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  • a.c. condensate termination

    since i don't claim to be an air conditioning person, i will toss it up to the pros.

    my long time customer did a major remodel/ 2nd. floor addition 6 years ago.

    today they called me if i can look at the leak by their front door porch. i knew that was going to be their a.c. overflow and asked them if the a.c company would come. since it's a heat wave here and the customer is going out of town on sunday, the a.c. co wouldn't be able to come out till 3 weeks.

    i decided to go look and figure i can clean the a.c. condensate.

    so here is the real question the heater/ a.c unit is a split system and is installed in a horizontal position in an attic alcove.

    the piping is 3/4'' pvc. the unit has a drip pan/ overflow pan suspended under the a.c. portion. the secondary is dripping into the pan and the pan is not sloped to the drain, but away from the drain. the primary drain was very difficult to find its termination point. after walking the entire exterior, since there was no wye branch on any fixtures, i found the pvc discharge coming out at ground level from the crawl space at the opposite side of the house.

    dirt and bugs could easily get into this ground level pipe.

    i used a shop vac, to clean the lines in the attic. i also had the vac running to check for suction at the outside drain location. all good at this point.

    so now i would like to ask, what is the code for terminating the primary, secondary and drip pan?

    shouldn't the secondary be piped so it doesn't drip into the back graded drip pan? shouldn't the primary drain at least 6'' above the ground and within a reasonable distance of the unit?

    appreciate the help as my customer would like to throw it back to the original contractor and needs the proper code advise.

    thanks for reading the long version and answering my questions

    rick the plumber, not the hvac man
    phoebe it is

  • #2
    Re: a.c. condensate termination

    Rick,
    When we use to install the primary drains they had to go your wye branch you were looking for.Sometimes we would tie them into the clotheswasher tailpiece inside the wall.They quit letting us dump into roof drains or at grade,they want them drained into an approved fixture.

    The overflows are to be ran to the exterior and drain above a door or window so the resident can become aware of a problem with the primary.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: a.c. condensate termination

      Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
      Rick,
      When we use to install the primary drains they had to go your wye branch you were looking for.Sometimes we would tie them into the clotheswasher tailpiece inside the wall.They quit letting us dump into roof drains or at grade,they want them drained into an approved fixture.

      The overflows are to be ran to the exterior and drain above a door or window so the resident can become aware of a problem with the primary.
      thats right about the overflow drain pan and the way you should pipe it,we use a float switch in commercial jobs that when water backs up in the drain pan it shuts off the unit .if we did not do this they will never see or call for service .
      Charlie

      My seek the peek fundraiser page
      http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


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      new work pictures 12/09
      http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: a.c. condensate termination

        Rick, don't think like a plumber on this one. Trying to bypass your question because I don't get some of the terms, I'll explain how I would run the condensate drain.
        -immediatley out of the unit when feasible(not blocking the service panel) you should install a p trap then run your line to a place where the moisture is not a problem. The ptrap is for the creation of a pressure drop to make condensate flow, not for sewer gas.
        -for your case, I would have a drip pan under the unit. It will have it's own drain line and not be connected to the unit's drain line. I would pipe this to a conspicuos place where the homeowner can see it. This will alert the customer if there's a problem. I've never seen a code for how high above the ground it needs to be. Rather I take into consideration what will happen w/ all that excess water. You can also blow the line out with an air hose then pour a little bleach in the line to prevent algae growth.

        Ben
        Buy cheap, buy twice.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: a.c. condensate termination

          Polyvinylchloride,could a lot of bleach hurt it if it sat in the pipe?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: a.c. condensate termination

            If it was inspected 6 years ago then it must of passed code at that time. As far as where the pipe comes out. It could be anywhere they want to run it to. It should have a running trap at the end to keep bugs out but could be right on the ground. Most units I see have secondary with a switch in the pan to shut down the unit if it get to overflow point. I also have seen where they will pump the water out of the drip pan through 3/8" copper but still must put in overflow cut off switch.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: a.c. condensate termination

              Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
              Polyvinylchloride,could a lot of bleach hurt it if it sat in the pipe?
              I suppose but I don't put a lot in there. Plus the lines not under pressure.
              Buy cheap, buy twice.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: a.c. condensate termination

