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Old 09-24-2011, 03:10 PM   #1
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Condensate dripping off coil


I have an HVAC system that was installed by Sears. I have been having an issue where the condensate from the coil is dripping down to the blower.
It is a downflow application. The coil is on top of the furnace. The drain has been checked numerous times for proper drainage. Recently the trap was changed with a 2" trap but the problem still exists.
It is a gas furnace.
I am not doing any fixes on my own as I have a warranty that covers all labor and parts. I am just trying to get another PRO's opinion on what could be the cause and how to correct it.
I read the manual and did notice that it states for the particular furnace the coil should be installed below the furnace for downflow applications to avoid condensate on the heat exchanger.
I have also mentioned to the repair person that the room in which the unit is installed gets quite hot and asked if that is contributing to the problem (there is ventilation though).
The coil documentation also states that with electric heat and a downflow position the coil should be installed on top of the furnace, but with gas heat the coil should be installed below the furnace. Not sure why there is a difference in positioning between electric and gas furnace (only thing I can think of is damage to electrical components on an electric furnace).
Right now according to documentation repositioning the coil is the next step but it would mean completely taking apart the system.

I would greatly appreciate any insight to this problem so that I can give my repairman some suggestions.
Thank You in advance.

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Old 09-24-2011, 03:40 PM   #2
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Condensate dripping off coil


so looking at the unit its coil on top, middle...Heat X and supply fan bottom..so water is dripping on the Heat X to get to the fan section...does the model number give it as a down flow unit

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Old 09-24-2011, 11:09 PM   #3
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Condensate dripping off coil


Your cooling coil should be on the bottom on a downflow furnace. The cold air running over the heat exchanger (heat x) causes condensation inside of it. This will lead to premature failure. They need to pull the coil off and inspect the drain pan for cracks. Its common on carrier units. And since they will have it off, might as well put it where its supposed to go.
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Old 09-24-2011, 11:11 PM   #4
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Condensate dripping off coil


The electric furnace can have the coil on top as the inside of the cabinet is completely sealed from the outside environment. The coil works better having air pulled through it too.
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:28 PM   #5
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Condensate dripping off coil


I'm by no means an expert in hvac installation and repair but we had a similar problem that resulted in water problems with in the hvac. We replaced the pelham along with installing new a/c coils and what the hvac tech did was put in a safety switch in so if the water in the drain pain reaches a certain level the unit automatically kicks off.
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:29 PM   #6
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Condensate dripping off coil


Thanks for the replies. Sorry for not replying back but I did not get an email when a post was made.
My system is like this:
Return from Top
Coil (top)
blower (middle)
Heat Exchanger (bottom)

After the new trap was installed, I checked it several times and it still drips down. The condensation is draining properly as we have poured water in the pan and it flows out just fine with no dripping onto the fan.
My assumption is that the blower is pulling the condensation from the coil. On very hot days it's worse (more condensation).
When I checked last I also noticed that the fan was not setup for HI speed on cool. They have the Heat on HI and the Cool on Med/Hi. So if it was set to HI cool there would probably be more dripping.
I checked the documentation and its states that COOL should be on High and Heat should be on Med/Hi. Makes sense (heat rises-no reason for fan to be on HI).
I'll take that up with the techs though.
According to the documentation the gas furnace should have the coil on the bottom. That probably will be the next step. I will also have them inspect the heat exchanger for any water damage also. I have full parts and labor warranty so no worries there.

Now I understand why the electric furnace can have the coil on top. Thanks.
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:52 PM   #7
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Condensate dripping off coil


I think you need a new technician who knows what he is doing
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:15 PM   #8
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Condensate dripping off coil


You have a negative pressure configuration. You need to have trap installed at both drain ends
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:27 PM   #9
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Condensate dripping off coil


I don't think that will help. I don't think it's pulling from the drain. While inspecting I noticed the drips were coming right off the coil. Which tells me that it's not pulling from the drain line.
Just an observation. I think all point to moving the coil to the bottom. Especially the fact that the manual states the coil should be positioned at the bottom.
The exact wording is:
"When a refrigeration coil is used in conjunction with this furnace, it must be installed on the discharge side of the furnace to avoid condensation on the heat exchanger."
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:58 PM   #10
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Condensate dripping off coil


Quote:
Originally Posted by grod777 View Post
I don't think that will help. I don't think it's pulling from the drain. While inspecting I noticed the drips were coming right off the coil. Which tells me that it's not pulling from the drain line.
Just an observation. I think all point to moving the coil to the bottom. Especially the fact that the manual states the coil should be positioned at the bottom.
The exact wording is:
"When a refrigeration coil is used in conjunction with this furnace, it must be installed on the discharge side of the furnace to avoid condensation on the heat exchanger."
It will certainly solve the problem.
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:02 PM   #11
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Condensate dripping off coil


It just amazes me that the answer was in the documentation the whole time and they never even touched it when they installed it.
I am a telecom/network service technician and know all too well how these problems can be annoying but if all else fails read the manufactures documentation.
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:08 PM   #12
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Condensate dripping off coil


Quote:
Originally Posted by grod777 View Post
It just amazes me that the answer was in the documentation the whole time and they never even touched it when they installed it.
I am a telecom/network service technician and know all too well how these problems can be annoying but if all else fails read the manufactures documentation.
I think the return be on top was the cause.
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:19 PM   #13
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Condensate dripping off coil


Can I ask was Sears in their own hvac service trucks or was it a subcontract company? I ask because I only know Sears to sub out.

Either way, I would DEMAND that they get back out there and set that system up right. Hell, demand an entire new furnace as now the heat exchanger has had condensation on it and you don't care one bit how much or little, the end result is it has been tainted. Cracked heat exchangers can take lives.

It is Sears fault, they are in the wrong. I would give them hell and lot's of it.

Good luck and if you wouldn't mind answering the first part of my post..
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:33 PM   #14
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Condensate dripping off coil


Yes this was done by sub contractors. I know they do not have install techs, only service techs.
The sub contractors that installed it are the ones that have been trying to figure it out. I have a complaint on file with the BBB and have been in touch with Sears directly about the situation. I will definitely mention possible damage to the heat exchanger to them.
I will be there when the work gets done so I will inspect it myself. I have no problem damanding as it has been going on for 2 seasons, but if upon inspection all is good then so be it. I don't know for a fact if the heat exchanger was affected and won't know until it is taken apart.
What should I look for as far as damage to it?
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:43 PM   #15
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Condensate dripping off coil


Water spots or stains, rust. Any abnormality to the metal heat exchanger.

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