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Tommy2 12-11-2008 02:37 PM

Good furnace condensate pump?
Since I installed the furnace Ive just been running the condensate line to a bucket everyday. Obviously this is a huge pain..Especially since I can only use a small bucket to avoid the water flowing upward.
Already made a couple wet messes downstairs :censored:

I have no drain whatsoever in the basement. The only thing I could do is get a pump, and tap into the main drain that flows to ground level, then to the septic. Its 4" ABS pipe.

Is there any way to tap into that pipe properly?

Would it be easier to run the pump right to the outdoors and put heat tape on it to keep from freezing?

Not really keen on that idea, since heat tape will probaly effect my electric bill, and if the power goes out, you have to make sure to heat the line before the furnace turns on(after power is restored).

Any ideas how to run a condensate when theres no drains?? lol

Going on vacation in a couple weeks..So absolutely have to resolve it by then. Otherwise Ill have to count on someone stopping by everyday and emptying the bucket. Which would be a lot to ask..And I dont like counting on other people anyways..

beenthere 12-11-2008 03:06 PM

Cut a wye into the 4" line. And reduce down to accept a bushing for the condensate line.

Tommy2 12-11-2008 03:18 PM


Originally Posted by beenthere (Post 196817)
Cut a wye into the 4" line. And reduce down to accept a bushing for the condensate line.

Yea..I guess thats what needs to be done. just not looking forward to it - since Ill have to take sheetrock down to get to it..Itll be a messy job.

kb3ca 12-11-2008 04:35 PM

My house is 30 years old and I had a new A/C and High efficiency furnace installed about 8 years ago. They ran the condensate from the A/C coil and the condensate from the furnace into a single pipe and through the concrete floor to the stone bed under the floor. The old furnace was that way also only it just had the condensate from the A/C. Never had a problem with it but it might not measure up to code where you are.
It's a simple way to take care of the problem. Good luck.

SKIP4661 12-11-2008 05:49 PM

Do you have a washing machine drain or utility sink handy. If you do, get yourself a Little Giant condensate pump. They use 3/8 vinyl tubing to pump the condensate through. You can run it to an available drain.

yuri 12-11-2008 07:22 PM

Punching a hole in the floor is a NO NO. Radon gas is a big problem in some parts of the US and Canada. Illegal to do where I am. Little Giant pump into the washer standpipe is the way we do it. Put the hose onto a piece of 3/8 copper to keep it from getting crushed by the washer hose if necessary.

Tommy2 12-11-2008 07:48 PM

Heres the only potential problem with running it to my washer drain.. Its across a room, and that drain has froze on me before. Its plumbed in an exterior wall, and if its below zero, it will feeze.

I usually run my first load of laundry with warm water when its super cold out - just to play it safe, and havent had any problems since the first winter I was here.

But..I may give that a whirl before going into my main drain. I dont think Ill be doing that.

yuri 12-11-2008 07:57 PM

In the worst case scenario the condensate pump will burn out and overflow/allows furnace drainage and your furnace will keep running and the house pipes won't freeze. Those pumps are inexpensive.

jsnova 12-11-2008 08:55 PM

You definitely need a condensate pump. You mention going below 0 outside, so more than likely a "freezeproof" draiin is probably out of the question. "Freezeproof" here in PA is what we commonly do when local codes restrict running into sewer line (unmetered water). Drill a hole in the side of the house thats most accessible (and safe to drain to) at a 45 degree angle pointing downward to outside of the house. Run 3/4" PVC through hole, seal the rest of the hole and brace PVC. Then use coupling with male end fitting, drill fitting with 3/8 barbed tap brass fitting and run 3/8 vinyl to it. The angle of the drainage is usually safe enough to prevent freezing as there is no standing water in the drain. To be safe you can loop the vinyl tubing to make a trap before it exits the PVC. I'm guessing you are way up north so I'm sure snow line will be an issue.

Other way its been done is literally just tapping the barbed tap fitting into your regular sewer line (believe you said its 4"). The condensate pumps have check valves in them to prevent backflow of water and/or any sewer gas.

Most importantly, spend the extra few bucks on a condensate pump with a built in safety float switch. I've seen the Little Giants and others out there without them, and in my mind its pointless to risk flooding the basement if the pump fails (and they are not forever). The switch wires in series with the low volt circuit and you can break whichever leg you'd like with it. If you have central air condensate draining into the same pump, then absolutely break common. If its heat only, you can break the W call.

I work in the trade and have had the most success with Beckett pumps. Just a thought.

beenthere 12-12-2008 04:38 AM

Worst thing you can do. Is use teh safety switch toi shut the furnace down.
If you go away when its 10 outside, and that safety shuts your heat off, your pipes can freze.

Flooring getting wet from a furnce condensate, is cheaper clean up and repair then, frozen pipes, and the damage they can cause.

veesubotee 12-12-2008 03:11 PM

If you have a laundry tub (or standpipe), and permitted by code, you could pump (horizontally or vertically) and dump it there.
You have an air break and trap already in place.

I pump up from my basement (about 15 foot rise) to dump it there. The tubing is placed inside of a 2 quart juice container. It's very convenient--can monitor condensate production without having to go outside (or downstairs).


Tommy2 12-12-2008 04:31 PM

Thanks for all the advice.

Still no decision yet..

But, at any rate - I should atleast go ahead and order a pump. Ebay looks fairly cheap compared with Lowes. Should probaly order now since itll take a week to get here.

I'll probaly just put it in the laundry drain and hope for the best. Possibly put a Y on it that leads to a 5 gal bucket, in case the line were to freeze.

Edit: Just bought this one:

Price seemed decent anyways. I think theyre about double that at Lowes.

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