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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,


I have an old house with a split ac system. One unit in the attic and the other unit is outside on the ground. The condensation line runs from the attic unit to the outside of my house and down to the ground. The original condensation tubing was held together by way of a clamp that tightens with a flat-head screwdriver but the condensation line keeps falling away from gravity. Do I need to buy multiple clamps and attach them down the side of my house? What would these clamps be called? I'm guessing 1 or 2 max would be enough additional to fix the problem if they are necessary at all. If you zoom in on my picture you can barely see at the top where the tubing would be connected normally. But there's nothing there right now because it's lying on the ground.


 

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To me, tubing is flexible, pipe is not. If you are using 3/4" pvc pipe, use 1 or `2 hole pipe clamps and fasten the pipe to the house in a couple of spots. They have plastic ones in the electrical dept. at your local hardware store.
 

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That's not a condensate line in that picture, that's the refrigeration line set.

That's copper tubing and can be formed into a plumb and straight run. Any clamps you use will best be installed at the joint where the pieces of Armaflex (the rubber insulation) butt together. Use a stand-off type clamp directly on the large copper line since that will allow space for the Armaflex without crushing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's not a condensate line in that picture, that's the refrigeration line set.

That's copper tubing and can be formed into a plumb and straight run. Any clamps you use will best be installed at the joint where the pieces of Armaflex (the rubber insulation) butt together. Use a stand-off type clamp directly on the large copper line since that will allow space for the Armaflex without crushing it.

You can't really see the condensate line because the outside part is on the ground and only a stub is visible from the inside portion of the tubing in my picture if you zoom in real close. I know for a fact that the tubing runs from the ac unit in the attic through that hole in my house along with the other lines as you state. I'll get up on the ladder to see if I can get a better picture tomorrow.


Thank You for your post!
 

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I'm sorry, I couldn't see that drain line. I blew the picture up and now I see that there may be an ABS tubing in that group. 57TinkerMan caught that and has offered what is likely the best solution... the tie-wrap. Get the ones with the screw eye so you can strangle the drain gently without collapsing it flat and then screw it to the wall, maybe need masonry anchors unless you know that's a stucco wall, in which case there will be 3" of wood to screw into at the side of that window.

I'm afraid if you just tie it to the line set that it will flatten out and end up plugging off earlier. You could use two ties, one to gently strangle the line and the other to go through the eye of the first and tie to the line set, that way no screw needed in the wall.
 

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I do not recommend plastic zip ties on insulated refrigerant lines. I know people do it all of the time, but it cuts into and wrecks the insulation. If you're going the zip tie route, wrap it around just the smaller pipe that's not insulated, then you can crank down on it as tight as you want without wrecking the Armaflex.

To the original poster... I'm not sure what you are talking about. Could you please describe the condensate line a little better? From what you described so far, I'm guessing it might be vinyl tubing, but I'm not sure. Is it the same material and size all the way from your air handler, or does it start of as some type of hard piping and then transfer to soft tubing some how?

Does this pipe/tubing attach directly to your air handler, or is it coming from a condensate pump?

Is this "clamp that tightens with a flat-head screwdriver" that you speak of just the common stainless steel hose clamp with a worm gear mechanism that I'm picturing in my head? At the point where the tubing keeps falling apart, is there a barbed coupling that goes into the tubing, or is the tubing just stuffed into another pipe?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I do not recommend plastic zip ties on insulated refrigerant lines. I know people do it all of the time, but it cuts into and wrecks the insulation. If you're going the zip tie route, wrap it around just the smaller pipe that's not insulated, then you can crank down on it as tight as you want without wrecking the Armaflex.

To the original poster... I'm not sure what you are talking about. Could you please describe the condensate line a little better? From what you described so far, I'm guessing it might be vinyl tubing, but I'm not sure. Is it the same material and size all the way from your air handler, or does it start of as some type of hard piping and then transfer to soft tubing some how?

Does this pipe/tubing attach directly to your air handler, or is it coming from a condensate pump?

