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Old 07-26-2014, 10:44 AM   #1
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HVAC air intake below ground level


22 yr old house in Edmonton Alberta. Stupid builders put air intake for regular efficiency furnace about 8 inches below ground, with a small pit dug out under and around it. The problem I'm having, is that during torrential downpours, such as yesterday, the pit fills with water, and water comes into the intake. I have put snorkels onto the intake to put the intake above ground, but with the pit filling, the water still finds it's way into the piping and into the basement. Any ideas?

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Old 07-26-2014, 10:54 AM   #2
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HVAC air intake below ground level


Got a picture?

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Old 07-26-2014, 11:08 AM   #3
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HVAC air intake below ground level


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Old 07-26-2014, 11:16 AM   #4
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HVAC air intake below ground level


OY. Just when I thought I had seen everything. Now that is DUMB.

You should have a window well and drain into the weeping tile for that setup. I would be tempted to go with a high efficiency furnace and see if a contractor can figure out a way to get rid of those pipes and vent it out a wall above grade. May require some creativity and boxing it in in a room above the floor level but it has to be better than that.

Once the furnace dies you will have to go high efficiency as all of Canada has to have 92-95% efficient furnaces or electric which is very expensive to run.
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Last edited by yuri; 07-26-2014 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:49 AM   #5
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HVAC air intake below ground level


No Mona Lisa but we have done venting like this and had it boxed in with drywall after the inspection.

Red line is floor level and red arrow vent to outside. Black vertical line is outside wall.

You would have 2 pipes, intake and exhaust.
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Old 07-26-2014, 01:56 PM   #6
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HVAC air intake below ground level


I am thinking that may be a window well (sorta) because the water does eventually drain, and the sump runs non stop during rainfall (we're at the bottom of the slope of the street)
I may have to try to dig down to the weeping tile, or like you say, go with the hi eff furnace and then plug up the holes.
AS for now, I think I'll try to put up some sort of dam with pt wood, as it seems the ground slopes toward the house there.
PS the drainpipe ends about 12 ft away from that spot
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Old 07-26-2014, 02:15 PM   #7
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HVAC air intake below ground level


As you know Edmonton can be just as cold as Winnipeg. If your furnace fails and needs replacing then you don't really want to do it in the middle of Winter or XMas week. If it is going to be a major problem to vent it/install it then Summer would be a better time to do it. You can get by with elec space heaters but not very well.

Just Sayin.
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:02 PM   #8
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HVAC air intake below ground level


Are those both intakes? Are they both 4" pipes?

If they are both intakes I would suggest replacing the metal pipe with the same sized PVC that the joints can be glued and made water tight.

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