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Old 11-22-2011, 01:33 PM   #1
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Connect Air Cond Drain to House Waste lines


I want to connect the water drain lines (white pipe in pictures) that come from my upstairs air conditioning unit to the main drain/vent pipes in my basement? Currently the drain lines empty into an open floor drain in the basement. I want to add a 'y' to the existing drain/vent lines (black pipe in the picture) and connect the A/C drain lines to the actual drain.

These lines are dropping 2 stories before emerging into the basement, do I need to add a trap before they drop down the 2 stories? Or add a trap before joining it into the drain lines?

Is there a reason why I can't do this?

My underlying motivation for doing this is to be able to eliminate the a/c drain lines from an unfortunate location so I don't have to soffit my ceiling before I drywall it

The last picture with the red shows the proposed re-routing of the drain lines.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:46 PM   #2
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Connect Air Cond Drain to House Waste lines


the primary drain can be tied into a waste line in certain areas, not sure about your local codes. however, the secondary drain line, which is used for overflow purposes when the primary drain clogs, should be run somewhere that is visible to the homeowner. not sure of the exact codes, but i know the water needs to flow where the homeowner will see it and realize something is wrong.

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Old 11-22-2011, 01:59 PM   #3
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Connect Air Cond Drain to House Waste lines


No, pvc to steel. That is poop water waste, not condensate or bath water drain waste. Your entire home will smell like a long unattended gas station restroom.

You can tie into the drain that comes from under a sink, which will be pvc.
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:18 PM   #4
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Connect Air Cond Drain to House Waste lines


Regardless of where you tie it into, it needs a p trap on the sanitary drain side. That is why it now runs to the floor drain- its trapped under the floor. I would also recommend you not directly connect it to the sanitary drain.

Edit: Do you have to soffit due to the drain location in the 3rd picture? If so, shorten the drop coming from the floor and raise the drain line into the joist bay

Last edited by TheEplumber; 11-22-2011 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:09 PM   #5
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Connect Air Cond Drain to House Waste lines


Thanks for the excellent feedback. You guys are quick!!

The white pipes and the black pipes are both PVC, do there is no steel in play here.

I hadn't thought about the primary vs secondary drains... Makes me think this isn't a good idea. Those black drain pipes will be framed in with I finish out that room.

As for the soffit issue, that spot isn't visible in the posted pictures... You can see it in this pic. And of course, the pipes go under a microlam beam on the left side.. So I can't get them any higher than this.
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Last edited by AdamOJ; 11-22-2011 at 05:11 PM. Reason: Added more detail
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:26 PM   #6
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Connect Air Cond Drain to House Waste lines


btw, the black is not PVC, it is ABS. if you want to connect PVC (white) to ABS (black), i believe you have to use a rubber transition fitting with steel clamps. PVC and ABS are different types of plastic that require different cements but i do not believe can be cemented to each other in a way that is approved by code.

others seem to discourage the sanitary drain connection, not sure why it would be a problem if you put a p-trap before it.
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:31 PM   #7
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Connect Air Cond Drain to House Waste lines


Thanks for the clarification on the pipe types.. I was planning to do the p-trap idea but that would not solve the problem of being able to inspect the secondary drain line... You are saying that I could identify the primary, p-trap it into the sanitation lines, but still have to fine another outlet for the secondary, the only option I have for that (where it is visible for inspection) is it's current location draining into a floor drain.
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:39 PM   #8
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Connect Air Cond Drain to House Waste lines


secondaries typically run outside above a window or door. mine just juts out a hole in the trim at the top of my brick wall near my front door. couldn't you just turn it the other way and straight out the basement above the foundation wall?
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:40 PM   #9
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Consider this method
Cut in a 2" p trap on the ABS riser and use a new washing machine box. Set it as high as practical. Drill 2 holes in the top of the washer box to receive the condensate lines. Use 45* elbows to align pipe over the 2" drain. Now you have a nice box to sheetrock around a still keep the over flow visible. You can buy the washer box without water vales installed- just a blank box. Now, the next concern is, will that new p trap ever dry out due to lack of condensate draining into it? It should have a trap primmer also.
I like to keep a separation between the cond. drain and sanitary because there is an ongoing argument on diseases passing between the two drain systems and getting into your heating/cooling systems. It all stems from the Legionnaire outbreak years ago...
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:47 PM   #10
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Connect Air Cond Drain to House Waste lines


I have been picked on and cajoled by many because of my secondary pipe location. I dropped it out of the attic to the shower and put a estuchtion(spelled wrong) on it.