Is this "clamp that tightens with a flat-head screwdriver" that you speak of just the common stainless steel hose clamp with a worm gear mechanism that I'm picturing in my head? At the point where the tubing keeps falling apart, is there a barbed coupling that goes into the tubing, or is the tubing just stuffed into another pipe?

I'll let the new pictures do the talking.


The very last image is where I hooked up the tubing very loosely just to show how it goes together. The diameter of each half of the tube is different. So the tubing coming from the attic unit is smaller than the tubing on the outside of the house. So, one goes inside the other very snugly and then the clamp is tightened with a screwdriver. But this has fallen 2 or 3 times already.




Last image:


 

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Hi,


I have an old house with a split ac system. One unit in the attic and the other unit is outside on the ground. The condensation line runs from the attic unit to the outside of my house and down to the ground.



I would use something like this https://www.homedepot.com/p/RACO-EMT-and-Rigid-IMC-3-4-in-Hanger-100-Pack-2053/203637549


Run the hardware throught the dishwasher, paint bracket and mounting screw the same color as the siding before install. If you don't paint it you will get rust stains down your siding. No need to paint the front bolt.


This link is for the 100 count but they sell singles or doubles in the store. Should have 1/2" and 3/4"
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I would use something like this https://www.homedepot.com/p/RACO-EMT-and-Rigid-IMC-3-4-in-Hanger-100-Pack-2053/203637549


Run the hardware throught the dishwasher, paint bracket and mounting screw the same color as the siding before install. If you don't paint it you will get rust stains down your siding. No need to paint the front bolt.


This link is for the 100 count but they sell singles or doubles in the store. Should have 1/2" and 3/4"

There is no dishwasher in 'This Old House' (TV Series :smile:) at the moment. I'd just be using this (your suggestion) in place of the smaller clamp that's on the tubing now.
 

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Looks like vinyl tubing onto vinyl tubing... if so, that won't work to hold very well. You'd need to put a barb coupling between them and use the same size on both tubing.

I suppose you could tie wrap it from the gear clamp to the copper on the line set and keep it in place without much further ado.

Now is a good time to replace that tubing before it gets any further plugged and causes ceiling damage. I recommend a complete secondary drain for attic air handlers so you can monitor it to see when the primary is plugged. It's a code requirement in some areas. They don't explain how to keep the required trap from drying out though... no big loss though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Looks like you never had it pushed on the copper pipe far enough... get it on further and tighten that gear clamp up. It won't go anywhere.

If that vinyl tubing is old and hardened, run a new one.

You may be right. The last AC technician who hooked it up may have been lazy. But there is no copper tubing involved in my issue. It's plastic tubing to plastic tubing. There is no copper connection involved where these tubes keep coming apart by way of gravity.


The tubing seems very hard and rigid. Probably over 20 years old and that's a conservative guess. So new tubing would help? I thought it was just rigid by the nature of the thickness but if age is causing this problem that would be good to know as well.
 

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It will be a lot cheaper to just buy some PVC and glue. That is what most of them are made of.
I agree that it would be better to redo the entire thing in 3/4" hard pvc if you can. One little tip if you do this... Use pvc electrical conduit instead of plumbing pvc, at least for the outdoor section. This is because the grey electrical kind is made to be outdoors and is UV resistant, plumbing PVC is not. That's my tip O' the day, do with it what you will.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I agree that it would be better to redo the entire thing in 3/4" hard pvc if you can. One little tip if you do this... Use pvc electrical conduit instead of plumbing pvc, at least for the outdoor section. This is because the grey electrical kind is made to be outdoors and is UV resistant, plumbing PVC is not. That's my tip O' the day, do with it what you will.

Sounds like good advice. Thank You very much! :smile:
 

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I recommend an aluminum chase. They generally are 4" wide and come out from the house 4 to 6". In your case if you take measurements width and how far out and a flang on each side of an inch so you can screw it to the house. Most vinyl siding and aluminum guys have a break. They would bend it for a few bucks. Add 6" to how ever long so you can bend the top back to the house.

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