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  1. #1
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    Default Can this air conditioning condensate drain line cause a moisture issue...

    Hello, can this air conditioning condensate line draining next to foundation cause moisture issue in foundation thus causing musty smell in closet behind the wall? the wall behind this air conditioning condensate line has a Jacuzzi tub with an access panel in a closet. The closet smells musty and the smell is coming from the wall with this drain on the outside. Also, if you look at the drain line picture there are two tree roots right under the drain. What to you think? What would be the remedy to this issue? Thank you.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can this air conditioning condensate drain line cause a moisture issue...

    I've only looked at the photos on my phone, but is the tub leaking?

    I would suspect that first.

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

  3. #3

    Default Re: Can this air conditioning condensate drain line cause a moisture issue...

    First, (as Jerry suggested) be sure the tub is not leaking
    Second, while it is permissible to drain condensate next to foundation it is not best practice and in my opinion it should be banned. Until that happens i advise my clients to extend it the same way we extend all (non sanitary sewer) water issues away from the home.

    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can this air conditioning condensate drain line cause a moisture issue...

    Thank you, I appreciate your replies, the tub is used once a week. The ground in that picture is very wet. The ground actually pitches towards the house a bit, I am going to attempt to redirect the condensate drain but since the ground actually pitches up from the condensate drain, I need to figure out how to do it. The ground in the first picture is very saturated (a small puddle) and those tree roots next to the foundation are a problem because they can great a direct path for water to go beneath the foundation. I am not sure how many gallons an AC drains on a daily basis. I am in Miami, FL. Other estimates on this forum suggest up to 20 gallons! What do you think? Thanks


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can this air conditioning condensate drain line cause a moisture issue...

    Depending on how old the house is/when the air conditioning was installed, it may - but may not - have been permissible to put the condensate drain line within 1 foot of the foundation (going back to the 2000s, maybe even the 1990s, it has been prohibited in Florida.

    Go out about 2 feet from the foundation, dig about a 5 gallon bucket size hole in the ground, run the condensate line to it, fill the hole with gravel, and you will have a "dry well" for the condensate to drain into.

    Unless your soil is clay/clayey, that should drain quite well (pun intended).

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

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can this air conditioning condensate drain line cause a moisture issue...

    Hi, thanks. The house was built in 1957. The ground is limestone (I think), I had to install three tiki torches in the backyard and it was impossible. I had to hammer a piece of rebar to make the whole for the tiki torch pole. So...lets see how I can dig the dry well. I have included a link from youtube channel "appledrains". Do you think doing this to the front this wall would be overkill? Please see attached .jpg file. Do I build the drywell like that? Thank you.




    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmIUbmLFSJQ

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUFcrm2cL1Q

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can this air conditioning condensate drain line cause a moisture issue...

    I doubt that he realizes it, but he just destroyed the termite treatment which is placed around and under all those houses he does that to.

    For old houses, probably mid to late 1980's and earlier, Chlordane was likely used, and that stuff was good, probably still is ... until someone digs it up.

    Then Chlordane was banned, leading the way to newer and less potent chemicals for termite treatments ... they probably only last 5 years or so anyway when applied properly, and when applied in the normal manner (improperly) ... they probably didn't do much good anyway.

    After digging around a foundation like that, have the area termite treated again, which means moving that drain out a minimum of 12 inches from the foundation as the termite treatment is 1 foot wide by 1 foot deep all around the foundation, and was up under the slab - everywhere he digs under the slab he destroys that termite treatment under the slab.

    Other than that, sure, getting the water away from the foundation is useful. And that includes condensate from air conditioning units.

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can this air conditioning condensate drain line cause a moisture issue...

    Thanks, the dry-well diagram is good?


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can this air conditioning condensate drain line cause a moisture issue...

    Yes, dig a hole about the size of a 5 gallon bucket, in good soil you may get by with a hole half that size, fill it with gravel, and drain the condensate to it - with your limerock base, you are not going to get much percolation of water down and out, which is evidenced by that saturated area you have now, so you may need to start with a 5 gallon bucket size and make a trench out from it, but I wouldn't do that to start with, only if you need the extra capacity for percolation limitations.

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

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can this air conditioning condensate drain line cause a moisture issue...

    Hi, thank you, what do you mean by "trench out from it", create like a wheel (well) and spoke (trenches out from hub) design?


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Can this air conditioning condensate drain line cause a moisture issue...

    Ivan,
    You might want to probe the ground where the drain line drips and see if there is a drain line that goes to the sewer line. Because of the close proximity to the bathroom you may have a cast iron drain line with a p trap that has filled up with dirt.
    The only reason I say that is I have one that drains to the outside at my home and I have to clean it out every couple of years or I get run off at my flower bed.

    Since it's a 1957 home things were done a lot differently back then.


  12. #12
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    Florida
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    Default Re: Can this air conditioning condensate drain line cause a moisture issue...

    Hi, thank you for the advice, look at the, picture there are two tree roots right below the drain line. I wish there was a drain there!


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Can this air conditioning condensate drain line cause a moisture issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Fernandez View Post
    Hi, thank you, what do you mean by "trench out from it", create like a wheel (well) and spoke (trenches out from hub) design?
    If the single '5 gallon bucket size' dry well does not adequately handle the condensate which is drained into it due to clay/clayey soil, dig one trench drain (commonly called a French drain) out from it, about 3-4 feet long.

    If that still doesn't work ... there likely is no easy solution (because your soil isn't letting water through it).

    You could pound a piece of rebar into the ground, then pull it back out, look at the deformations for signs of clay/clayey soil, if there is clay/clayey soil, try to determine how deep it is and how far down it is ... your solution may be to punch through the ckay/clayey soil with a pipe, clean the pipe out, then drain the condensate through the pipe so it can discharge below the clay/clayey layer.

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

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Can this air conditioning condensate drain line cause a moisture issue...

    Hi good morning, thank you for all of your assistance, it's appreciated.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Can this air conditioning condensate drain line cause a moisture issue...

    True! I agree.


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