It's the best place to observe if your A/C is ready to overflow.

Over 40 years in HVAC Business and called a hack. Oh well.

PS: the location is great as long as people in the household shower regularly.
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroNate View Post
secondaries typically run outside above a window or door. mine just juts out a hole in the trim at the top of my brick wall near my front door. couldn't you just turn it the other way and straight out the basement above the foundation wall?
This spot is about as far from the foundation wall as they get, but I'm following you on that idea. the AC unit is in the attic above the 2nd floor, so a drain to the outside isn't out of the question, but would be a fair amount of work...

I like where this is going though.
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:50 PM   #12
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Connect Air Cond Drain to House Waste lines


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEplumber View Post
Consider this method
Cut in a 2" p trap on the ABS riser and use a new washing machine box. Set it as high as practical. Drill 2 holes in the top of the washer box to receive the condensate lines. Use 45* elbows to align pipe over the 2" drain. Now you have a nice box to sheetrock around a still keep the over flow visible. You can buy the washer box without water vales installed- just a blank box. Now, the next concern is, will that new p trap ever dry out due to lack of condensate draining into it? It should have a trap primmer also.
I like to keep a separation between the cond. drain and sanitary because there is an ongoing argument on diseases passing between the two drain systems and getting into your heating/cooling systems. It all stems from the Legionnaire outbreak years ago...
Very interesting idea. I don't have any place that I would want that visible, but I could always install an access cover over the box and remove it to inspect when needed.

I'm in Colorado, so AC runs 3-4 month of the year, and heat runs 4-5 months of the year, and it's dry all the time. So drying out is a very good possibility. What is a trap primmer?

Another thought on the same idea, We have an upstairs Stackable washer/Dryer pretty much directly underneath the AC unit. Maybe I drop these drains into the Drain behind the wash/Dry. Wouldn't be able to regularly see it, but would have access by pulling out the washer/dryer. Not as comfortable with that idea...

Last edited by AdamOJ; 11-22-2011 at 06:54 PM. Reason: Added a
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:53 PM   #13
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Connect Air Cond Drain to House Waste lines


yeah obviously the best route would be to reroute from the attic down an outside wall and out the wall at a convenient yet usable location. this could be relatively easy depending on your roof/attic setup. you can also run it directly out a roof soffit (preferrably over a window or door), which shouldn't be too difficult. drill a hole in the soffit where you want it from the outside (make sure you can access the relative location from the attic first), then run the line to that hole and out.
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:56 PM   #14
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Connect Air Cond Drain to House Waste lines


Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroNate View Post
yeah obviously the best route would be to reroute from the attic down an outside wall and out the wall at a convenient yet usable location. this could be relatively easy depending on your roof/attic setup. you can also run it directly out a roof soffit (preferrably over a window or door), which shouldn't be too difficult. drill a hole in the soffit where you want it from the outside (make sure you can access the relative location from the attic first), then run the line to that hole and out.
Forgive me, but he easy access to the drain is to be able to inspect it? How do I distinguish the primary from the secondary? Primary coming out of the bottom of the AC unit, secondary out the top?
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:58 PM   #15
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secondary is only for an emergency situation when the primary is clogged. it should normally never have water running out of it. that is why you run it straight outside over a window or door, so if you see water you know the primary is clogged and you have a problem. secondary is connected to a pan below the a/c. i'm assuming since it is in the attic it is horizontally mounted. primary is tied directly into the unit at the evaporator coil.

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