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  • #16
    Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

    Originally posted by cpw View Post



    For connecting a new threaded PVC adapter to the drip pan, should I do anything special aside from adding some thread sealant and screwing it in?

    I'm not sure that I'll do two completely separate lines

    If I do two completely separate lines, do I just drill a hole in the side of the attic and dump it outside? That's what most people do around here. They have the line coming out under that roof overhang. There is only one vent stack to tie into; and tying into a vent stack is something that would require a permit.

    Is there a good way to clean these low-flow lines so they don't have flow restriction because of built up crud. My little snake certainly didn't get the inside of the pipe very clean, and it is hard to imagine that any snake would without some flow to help it along. Is it a good idea to put some Glug or Thrift down the condensate line (flushing it with hot water afterwards) to help clean off some of the slime? Bleach with warm water at the end of summer. Just pour it into the evaporator drain pan.

    I understand that the primary is trapped to prevent the gases from the vent stack entering the air handler and thus the rest of the house. Why isn't the aux trapped to prevent the gases from entering the attic? See below Is it just that the attic isn't living space or is there something I am missing?

    The primary line doesn't have a real trap. It looks like they just heated a pipe and bent it into a U shape. Is this worth replacing? That is pretty much what they look like. Leave it.
    To piggyback on what andy said. The ptrap isn't primarily used to prevent sewer gas from coming in. It creates a pressure difference that allows the condensate to leave the pan. If it wasn't there, the blower could actually suck in the water causing problems. They do make condensate anti algae pills to kill the slime but I've found bleach works just as well. The snake is a good idea but truthfully the pros use compressed air or nitrogen to clear the line.
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

      OK. So I've got myself a plan and some supplies from the supply house. I am going to cut the existing auxiliary line off, and run a new one from the drip pan and have it just poke out of a soffit vent. If the main is clogged (and it isn't raining) I should see the dripping water coming from the soffit onto the garage roof below. I also got an audible alarm so that if there is water in there I'll hear it.
      I have a threaded male adapter to connect to the drip pan. You mentioned that they make rubber gaskets for that. The guy at the supply house said just to use silicon. Is that a reasonable suggestion?

      I am going to have to do something where the aux line joins the primary line. The two options I see are sticking a cap on the pipe coming out of the tee or to cut out the tee and put in a small replacement section. Are there any disadvantages to just capping the short pipe and leaving a 2" dead end?

      I would also like to hear your opinion on cutting out an elbow on the primary line and replacing it with a tee, short section of pipe and a threaded male adapter with a threaded cap to make a cleanout (since the radius is a bit tight for a snake to make it through). Maybe a better solution is just to get a sweeping 90* (or make one by heating pipe, or just leave well enough alone. If I am going to invest the time in this, I want to make sure I do it right.

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

        Originally posted by cpw View Post
        I also got an audible alarm so that if there is water in there I'll hear it. Get a float switch-it mounts in the auxilary drain pan-google aquaguard. It'll turn your unit off if the contacts close.
        I have a threaded male adapter to connect to the drip pan. Auxilary or primary? You mentioned that they make rubber gaskets for that. The guy at the supply house said just to use silicon. Is that a reasonable suggestion? For the auxilary-yes. Get some vinegar and rub it around the hole(lol), this will take off the galvinzation so the silicone will stick better.

        Are there any disadvantages to just capping the short pipe and leaving a 2" dead end? No, as long as the dead end is the branch of the tee.

        I would also like to hear your opinion on cutting out an elbow on the primary line and replacing it with a tee, short section of pipe and a threaded male adapter with a threaded cap to make a cleanout (since the radius is a bit tight for a snake to make it through). Maybe a better solution is just to get a sweeping 90* (or make one by heating pipe, or just leave well enough alone. bad idea If I am going to invest the time in this, I want to make sure I do it right.
        The cleanout idea isn't a bad idea just a bit overdesigned. Nothing wrong with it just complicated. Buy an air compressor and just blow the line out when it clogs up.
        Buy cheap, buy twice.

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

          wouldn't it be a better long term solution to have no drain from the auxiliary pan but equip it with a micro cut off float switch wired into the evaporator's control wiring? that way, if the primary pan drain clogged, causing condensate in the auxiliary pan, the unit would shut down completely until the problem of the clogged primary drain was rectified. this is a somewhat more complicated solution but it necessitates identifying the problem with the primary drain rather than just treating the auxiliary pan as a second primary pan. just my 2 cents.
          there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

            What a great idea. I wish I mentioned that. Oh well, better luck next time.
            Buy cheap, buy twice.

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

              Originally posted by FINER9998 View Post
              wouldn't it be a better long term solution to have no drain from the auxiliary pan but equip it with a micro cut off float switch wired into the evaporator's control wiring? that way, if the primary pan drain clogged, causing condensate in the auxiliary pan, the unit would shut down completely until the problem of the clogged primary drain was rectified. this is a somewhat more complicated solution but it necessitates identifying the problem with the primary drain rather than just treating the auxiliary pan as a second primary pan. just my 2 cents.
              There already is a float switch, but it doesn't cut off on unless the water level is a little bit above the bottom of the aux drain. In this case, since the leak was there it was useless. I also think the side of the pan the float switch is in is also a little bit higher than the drain. I will try moving and adjusting the float switch so that less water would cut off the unit.

              I've already put in the audible alarm, and hope to repipe the drains this weekend.

