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Thread: Is it necessary to add cleanouts? Also whether to tie in A/C condenser?

  1. #1

    Default Is it necessary to add cleanouts? Also whether to tie in A/C condenser?

    Hi-

    Question about cleanouts that I didn't see addressed elsewhere...

    Had a sewage backup a couple weeks ago, husband admitted later on to putting bacon grease down the drain which I suspect was the culprit. Never had drain problems before that.

    Plumber came out and found where the drain exits the house, busted a hole in the top of it, snaked it and problem solved. It was late in the day and he left the hole exposed, suggested I should have him return to do the following

    1) install cleanout
    2) tie in the A/C condenser pipe coming out of the house into the main sewage line

    He quoted me $550 for this additional work.

    House is a 1964 ranch house with no cleanout already installed. Questions...

    1) Do I absolutely need to install the cleanout? At first I thought absolutely yes, but given that I now know the location of the drain line, assuming it clogs up again couldn't I have someone just dig another hole and snake it? I anticipate staying in the house 3 more years, and if it were to clog once a year I wouldn't spend $550 getting it fixed in this way.

    2) Is it right to tie in the A/C condenser pipe to the main sewage line? How does one prevent fumes from going up into the unit? P trap it somehow? How necessary is this?

    Love this forum.

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Default

    Where does the condensate now drain? It can tie into a drain, but must do so into a trapped standpipe, or above a sink trap. If it is draining outside somewhere now, and is not causing problems, why mess with it.

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member Marlin336's Avatar
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    Around here by code you must have a house trap, do you have one? If you do he should have been able to snake from there without digging or breaking the pipe.
    Typically all new sewer lines have clean outs (here anyway). I'd have it installed, it's probably not going to be much more than patching the section he opened anyway.
    As for the condensate line I wouldn't mess with it. Usually they just get run into the gutter.

  4. #4

    Default

    A) Install the cleanout. SOMEBODY should do it someday so you might as well complete the job while it is located and partiall dug up.

    2) Don't run the condensate line....(which does not come from the condenser but from the evaporater coils in the air handler. The condenser is the unit that contains the compressor.)....ANYway, don't run it into the drain. Sewer gas CAN get sucked back into the AC ventillation system even if there is a trap (they do dry out). I made this mistake once at my office.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default drain

    1. If there is an actual backup, the hole will fill with water once the cover is removed from the hole.
    2. It will be very difficult to cover the hole and keep it watertight, and dirt proof..
    3. Do you really want to pay plumber's rates to have someone dig a hole, especially the second, third, etc., times? I try never to dig it more than the first time.
    4. DO NOT connect the AC condensate to the sewer, even with its own trap, unless the condensate line is coming from a pump.

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