In the southern USA, where HVAC units are commonly installed in the attic, the primary condensation drain is often connected to a bathroom sink drain (see diagram). Many times this produces a noisy drain. The noise is often described as "gurgling" or "wind noise". Does anyone have any first-hand experience on how this noisy drain issue can be resolved? I know a lot of people speculate on how to resolve it.... but I am wondering if anyone has first-hand experience at resolving the noise. Reconfiguration of condensation drain lines has been suggested however I don't know if that is the correct solution.
    diagram.jpg

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Noise from main AC drain below bathroom sink

    Insufficient trap on the air handler condensate drain - see the attached documents.

    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 05-24-2016 at 08:53 AM. Reason: attached two documents
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Noise from main AC drain below bathroom sink

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Insufficient trap on the air handler condensate drain - see the attached documents.
    Agreed.

    95% of units around here have missing or improper condensate traps. Many of the remainder are improperly not deep enough to function without gurgling.
    The gurgling comes when air is pushed or pulled through a trap that is too shallow or too high in relation to the pan. A trap without the vent can also gurgle or loose the seal, just like and "s" trap in household plumbing.

    If plumbers constructed the traps they would likely work better since they understand the principle behind traps and venting. I can tell you from experience that little training is ever given to this in a/c technician training.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Noise from main AC drain below bathroom sink

    I agree about the trap.

    Related to this, a few months ago I was in S.C. In the men's room of a church there were three sinks. The center sink had a pipe connected to the trap assembly. If I recall, it might have tapped right into the side of the trap. The tubing was about 3/8" chrome plated and I believe connected with a compression fitting. Does that match anything you see for condensate drain piping?


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    26,252

    Default Re: Noise from main AC drain below bathroom sink

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    Related to this, a few months ago I was in S.C. In the men's room of a church there were three sinks. The center sink had a pipe connected to the trap assembly. If I recall, it might have tapped right into the side of the trap. The tubing was about 3/8" chrome plated and I believe connected with a compression fitting. Does that match anything you see for condensate drain piping?
    The tapped of pipe was tapped off at a downward angle instead of an upward angle - right?

    That would be the trap primer for the floor drain.

    Water flows down in a spiral, clinging to the inside surface of the drain, when the water reaches that tap, the water flowing past the opening flows into the tapped pipe and down to the floor drain, keeping water in the floor drain trap so the water doesn't evaporate out and leave a dry trap with no water seal.

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Noise from main AC drain below bathroom sink

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The tapped of pipe was tapped off at a downward angle instead of an upward angle - right?

    That would be the trap primer for the floor drain.

    Water flows down in a spiral, clinging to the inside surface of the drain, when the water reaches that tap, the water flowing past the opening flows into the tapped pipe and down to the floor drain, keeping water in the floor drain trap so the water doesn't evaporate out and leave a dry trap with no water seal.
    Jerry, Thanks. That is one I have not seen before. The pipe may have been at a slight downward angle, but if I recall is was close to level. I could only see about a foot or so to where it entered a wall, which may have been concrete block. The other side of the wall was a hallway and nothing visible there.


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