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Thread: LOUD DRIPPING - A/C condensation drain behind the wall

  1. #16
    DIY Senior Member jeff_bathroom's Avatar
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    I'd like to spend some to save some. But I won't spend that up front money until our country is returned to a working free market.
    Point of this thread though was the fix for the dripping noise and problem is solved. My other house was built just like this one so
    I suspect it is to code here in GA.

  2. #17
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff_bathroom View Post
    I'd like to spend some to save some. But I won't spend that up front money until our country is returned to a working free market.
    Point of this thread though was the fix for the dripping noise and problem is solved. My other house was built just like this one so
    I suspect it is to code here in GA.
    Returned to a working free market? Really? Are all building codes an infringement on free-market, in your view?

    Air sealing is the CHEAPEST sort of energy efficiency improvement you'll ever make, and it'll improve both comfort & indoor air quality year round. A 3-5" overblow of cellulose is almost as cheap, but boosts summertime comfort more so than wintertime comfort in a GA climate. Air sealing also protects the structural wood from moisture damage/mold, since exfiltration paths in winter deposit moisture in cold wood, and in summer infiltration paths deposit moisture on the paper facers of the wallboard in air conditioned homes (though it's not nearly as severe for you as it is in south FL or parts of the TX gulf coast.)

    Current GA code for new houses has to meet the IRC 2009 air leakage limit of 7 air changes per hour @ 50 Pascal pressure. Your might pass, but I wouldn't count on it. But that spec is dead-easy to meet, even as a retrofit, though most homes in GA built before 2008 see more air leakage than that. But independently of whether that's a government intrusion, it's demonstrably cost-effective in short years, and and going from a >10ACH/50 house to ~3 ACH/50 (a typical result of one pass using blower-door directed air sealing) is a comfort uptick you can FEEL, as is blowing another R10-15 or so of cellulose on top of R19 fiberglass, filling in the voids & compressions.

    It took until 2011 for GA to ban active attic ventilation in the building codes, (another intrusion on the free market I s'pose) despite ample evidence going back decades that actively ventilating an attic primarily cools the attic by sucking conditioned air into the attic from the space below through all the leaks in the attic floor, which in turn sucks humid outdoor air into the conditioned space, lowering comfort and increasing energy use. Even without a fan driving it, the stack effect does some of the same, though it's an order of magnitude or so lower. But the comparative infra-red radiation opacity of cellulose to low-density fiberglass has as much to do with summertime comfort and cooling load reduction as the additional R value.

    So, you can either sacrifice comfort & cooling/heating expenses on the altar of free market principles, or judiciously apply building science & financial investment principles to make it a more comfortable home, it's completely up to you. But I doubt there's any legal or safe investment available to you with better after-tax returns than the modest improvements suggested.

    This isn't much different than pointing out to somebody that their left-rear tire looks a bit low- drive on it the way it is if you like, but it'll handle better and last longer if you take the time to give it some air. If you plan on living in the house one more year a decent DIY round of air sealing will more than pay for itself. A DIY cellulose overblow to restore the performance of the fiberglass and maybe a bit more could take 5 years to pay off or it might take 3- hard to tell without a more detailed inspection. If you let the pros do it the financial payback will take longer, but they might do more, and fix & find the less-obvious leaks, improving comfort & efficiency more (or not- depends on the pro.) With the drive for new nukes going on in GA I don't expect electricity to do anything but rise over the next decade, given the huge capitalization costs of the project, so payoff can be quicker than how it first pencils out.

  3. #18
    DIY Senior Member jeff_bathroom's Avatar
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    No, I just know an anti-American liberal when I see one. Your off-topic political statement was not, and is not welcome in this conversation.
    The economy is dead because of your vote and your cart before the horse, idiotic ideals. Everyone wants a clean environment and efficient
    energy and it can be done properly in time, but not all at once at the cost of destroying the economy, the free market system
    and the country in the process, particularly when it's being rammed down our throats by idiots who create stupid ideas like Solyndra. When we're all in bread lines,
    I don't think your little plan above is going to matter. Don't worry, the number of people collecting food stamps is now more than those of us
    whom are lucky enough to be able to still work for a living. It appears your King will shortly have the rest of us out of work too.

