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Old 07-23-2014, 03:03 PM   #1
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Questions about typical HVAC operations


I have a Central Heat/Air system that was installed in my house when it was built less than two years ago. I know very little about this, so I'll ask the experts here:

Does any of this seem right to you regarding a unit that's set up horizontally in my attic:

- I was told that it's not good for the equipment (furnace, condenser, etc.) to be sealed airtight with tape... and that the cool air that's escaping from the equipment isn't a big deal. There are also parts of the duct work running through the attic where I can feel air escaping because it's not completely taped.

- I was also told that it's normal for the condensate line to have condensation on the outside and drip water at the trap.

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Old 07-23-2014, 03:16 PM   #2
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Who have you been talking to?
All seams should have been sealed when it was installed with foil tape, not duct tape. Or better yet with mastic. No air seals are acceptable.
Only place the unit should be leaking water is at the end of the pipe running outside.
If the traps leaking then it could be plugged up with slime (very common problem) pipe was installed wrong, or it's cracked.
Condensation on the outside of the pipe inside of the attic can be a sign of poor venting of the attic. Hot moist air is causing the condensation.
A quick fix would be to insulate the pipe.

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Old 07-23-2014, 03:24 PM   #3
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Who have you been talking to?
All seams should have been sealed when it was installed with foil tape, not duct tape. Or better yet with mastic. No air seals are acceptable.
Only place the unit should be leaking water is at the end of the pipe running outside.
If the traps leaking then it could be plugged up with slime (very common problem) pipe was installed wrong, or it's cracked.
Condensation on the outside of the pipe inside of the attic can be a sign of poor venting of the attic. Hot moist air is causing the condensation.
A quick fix would be to insulate the pipe.
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:25 PM   #4
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The duct work should be sealed so it doesn't leak air out, or draw air in from any joints.

If a trap sweats on the outside. it should be insulated. A sweating trap can be an indication of low air flow.
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Old 07-23-2014, 06:11 PM   #5
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Those comments came from the contractor who installed the system. He said he didn't understand why I insisted on having him seal all the joints with foil tape where air was very obviously escaping from the unit.

And as for the condensate pipe, it's not leaking - it was sweating (as beenthere described it.) I wonder if that's because cold air escaping from the unit was blowing on it? I previously found condensation along the duct work where a connection wasn't sealed.
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Old 07-23-2014, 06:24 PM   #6
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Cold air blowing on the trap or any object in a hot air can cause it to sweat.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:20 PM   #7
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Based on what the contractor said to you, I hope your AC system was installed correctly.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:47 PM   #8
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that contractor is wrong...period... all duct work in attic should be sealed and insulated to prevent any air leaking from the system and to prevent any attic air being drawn into the system... as mentioned
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:59 PM   #9
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you want the unit to return air from the conditioned space nothing from the hot attic and definitely nothing leaking cold air on that discharge...need to seal all leaks especially 360 degrees around the duct connections
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:03 PM   #10
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Sweating can occur anywhere cold air is escaping from your ducts. Here in California the ducts get tested and if they aren't within a certain range the contractor must go back and seal any air leaks.
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a.man1302 View Post
Sweating can occur anywhere cold air is escaping from your ducts. Here in California the ducts get tested and if they aren't within a certain range the contractor must go back and seal any air leaks.
You'll love this then - the contractor told me he's now required to test the ducts in new construction, too. He says he tapes the unit in order for the vents to reach the required range -- then takes off the tape! I said doesn't that show the system is inefficient without the tape and he still insisted taping the leaks isn't necessary and it could damage the equipment!!
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:32 PM   #12
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He is just pizzed you made him do his job properly or he got caught not doing it or he is on Dope.
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:49 PM   #13
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These situations are where it becomes very difficult for a homeowner. Force him to do it and he will make it worse, I guarantee it.

I would hire an HVAC company to correct the problem with lots of detailed paper work and if he doesn't compensate for that work then the court room is next.

Homeowners are having to deal with this kind of crap every day.

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