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» ICC Bulletin Board » Code Chat » Plumbing, Mechanical and Fuel Gas Codes » Condensate drain

   
Author Topic: Condensate drain
Tigerloose
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IMG_0703.JPG

This may be a picture of a condensate drain that terminates in a second floor hallway.

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Tigerloose

Posts: 48 | From: LA County | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged
Tigerloose
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Well that didn't work. I'll try something else. The picture is funny so I hope I can get it on here.

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Tigerloose

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Tigerloose
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Can't get it to work. Oh well I'm going to go try something I can do.

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Tigerloose

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Tigerloose
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<a href="http://s644.photobucket.com/albums/uu167/tigerloose/?action=view¤t=IMG_0703.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i644.photobucket.com/albums/uu167/tigerloose/IMG_0703.jpg" border="0" alt="secondary condensate"></a>

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Tigerloose

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Tigerloose
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I guess I need a ten year old to show me how to work this computer.

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Tigerloose

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Tigerloose
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http://i644.photobucket.com/albums/uu167/tigerloose/IMG_0703.jpg

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Tigerloose

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Tigerloose
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Ok I got it. The link above is a picture of a secondary condensate drain that terminates in a second floor hallway. There are about 80 condos' where the A/C, coil and FAU are being replaced. The contractor tells me that this is the way he always does it because the code says it shall terminate in a visible location.

Makes me wonder how he got this far.

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Tigerloose

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Uncle Bob
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Tiger,

LOL, know the feeling; what's neat about it is that we can click on the picture now and enlarge it; to see better. Nice wiring.

Did you tell him to read all of the code requirement?

Uncle Bob

[ 10-06-2009, 06:22 PM: Message edited by: Uncle Bob ]

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Putting back my e-mail address; osoros@hotmail.com (ps. my real name is not "Bob Hamilton"); just in case I find that I am not a "valued member". :(

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Tigerloose
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Bob,

We allow cord and plug as a disconnect. When I told him that he can't run thermostat wiring or pvc in a plenum he swore up and down that there is a duct from the return air register to the furnace so there is no plenum.

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Tigerloose

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Tigerloose
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 -

Here is the nice work he did on the vent. When he read the word thimble on the correction notice he got a puzzled look on his face. I was tempted to tell him to ask his wife because she probably has one in her sewing basket.

In as much as this is a replacement, the vent was approved previously. I should be embarrassed for the B/S dept., but hey I'm an old guy so I've seen plenty wrong "approved work".

You know if you take the slash out of B/S.....

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Tigerloose

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Tigerloose
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Wow that's different. All I wanted was the link and I got the whole picture. I wonder how I did that?

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Tigerloose

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beach
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Is that the return air below the door?

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Catch, eat and release

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Dr. J
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Ok, generally sloppy job, particularly the wiring, however, the secondary condensate drain is in exact accordance with the code. Don't do too many furnace projects, but for fan-coil jobs, the AHJs tell us that the secondary drain from an above ceiling fan coil must terminate through the ceiling tile of the occupied space. A mop basin in a janitors closet, a floor drain in an unoccupied room, through the exterior wall, or any other location that makes sense is not a "conspicuous point of disposal to alert occupants". This is the reason we usually use the overflow switch option.

Whether or not there is 6" of PVC pipe (not legal) in a plenum entirely constructed of wood (legal) should be a simple matter of removing the grille to observe.

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Tigerloose
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Dr. J,

The picture is a second floor closet in a dwelling.

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Tigerloose

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Tigerloose
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beach,

The answer is yes.

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Tigerloose

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Dr. J
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Tiger, a little explanation, first of all I was referring to the IMC. In CA, it may not be the same verbiage. Second, within the IMC, it would be the same in a hotel, dorm room, office, apartment, or whatever.

Other people on this board may recognize my style which is to rant about the silliness of the actual, as-written code requirements, but hope that reasonable AHJs apply the code with some common sense. In this case, the actual, as-written (IMC) code requirements essentially require that installation, unless the condensate switch option is chosen. Where else could the secondary drain go and be a "conspicuous point of disposal to alert occupants"? A floor drain in the closet is not conspicuous to the occupant, since they probably only open that door when something breaks or water is flowing under the door.

