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  1. #1
    Travis Grubbs's Avatar
    Travis Grubbs Guest

    Default Condensation Leak

    For those of you that have taken a lot of heat for writing up HVAC condensation drains vented into the soffit, feel free to down load these photos. On 8/14/08 I was doing a Certificate of Occupancy inspection on a town house when I observed that a hole had been cut in the rear soffit, over the rear door, for the HVAC auxiliary condensation drain. The drain line had not been pulled through the hole and out of the soffit. I verified the pipe's presence by putting my finger in the hole and locating the pipe.

    As I stepped in the house I heard water dripping. I then noticed some water on the floor. As I turned around and faced the rear door from inside the house I was suprised to see the water stains above the door, as well as water dripping out of the wood trim above the rear door.

    It was at this time that the builder arrived. I showed him the condensation leak. He then commented that the system had only been running a few hours because the compressor had been installed that morning, just before the closing, due to the increased thefts at construction sites. I can only imagine how much damage would have occurred if the system had ran for 24 hours.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Condensation Leak

    Good catch Travis. The builder owes you one, you just saved him a bundle. If was to go un-noticed long enough to create mold there, that whole wall / soffit would have to be torn open.

    Was that the primary condensate drain?
    If not, then they have other issues with the system.

    We almost never see condensate primaries taken to the outside around here, always the secondary or pan under attic units.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
    Travis Grubbs's Avatar
    Travis Grubbs Guest

    Default Re: Condensation Leak

    That was the auxilairy drain pipe that was leaking. The primary pipe, which was dry, was vented outside of the wall by the compressor. I went into the attic and verifiied that the auxiliary drain pan was full of water. I suspect that the primary pipe was clogged with a dirt dauber's nest, which is very common around here. The HVAC arrived as I was leaving. He commented that they had just installed the compressor and fired the system up that morning. I guess he did not wait around and verify that the system was properly draining, etc.

    As the AHJ, I require that the primary and that the auxiliary comply with the International Residential Code. All of our builders vent the primary to the exterior. Some of them vent the auxiliary to the exterior, but a lot of them use a float switch on the pan.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Posts
    1,072

    Default Re: Condensation Leak

    Around here they would cut some of the Sheetrock out and check the insulation. If it's wet its removed and replaced.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Condensation Leak

    Check out this homeowner DIY secondary drain line for the overflow pan in the attic.

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  6. #6

    Default Re: Condensation Leak

    Around here they would cut some of the Sheetrock out and check the insulation. If it's wet its removed and replaced.
    I agree with that course of action.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    1,078

    Default Re: Condensation Leak

    Secondary drain on the inspection yesterday was taped over presumably by the painter.

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