                Originally posted by freddy View Post
                If it was inspected 6 years ago then it must of passed code at that time. As far as where the pipe comes out. It could be anywhere they want to run it to. It should have a running trap at the end to keep bugs out but could be right on the ground. Most units I see have secondary with a switch in the pan to shut down the unit if it get to overflow point. I also have seen where they will pump the water out of the drip pan through 3/8" copper but still must put in overflow cut off switch.

                freddy, you must not have read my older post of underqualified contractors, plumbers, inspectors.

                rick.
                phoebe it is

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: a.c. condensate termination

                  Rick,

                  I have always felt condensate lines should be run as an indirect waste. Sadly IAPMO does not see it that way and only the connection to the plumbing system is covered in the UPC.

                  In the old days we didn't have secondaries on our coils and we had to build and solder pans in the field. The pan should have been sloped to drain but you are only required to have a running trap and vent if the manufacturer requires it. Anyone worth their salt would spend the few bucks extra to do it though.

                  The Primary can pretty much terminate anywhere as long as it is not draining over a public way. The secondary must drain where it can be easily seen and that includes onto the carpet in the hallway which is just dumb.

                  As for Adam's connection at the laundry riser in the wall that would not be legal because the connect cannot be concealed. One of the hardest termination points to locate is when it is connected to the back of the overflow elbow of a bathtub 's waste & overflow. You do not find them there often but there is a manufacturer who sold a condensate inlet waste & overflow for some years. They were PVC so you won't too find many in LA.

                  Mark
                  "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                  I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: a.c. condensate termination

                    Originally posted by freddy View Post
                    If it was inspected 6 years ago then it must of passed code at that time.
                    Being Code compliant and getting your card signed off are two different things. The Contractor is charged with complying with and understanding the Code. The Inspector is suppose to keep the Contractor honest but often is not as knowledgeable or has as much time.

                    Mark
                    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: a.c. condensate termination

                      thanks mark

                      are the secondary overflow drains allowed to be dumped into the safety pan?

                      i would think that the secondary can be piped to the pan drain, but not dumped into the pan

                      i knew you would know

                      rick.
                      phoebe it is

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: a.c. condensate termination

                        Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                        thanks mark

                        are the secondary overflow drains allowed to be dumped into the safety pan?

                        i would think that the secondary can be piped to the pan drain, but not dumped into the pan

                        i knew you would know

                        rick.
                        Yes that seems to be the new way of doing it. I believe it is because many of the FAUs can be set as either upflow or horizontal and this allows one coil to also be used either way. Like I posted earlier in the old day we just pans under the coil. There was no attachment to the unit we just caught the overflow condensate as it leaked out of the seams.

                        Mark
                        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: a.c. condensate termination

                          Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                          Rick,

                          I have always felt condensate lines should be run as an indirect waste. Sadly IAPMO does not see it that way and only the connection to the plumbing system is covered in the UPC.

                          In the old days we didn't have secondaries on our coils and we had to build and solder pans in the field. The pan should have been sloped to drain but you are only required to have a running trap and vent if the manufacturer requires it. Anyone worth their salt would spend the few bucks extra to do it though.

                          The Primary can pretty much terminate anywhere as long as it is not draining over a public way. The secondary must drain where it can be easily seen and that includes onto the carpet in the hallway which is just dumb.

                          As for Adam's connection at the laundry riser in the wall that would not be legal because the connect cannot be concealed. One of the hardest termination points to locate is when it is connected to the back of the overflow elbow of a bathtub 's waste & overflow. You do not find them there often but there is a manufacturer who sold a condensate inlet waste & overflow for some years. They were PVC so you won't too find many in LA.

                          Mark
                          Utah,

                          See California UPC 815.3.3

                          Rick,

                          My experience has been that the situation you are in should be followed as:

                          1) The primary piped to an indirect waste (recepter/tailpiece).
                          2) Secondary daylighted over a sink, etc..
                          the dog

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: a.c. condensate termination

                            dog,

                            I don't have my California UPC with me but you are right I probably mis-spoke. It is the Southern Nevada Code Admendments which deleted UPC 815-815.3.3 and refers you to the UMC.

                            Mark
                            "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                            I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                            Comment

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