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Thread: New furnace draining into foundation -- overflow

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member caleb_tng's Avatar
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    Default New furnace draining into foundation -- overflow

    Awesome new Trane XV95 furnace, but it is spilling a whole lot of water onto my basement floor. The old furnace was just draining into a hole in the foundation. This furnace is apparently generating more water, and the hole is overflowing.

    I do have a sump pump about 18 feet from the furnace, and it is currently not running, so I do not think under the foundation is saturated. What is going on? Should my HVAC tech have run a hose to the sump pump? If so, I imagine that would have required another pump, because we'd need to go up into the suspended ceiling of my finished basement.

    Thanks in advance.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Most people use a condensate pump to dump it into a proper drain (often, the washing machine drain is the easiest place). This is a popular brand (I have one of these in my system)...http://www.franklin-electric.com/hva...e-removal.aspx. Depending on the distance and height you need to pmp it, would dictate which pump you'd need. They have an internal float switch, and only run once the reservoir fills up. From my experience, they are quiet and quite reiliable although eventually, they will need to be replaced. As your increase efficiency, you'll condense more moisture out of the flue gasses. It'a also slightly acidic, and not the greatest thing to be dumping into the soil.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    DIY Junior Member caleb_tng's Avatar
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    Thanks. The sump pump is the only location available for this. Looks like I will need a condensate pump. I'd install it myself, but I think I want the kind that connects to the furnace and shuts it down in the event of a pump failure. I just had this furnace installed and I don't want to touch it myself.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If you're going to run it over to the sump, you wouldn't need a pump as gravity would do it fine. Running pvc pipe for that purpose is easy and cheap. If you really want it to shut the system down, some pumps come with a switch and probably the easiest thing to switch is the 24vac control voltage - that would stop the request for heat, fan, or a/c (the upper drain is for the a/c evaporator). Surprised you didn't see liquid during the summer from it, as you'd normally get more condensate then verses the heating system.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Junior Member caleb_tng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    If you're going to run it over to the sump, you wouldn't need a pump as gravity would do it fine. Running pvc pipe for that purpose is easy and cheap. If you really want it to shut the system down, some pumps come with a switch and probably the easiest thing to switch is the 24vac control voltage - that would stop the request for heat, fan, or a/c (the upper drain is for the a/c evaporator). Surprised you didn't see liquid during the summer from it, as you'd normally get more condensate then verses the heating system.
    Thanks. Well, this is a brand new furnace, installed just about 8 weeks ago. The last furnace was draining into this same hole, though, and I never had problems, Summer or Winter.

    The sump pump is in a closet, and there is a finished portion of the basement between the furnace and the sump, so I'd need to go up and across the drop ceiling.

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    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    The good news is that the extra condensation is a measure of just how much more efficiently the new furnace is running compared to the old- you're extracting far more heat-of-vaporization out of the exhaust that otherwise would have gone out the vent.

    The bad news is that the pink stuff hanging out of the studs isn't doing much for you unless you push/pull/fluff it so that it's fully filling the stud cavities (and not compressed behind plumbing & wiring etc.) and an air-barrier is added to block convective air flow between the room and air in the pinks stuff in the stud cavity. As-installed it's probably performing at less than half the R-value stated on the label, due to the convective air exchange between the room air & the air within the fiber, the convective air movement AROUND the batts where they're pulled out, and the lower thickness where it's been compressed.



    The vapor permeance of the air barrier DOES matter, but what it needs to be will vary depending on whether it's a partition wall to a garage, up against a sub-grade foundation, or a fully exposed exerior wall with exterior siding.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The outlet of the pump can be flexible tubing, so it's still a pretty easy install if you can fish it over the ceilig. FWIW, both the condensate drain from the evaporator AND the furnace should be trapped (unless the furnace's outlet is trapped inside). I recently cut out a cobbled up trap on mine and used one from this company: http://airtec.rectorseal.com/condens...trap/smarttrap. It's nice because you can get it with caps and a long brush to clean the thing out. You're more likely to need to do that on the a/c evaporator drain than the furnace, but it also makes it nice and easy to see if it's accumulating crud, too.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Junior Member caleb_tng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    FWIW, both the condensate drain from the evaporator AND the furnace should be trapped (unless the furnace's outlet is trapped inside).
    Thanks. The installer was back in today to put in a condensate pump, free of charge. I did ask him about the lack of a trap on the furnace drain pipe; he pointed out to me where the trap was located inside the furnace.

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    DIY Junior Member caleb_tng's Avatar
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    The bad news is that the pink stuff hanging out of the studs isn't doing much for you
    Thanks. That wall actually has the finished basement on the other side. (Unfortunately, since that is where the water was heading.) The guy that did my basement just had some extra insulation and threw that up to help deaden the sound of my old furnace. Also I was pulling at it when I was trying to figure out where all the water was coming from.

  10. #10
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    To gain any effectiveness in sound control would require putting up wallboard, and blocking any ceiling joists that pass between the furnace room and adjacent space. But the ducts would also need some insulation to reduce the vibe.

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    Like an engineer alternety's Avatar
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    Just a suggestion. The condensate from the furnace can be quite acidic. If that becomes a major component of the water in the sump pump it might adversely affect the pump (e.g., eat the non-plastic impellers and casing). Running the discharge through some limestone chips would help. A little assembly can be made out of PVC pipe. You might want to talk to the contractor about this.

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