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Old 10-17-2013, 01:43 AM   #1
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Furnace is watering itself... and I don't like that!


Hello all, I have a high efficency furnace with what I *suspect* is a condensate pipe dripping onto the pan, causing rust and subsequently draining into my crawlspace and creating a small puddle of water. Water is not my friend down there, so I'd like to fix it.

I apologize for the poor quality of the photos of what I believe to be the culprit, but:



(and from the underneath of those pipes)



Now I think there should be a cap on the bottom of that pipe in the middle to stop it dripping as there are other places for that water to end up other than on my floor. But I don't want to do that unless it's the right thing to do...

I'm trying to avoid calling in someone every time something goes wrong in my 'new old' house, and so subsequently I've stumbled on this place. If anyone has any insights I'd be appreciative.

I have to head to bed for the night but I will be back on tomorrow to answer any other things or for 'try doing this' suggestions.

Thanks!

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Old 10-17-2013, 05:13 AM   #2
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Furnace is watering itself... and I don't like that!


The drain line is probably restricted and not able to drain the water as fast as it is suppose to.

That is the over flow pipe doing its job, don't cap it.

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Old 10-17-2013, 10:16 AM   #3
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Furnace is watering itself... and I don't like that!


Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
The drain line is probably restricted and not able to drain the water as fast as it is suppose to.

That is the over flow pipe doing its job, don't cap it.
Ok, I won't cap it. That's good to know.

And I guess my next question is how to make it "Drain faster!" ?

I'd rather not have to take it all apart and replace the pvc (it's only three years old) but if I must, I must. Was it simply a case of "PVC too small" on installation? It sounds like there's a fair bit of water running through it when the furnace kicks in, but it might be a small amount making a lot of noise...

Thanks so far!
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:20 AM   #4
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Furnace is watering itself... and I don't like that!


that is a condensate trap and it should be open at the top and have a 4-6" piece of pipe attached to it or it may not drain properly. that length is very specific to the furnace and is in the install manual. the bottom should have a cap. stick your fingers under it and it may be sealed internally.

I just looked at a Lennox install manual, they own Armstrong/Aire-Flo and use that same trap and it has a cap with a clamp on it there. It is actually a cleanout port for the trap. If it is not on then you would get a heck of a lot of water there.

I suspect the water may be leaking from your AC coil above and finding it's way down there or there is a leak inside the furnace.

you can hear water gurgling in the furnace when it runs. when it leaves that pipe at the drain it should run in a steady trickle but it takes 5 minutes of running B4 that happens.
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Last edited by yuri; 10-17-2013 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 10-17-2013, 02:53 PM   #5
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Furnace is watering itself... and I don't like that!


Quote:
Originally Posted by yuri View Post
that is a condensate trap and it should be open at the top and have a 4-6" piece of pipe attached to it or it may not drain properly. that length is very specific to the furnace and is in the install manual. the bottom should have a cap. stick your fingers under it and it may be sealed internally.

I just looked at a Lennox install manual, they own Armstrong/Aire-Flo and use that same trap and it has a cap with a clamp on it there. It is actually a cleanout port for the trap. If it is not on then you would get a heck of a lot of water there.

I suspect the water may be leaking from your AC coil above and finding it's way down there or there is a leak inside the furnace.

you can hear water gurgling in the furnace when it runs. when it leaves that pipe at the drain it should run in a steady trickle but it takes 5 minutes of running B4 that happens.
Here's a better photo of the "whole area"



I stuck my finger into the bottom of that cleaning port and it seems like that's the source of the water, it felt wet on the sides as well as more dripping down. The warmer I set the house/furnace, the wetter it seemed to get so I've set it low for now.

But what I gather is,


In that picture there's a cap and clamp, and both of those should be applied to that open cleaning port on the bottom? (where the water appears to be dripping from)

I don't recall seeing one of those caps on or anywhere near my unit or that trap, and this is the first time the furnace has been on since I've owned the house - probably why there isn't as much water as there will be once winter hits for real. Perhaps when the previous owner had it serviced the installer failed to re-install that cap and clamp?

Anyways, thanks for your help so far!
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Old 10-17-2013, 03:03 PM   #6
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Furnace is watering itself... and I don't like that!


Yeah, I am surprised the furnace even runs at all. It needs that trap 2 B full of water or it will trip a pressure switch. You should B able to go to HDepot or plumbing store and get a 1/2" PVC cap and CAREFULLY cut/steal enough pipe off the top of that vent pipe and then stick it inside your cap and insert in that hole and seal it up with silicone. Must be good and dry so dry it with a hair dryer a bit. If it is wet the silicone won't stick. Not worth buying a whole trap kit for unless it is cheap $$. Cut about 1" off the top of that pipe and use it for a sample or see if a local plumbing contractor has some he can sell you plus the cap. Do NOT cement it on as it needs 2 B removable for cleaning and with silicone that is easy 2 take off and redo. Otherwise that cap only comes with that kit which U may want to buy if it is not that expensive.
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Last edited by yuri; 10-17-2013 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 10-17-2013, 03:05 PM   #7
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Furnace is watering itself... and I don't like that!


That ain't the trap I was thinking of. Yuri is right.
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Old 10-17-2013, 03:22 PM   #8
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Furnace is watering itself... and I don't like that!


That's fantastic, thank you very very much for your help, I'll get on that immediately when I'm done work. Along with shop-vacing my crawlspace free of water. Again. At least it isn't 11pm at night when I hear the 'drip drip drip'.

I'll go bug the guys who serviced the furnace (and installed it two years ago originally) to see what they've got to say.

I'll finish up with a post on how it went, in case anyone else stumbles upon this same problem at a later time.

Thanks again!
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Old 10-18-2013, 12:09 AM   #9
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Furnace is watering itself... and I don't like that!


Ok, so I bugged the guys who installed the furnace and they gave me a cap and clamp from their shelf (for nothing! wahoo!) and I've since installed it. At least in the last four hours, no more water! no drips, no dribbles, nothing. I think with your help that this problem is now licked! I'll keep looking at it from time to time in the short term but it looks as though it works.

Thank you so much!

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