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

                cpw..so your auxiliary drain pan had both a drain line and a cut off float switch?
                there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

                  Originally posted by FINER9998 View Post
                  wouldn't it be a better long term solution to have no drain from the auxiliary pan but equip it with a micro cut off float switch wired into the evaporator's control wiring? that way, if the primary pan drain clogged, causing condensate in the auxiliary pan, the unit would shut down completely until the problem of the clogged primary drain was rectified. this is a somewhat more complicated solution but it necessitates identifying the problem with the primary drain rather than just treating the auxiliary pan as a second primary pan. just my 2 cents.
                  This is how mine is wired up, but instead of a drain line mine
                  (being in the basement) drains into a condensate receiver tank with a pump that pumps the water outside. The receiver tank has a built-in float switch that is wired in parallel with the T-stat using the NC contact on the switch so that if the condensate pump fails and the level in the tank rises the switch contacts OPEN which blocks an AC start.

                  This may cause discomfort due to higher temps in the building, but that is your clue that something is wrong and needs attention.

                  Be cautious with regard to the leak and mold. Legionella is also a concern.

                  http://www.masterplumbers.com/plumbv...egionnaire.asp

                  http://www.google.com/search?num=20&...a+and+plumbers
                  Last edited by Bob D.; 07-04-2008, 10:17 AM.
                  ---------------
                  Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                  ---------------
                  “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                  ---------
                  "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                  ---------
                  sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

                    Originally posted by FINER9998 View Post
                    cpw..so your auxiliary drain pan had both a drain line and a cut off float switch?
                    Yes. The aux drain didn't do very much though because of the leak and the float switch wasn't triggered. grrr.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

                      when mine was installed 2 years ago, the contractor explained that it was unwise to drain the auxiliary drain pan as it should never have water in it. if it did, that was symptomatic of a problem which shouold be diagnosed and resolved as soon as possible.
                      there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

                        Originally posted by FINER9998 View Post
                        when mine was installed 2 years ago, the contractor explained that it was unwise to drain the auxiliary drain pan as it should never have water in it. if it did, that was symptomatic of a problem which shouold be diagnosed and resolved as soon as possible.
                        That seems relatively sensible to me, especially if you end up connecting the aux drain to the primary drain. How did your contractor route the drain line?

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

                          I did the project today. It actually took quite a while to do it, but most of that was actually dealing with insulation and not the drain. Pictures of the completed project.

                          I cut out the old aux drain pipe and connected it to the drip pan. The old pipe did have a rubber gasket like Ben said to use, but I didn't re-use it. I used silicon instead. The threaded pipe was attached on the inside using what looks like a strain relief connector for a junction box. The important part is that it doesn't leak anymore.
                          Click image for larger version

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                          The pipe then runs parallel to the main drain for a little bit. Click image for larger version

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                          You can see the two couplings, which are where the aux drain connected to the primary drain. I couldn't easily cap the old tee, because there wouldn't be enough of the old pipe left over, so I just replaced about a 6" section. Joining PVC seems much easier than soldering; but these lines aren't under pressure so I can't be sure about that.

                          Then, it runs along a joist (strapped three times to maintain its position and pitch).
                          Click image for larger version

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                          And finally it terminates underneath the soffit. You can see drips from my son's window and also on the roof the the garage. You can't actually see the pipe itself from the ground though (I was afraid you would, which is why it is spray painted brown).
                          Click image for larger version

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                          I also have an audible alarm (it is not in the drip pan now, because I need to wait for my test water to evaporate).
                          Click image for larger version

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                          The float switch that I have in the pan doesn't actually float, otherwise this might never have been such a big deal. I am going to replace that, but if I can I would rather have an electronic water sensor than a float switch; since it seems that less can go wrong with fewer moving parts.

                          The real PITA wasn't the drain line, it was removing 7 insulation batts from underneath the air conditioner, wiping up any water, and then washing the sheetrock under the air conditioner with some Clorox cleanup. This sucked alot, because I needed to crawl on my belly over the joists and shimmy under the return air duct (at least it was flex and could be lifted a bit) to reach underneath the plywood that the unit sits on. Then I had to get the seven replacement batts in the cavities. At least for the first minute or so out of the package they are still a bit compressed, so the first two fit underneath the plywood more easily than the later ones.

                          Someone else posted that when they fix their house their wife asks if it is the way Mike Holmes would do it. I don't think I did it the way he would. My first thought is that he would hire an HVAC pro to replace the whole unit with some neato high efficiency zoned one. More seriously, he probably would have pulled the ceiling to reinsulate; but I didn't that it was really necessary and would have made this a much more expensive and labor intensive project. He probably would also route the primary drain to something other than the vent/waste stack.

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                          • #28
                            Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

                            It sounds and looks like from the pics like you did a great job. Where did the other pipe come out of roof at?
                            Buy cheap, buy twice.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

                              Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
                              It sounds and looks like from the pics like you did a great job. Where did the other pipe come out of roof at?
                              It didn't. The original pipe (and now just the primary) terminates inside the main waste/vent stack. I did think about changing it, but in the end wasn't sure what I should do that would make it better in practice. I thought about tying into the downspouts, but figured that on humid rainy days they could get overwhelmed. The other thought I had was just dumping it out above the bush near the compressor, but didn't think that was very "neat".

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                              • #30
                                Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

                                It should be alright tying into the vent stack. Good job.
                                Buy cheap, buy twice.

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