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Old 07-26-2012, 12:18 AM   #1
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Another "What's wrong with my condensate drain"


Ok the condensate drain on my heat pump was, imo, inadequate. The overflow was originally plugged and it had a shallow trap on the primary drain. After getting a wet floor a couple of times, I figured it was time to try to fix the problem.

I went to the hardware store and the smallest trap I found was 1 1/2"... the 3/4 traps they had were all shallow traps, and my heat pump (Carrier FV4A005) instructions specially said do NOT use shallow traps. So, with a couple of adapters, I made the 1 1/2" trap work.

Of course I did not want to have a wet floor again, so I ran the over flow to a bucket. Now I have read mixed things on whether or not an over flow should be trapped.... so instead of making it look worse than it already does at the moment, I made my own trap by filling the bucket up with water until it got to the bottom of the over flow pipe.

So my end result looks like this:







Now the problem.... the bucket that the overflow goes into... it keeps filling up. over half the piping in the primary drain is new and I thoroughly cleaned the old stuff. I disconnected the primary at the hose clamps and ran water through it and I saw water flowing at the 2" WYE. Is it because the discharge of the over flow is lower than the trap on the primary?

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Old 07-26-2012, 07:44 AM   #2
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Another "What's wrong with my condensate drain"


If your overflow is running, then the primary drain is clogged. Clear it out, and install a properly sized trap. You could easily build a trap with a few 3/4" PVC 90s and some pipe. That would be better than the trap you have now. See this picture:

building a PVC condensate TRAP

As to the overflow - it should be trapped as well (again, build it yourself) and should be piped to the drainage area independent of the main drain line. I can't tell from your picture, but it looks as if it's piped into the sanitary system (which is a code violation in our area). If you must pipe it into that same pipe, use a Tee at the point of join, and pipe both of them into the Tee.

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Old 07-26-2012, 08:08 AM   #3
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Another "What's wrong with my condensate drain"


Just put in a condensate overflow switch on the secondary.....I absolutely hate traps put on secondary drain lines because it takes water to fill the trap and if the primary is working correctly.....the secondary will never see any water and become an air leak.....
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Old 07-26-2012, 08:15 AM   #4
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Another "What's wrong with my condensate drain"


I'd be leery of plumbing that in AT ALL if it's piped to the sanitary sewer system. Odors and gasses from there can be pretty nasty ...
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:42 AM   #5
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Another "What's wrong with my condensate drain"


air behind water.... In order for traps to work, there must be air supplied on the smelly side of the trap!!! ... Thats what the vent stacks in your home plumbing are for. I am only guessing here, but I dont think that the water is leaving your primary trap because you have to air behind it. If you add a connection to a vent stack, I think your issue would be gone and the secondary trap would be dry!!! give it a try by opening the cleanout cap (yes its going to smell bad) while the system is running and see if the secondary continues to drip... Be sure to close that clean out when the test is done.

just my two cents worth.
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:00 AM   #6
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Another "What's wrong with my condensate drain"


Quote:
Originally Posted by Technow View Post
Just put in a condensate overflow switch on the secondary.....I absolutely hate traps put on secondary drain lines because it takes water to fill the trap and if the primary is working correctly.....the secondary will never see any water and become an air leak.....
I prime all my traps with water

fwiw, I fixed it.

I took it completely apart the other day.... but the one fitting I never checked before was the MNPT fitting going into the drain pan.... I threaded that out and voila.... it was literally over 3/4 filled with gunk. Cleaned it out and went out to get some fittings to make a trap on the secondary.

And no it's not a sewage line. Not only does it lack that wonderful aroma when I open the WYE, but the house used to have a septic tank and then got converted to city sewage... in which the previous owner filled the septic with sand. So I'd be willing to bet that this is where it goes. Either way... having a trap will keep gases from getting into the system right? That's the whole purpose of a trap?

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