  4. #19
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    For the record, it was jeff_bathroom that politicized the thread with the "...until our country is returned to a working free market..." statement, which was completely uncalled for given that what I'd suggested in the prior was completely technical &/or code related.

    Characterizing me as an "anti-American liberal", would be pretty far off the mark too. (Need new glasses? :-) )

    I'm proud to be an American, an engineer- and I work the numbers on what is/isn't cost effective, which is pretty far from what could rationally thought of as "...at the cost of destroying the economy, the free market system and the country in the process, particularly when it's being rammed down our throats by idiots who create stupid ideas like Solyndra." I didn't invent the D.O.E. nor do I endorse their budget, but I sure won't ignore the basic math when available, whether it comes from D.O.E. publications or elsewhere.

    It's neither liberal or anti-American to make your house more comfortable and energy efficient using methods that have very short financial payback periods. It boosts the economy by putting more money in your pocket to spend as you see fit. If you prefer to hand that money to (the regulated monopoly) Georgia Power to pay for their (federally subsidized by your tax dollars & mine in several ways- you're welcome!) nuclear power projects, that's entirely up to you, but don't pretend it's the free-market at work, that it'll save jobs, or that it's our patriotic duty to spend more on utilities. Whether you believe the GP nukes are the most cost-effective way forward or not (and there are more than two sides to that particular issue, as well as to it's relative cleanliness), using less power frees up more grid capacity for more local economic development to use, which isn't exactly an economy-destroying free-market destroying act.

    I'm glad you got your condensate drain issues under control, but I'm sorry you're so easily offended with the suggestion that you could tighten up the place a bit on the cheap. None of my prior posts on this thread contain political content, yet somehow you seem to see some phantoms there. I still don't understand what you meant by "...until our country is returned to a working free market."- thought mayhaps you'd spell it out, but I'm beyond caring what you actually think at this point, given the shallowness & mis-directed bile of your response. Good luck!

  5. #20
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    I know that you mean well Dana.

    I live in a older house, and for me to bring my house up to today's spec would cost me more than the house cost to build.


    When should you bulldoze and start over ?
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

  6. #21
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    Don: My circa 1923 house is pretty sub-code in many respects too, and couldn't meet current code for R-value without truly onerous expense, but I still fix the cheap & obvious stuff like air leaks when I find them, and it's made a measurable difference on both comfort and energy use. (Total heating energy use is tracking about 30% lower on a source-fuel BTU/heating degree-day basis than the day I moved in, while adding ~500 square feet of additions.)

    You only bulldoze and start over when there are a sufficient collection of serious repair issues that would cost at least half as much as the newer-better house. A buddy of mine bought a derelict of a 3-family rental property on the cheap a few years ago- the clapboard siding was splitting, roof starting to leak, the circa 1890 window sashes hadn't seen new putty since 1950 or earlier, and the central steam boiler had crapped out sometime in the 1980s. The slumlord had installed some pretty-good wall furnaces, but there was nothing close to code on it. I helped him figure out how to do a full-gut rehab on the place for less money than a code-min knock-down & replace solution, while taking the energy use down to something like a quarter of what a code-min building would do. Yes, there was a substantial amount of subsidy money behind it (from the local utility), but doing things like using reclaimed roofing foam from demolition (from enterprising scrapyard entrepreneurs) saved well over 10 grand on the insulation upgrades it took to get there.

