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schott 07-09-2007 05:16 PM

Condensate Line
 
Have a problem ... and am looking for quick fix. Primary condensate line is blocked ... have tried boiling water ... compressed air ... no luck. Blockage is in the wall, not in the line in the attic. Is it possible to "snake" a 3/4" line with 90 degree elbows, or am I stuck installing a whole new line? If so, do I have to terminate into the house plumbing or can I simply run the line through the soffit and have it drain into the bushes (like the secondary line)? Not sure what the code is here in Texas. Thanks in advance for any help.

harleyrider 07-09-2007 07:16 PM

I would try some Bleach, as long as there arent any other chemicals in there already..........give it a few hours to work.

schott 07-09-2007 08:43 PM

Thanks. Have already tried that -- 2 or 3 times now. Didn't help, unfortunately.

Sammy 07-09-2007 09:13 PM

You could snake it with possibly an electricians fish tape. They normally dont get blocked that bad though. Might try a wet vac on the outside first. Be careful since you already have bleach in the lines. Once its clear, the bleach and some water is a good thing to do spring or fall.

schott 07-10-2007 10:29 AM

Thanks for the snake idea ... will give that a shot tonight. Unfortunately, I have access from one end only; the connection into the tub drain is behind a wall and not accessible. Can only snake down from the top of the wall. Your electrician's snake idea may just do it (hope, hope).

Sammy 07-10-2007 05:59 PM

Good luck and lemme know how it turns out.

My a/c drain runs directly to the outside and I hate the wet grass when I mow, but at least I know its working.

troubleseeker 07-10-2007 09:59 PM

You will need something pretty flexible to go around a 90 degree elbow, I doubt if a fish tape will bend that sharply. Might be worth trying a piece of plastic tubing, like the stuff sold for ice maker hookups, or some pex.

You really want to get the drain to a plumbing line somewhere. Dumping it outside is a poor choice.

MechanicalDVR 07-10-2007 10:11 PM

I have never seen a plumbing code that let's you dump condensate from a residential a/c unit into the sanitary drain system.

Pulling methane from the sewer into an air over blower motor is just one possibility for disaster.

rob nichols 07-23-2007 03:18 PM

I have a similar problem but have a condensate line below or in slab on grade and believe it is leaking some due to being clogged and have some ceramic tile buckling about 1/2" on the flooring above. Is this a case where there is no way out of sawcutting the slab to replace the line that currently daylights
to an outside wall. What options are there to tie-in to plumbing -there maybe a sink drain near under slab...is this a likely code violation to tie-in to? thanks

MechanicalDVR 07-23-2007 09:16 PM

A/C drains don't have water in them all year, causing them to loose the trap seal, this is where you get into the problem of pulling methane (explosive gas) from the sewer system into the heating system and having to move after the fire. There is no good reason to tie an a/c drain into a sanitary drain directly, not to say it can't be indirectly drained into a washing machine drain, slop sink, sump pump, etc.

Malcolm 07-24-2007 09:29 AM

I have never seen a condensate line drain directly into a drain line. It is always brought outside in my area. I don't even think hacks would do something like that. I have seen a condensate pump line run into a drain before (not saying I would do that either). As for the OP, you could install a condensate pump if it is too difficult to run the drain line. I would run the 3/8" copper to the outside if you go with a pump. Are you sure you are blowing the drain with compressed air correctly? I have seen some guys try to blow a drain through a T fitting. This does not work as the air just shoots through the coil opening. The only way to blow the drain is to disconnect the line and put your hose directly into it. This will clear it 100 percent of the time unless your pipe is crushed.

As for the tile problem with the other poster, I doubt that is your problem. A condensate line works off of gravity and does not have pressure. There would have to be a open air space for the leaking water to displace. Think about it. If you stuck a condensate line directly into dirt, it would back up. It wouldn't continue to drain. You probably have some other issues.

rob nichols 07-24-2007 12:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MechanicalDVR (Post 54247)
A/C drains don't have water in them all year, causing them to loose the trap seal, this is where you get into the problem of pulling methane (explosive gas) from the sewer system into the heating system and having to move after the fire. There is no good reason to tie an a/c drain into a sanitary drain directly, not to say it can't be indirectly drained into a washing machine drain, slop sink, sump pump, etc.


If the condensate line under slab crosses over the sanitary sewer cast iron, which is what i think happens, is there a way to install a trap seal under the slab and connected to the condensate line before I tie it into the sanitary sewer, thus eliminating the gas issue from the sewer and need to saw-cut slab all the way to the outside wall to daylight the condensate line?

Malcolm 07-24-2007 02:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rob nichols (Post 54328)
If the condensate line under slab crosses over the sanitary sewer cast iron, which is what i think happens, is there a way to install a trap seal under the slab and connected to the condensate line before I tie it into the sanitary sewer, thus eliminating the gas issue from the sewer and need to saw-cut slab all the way to the outside wall to daylight the condensate line?

I still do not think your condensate line is causing the problem. I wouldn't tie it into the sewer. The reason people put traps in A/C condensate lines is for proper drainage not to block sewer gas. In a pull through coil, air will be drawn through the condensate line causing the unit not to drain. The trap stops this from happening. If I were you, I would just go buy a $50 condensate pump and be done with it. You will still have to fix whatever is really causing the problem under your foundation though :)

rob nichols 07-24-2007 02:33 PM

the reason i focused on the condensate line is it has been clogged with corrosion in the past and leaked all over the floor, and doesnt seem to be draining well to the side of the house. the house was repiped recently before I bought it and the drains all flow well. a condensate pump seems like a good solution. It would however need to pump up 2 stories to the roof and drain there? is flexible tubing an option? - thanks

MechanicalDVR 07-24-2007 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rob nichols (Post 54328)
If the condensate line under slab crosses over the sanitary sewer cast iron, which is what i think happens, is there a way to install a trap seal under the slab and connected to the condensate line before I tie it into the sanitary sewer, thus eliminating the gas issue from the sewer and need to saw-cut slab all the way to the outside wall to daylight the condensate line?

If God said "don't tie it in to the sewer" would you trust him???


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