I gather that you see the silliness in this (code mandated) installation also, and therefore, in a new installation at least, you would have worked with the installer to come up with a reasonable location for the secondary drain discharge.

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Tigerloose
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Dr.J,
The AHJ I work for currently enforces the 2007 Ca. Mech. Code based on the 2006 UMC.

Section 310.1 states that condensate shall drain to an approved plumbing fixture or a condensate disposal area. The plumbing fixture could be a tailpiece, floor sink, laundry sink, mop sink and so on. The disposal area could be a yard, dry well or planter.

A secondary drain is still a condensate drain so Section 310.1 applies and Section 310.2 applies as well.

310.2 states that the secondary overflow can be achieved by a pan or a standing overflow and in either case is to be discharged into a plumbing fixture or a disposal area. The added stricture is that it shall discharge “at a point that can be readily observed”, so of course not all plumbing fixtures suitable for the primary drain are acceptable for the secondary drain.

Through a ceiling tile in an occupied space would not fit with our code, as it is not a “disposal area”. Considering that there is no way of knowing what an occupant might place under that pipe in the ceiling it seems shortsighted to do so. The reason for a condensate drain is to control the damage that could be caused by a lack of control of the condensate.

The example in the picture would most certainly cause damage were it to function and a hallway is also not a “disposal area”. Disposal is the process of getting rid of something not collecting it on the floor or conference table to be mopped up. The only ceiling drain points I have approved are over a bathtub or shower drain.

310.2 states “The additional pan or the standing overflow shall be provided with a drain pipe”. There is no mention of a mechanical device such as a switch or pump. Therefore this AHJ has determined that condensates shall drain by gravity rather than the reliance on a mechanical device unless there is no way to do so, in which case a pump and switch are allowed. I bend that strict letter of the law in cases of the addition of a coil to an existing up-flow furnace where it would be a real bitch to install a gravity drain.

In the case that is the subject of the picture, the primary drain and secondary drain were combined in the closet at the initial installation of the previous equipment. The contractor knew that it was a code violation yet was not astute enough to install a cut-off switch on the secondary.

Your code: "conspicuous point of disposal to alert occupants", my code: “readily observed”. Yours just uses more words to say the same thing as mine. It is a provision that indicates that the secondary should be noticed so we usually require that it be over a window or near a door.

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Tigerloose

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Tigerloose
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Dr.J,

Seldom do I make an issue about a foot or so of PVC pipe in an open wood framed residential return air plenum. That code is most applicable to the space above dropped ceilings used as a plenum. Now and then I find a pump placed in the residential plenum because there is no room for it in the closet. That I will not allow.

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Tigerloose

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Dr. J
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Tiger - you are my kind of AHJ. Keep making sense.

I'm telling ya though, I have had AHJs say the secondary can't go to the obvious places like a mop basin or mechanical room floor drain because it is just one more dripping pipe, and/or the "occupant" does not access those areas. Stubbing the pipe out a wall and letting the (potential) water dribble across the floor to a toilet room floor drain has been accepted. The ceiling option may be a little radical but when the sensible options are eliminated all you have left are the code compliant ones.

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Tigerloose
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Dr.J,

At first I thought I liked the idea of the bathroom with a floor drain. As long as the walls are FRP or tile they would be protected from the splash, so why not.

But then what about a wet slippery floor that some unsuspecting secretary falls on.

Most of the commercial installs I encounter are roof top units so there isn't a problem. Now and then there is some equipment on the interior but I have not had a problem.

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Tigerloose

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Dr. J
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Slipped secretary = alerted occupant
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Francis Vineyard
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Do not know about CA or UPC but IPC prohibits bathrooms from receiving indirect waste or condensation drain.
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Brent
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Is the single wall vent connector in the 2nd picture for the same 80% furnace in the first picture? Did anyone check to see if it requires a B-vent connector?
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Tigerloose
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Brent,

As far as I know, a single wall connector is legal if a thimble and a proper transition fitting are installed. I haven't seen the installation instructions yet but one of the corrections was to provide the installation instructions.

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Tigerloose

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Tigerloose
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DrJ,

How about a dead secretary? That would get more attention than I need.

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Tigerloose

Posts: 48 | From: LA County | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged
   

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