    Without subsidy it still would have been worth taking to a bit better than code-min at the comparatively high energy costs in New England, strictly on a net-present-value basis looking at it as a 10+ year investment, even assuming no energy price inflation. YMMV. But we DID run the numbers several ways- a full-gut rehab at code min would have cost slightly more out of pocket than the subsidized full-gut with deep-energy retrofit aspects, and he had no moral/political issues with taking the subsidy money the way jeff might. A code-min rehab would still have come in significantly less than a new code-min building it's a high labor-cost area for construction labor compared to GA or TX, and even with the Portuguese & Spanish speaking non-union subcontractors he used for most of the non-energy aspects project it wasn't exactly cheap. But the fact that the utilities run well under $100/month year round and the super-comfort of ~R40 (whole-wall average all thermal bridging factored in), makes it easy to rent the place out for more money than the average, and it has a VERY good internal rate of return on the project as a whole. (Good thing too- he has 4 kids to put through college, starting in another 5 years or so.)

    My in-laws have other projects on commercial buildings where they actually DID bulldoze and start over. (It's a long story that started with water table contamination of dry cleaning fluid presumed to be from one of the tenants in the building being discovered by an abutting property owner... ) The building could have been rehabbed, but in that case the costs would have been higher, and the resulting value lower than the new building.

    It's a lot cheaper in cost/performance to do the really big things when you're looking at full-gut rehab vs. knockdown situations than it is for a pretty-good house that has been kept in pretty-good repair like mine. But that doesn't mean you can't make back the cost of a few cans of foam or spot insulating where it's easy in short years.

  7. #22
    DIY Senior Member jeff_bathroom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana View Post
    For the record, it was jeff_bathroom that politicized the thread with the "...until our country is returned to a working free market..." statement, which was completely uncalled for given that what I'd suggested in the prior was completely technical &/or code related.

    Characterizing me as an "anti-American liberal", would be pretty far off the mark too. (Need new glasses? :-) )

    I'm proud to be an American, an engineer- and I work the numbers on what is/isn't cost effective, which is pretty far from what could rationally thought of as "...at the cost of destroying the economy, the free market system and the country in the process, particularly when it's being rammed down our throats by idiots who create stupid ideas like Solyndra." I didn't invent the D.O.E. nor do I endorse their budget, but I sure won't ignore the basic math when available, whether it comes from D.O.E. publications or elsewhere.

    It's neither liberal or anti-American to make your house more comfortable and energy efficient using methods that have very short financial payback periods. It boosts the economy by putting more money in your pocket to spend as you see fit. If you prefer to hand that money to (the regulated monopoly) Georgia Power to pay for their (federally subsidized by your tax dollars & mine in several ways- you're welcome!) nuclear power projects, that's entirely up to you, but don't pretend it's the free-market at work, that it'll save jobs, or that it's our patriotic duty to spend more on utilities. Whether you believe the GP nukes are the most cost-effective way forward or not (and there are more than two sides to that particular issue, as well as to it's relative cleanliness), using less power frees up more grid capacity for more local economic development to use, which isn't exactly an economy-destroying free-market destroying act.

    I'm glad you got your condensate drain issues under control, but I'm sorry you're so easily offended with the suggestion that you could tighten up the place a bit on the cheap. None of my prior posts on this thread contain political content, yet somehow you seem to see some phantoms there. I still don't understand what you meant by "...until our country is returned to a working free market."- thought mayhaps you'd spell it out, but I'm beyond caring what you actually think at this point, given the shallowness & mis-directed bile of your response. Good luck!

    Dana, (for the record)
    Unlike your first of many snide comments, there was nothing I said initially including "...until our country is returned to a working free market..." that was overtly aggressive or nasty towards you or anyone else. It WAS my post about a leak, not about insulation. Point was; many people don't have the money even to do upgrades like the ones you mention even if they make long term economic sense. I simply voiced my opinion in what used to be my post about a leak, as to the reason why the economy is bad. Your tangents about DOE, nuclear and building codes and all the other conversations you were having with yourself have absolutely nothing to do with what I said.
    Now, having said that... I loath liberals/progressives because "it is my opinion" that they are destroying our country. Actually it's fact, but anyway. You looked like the typical green radical who HAD to stick your face in, off topic, and start blabbing green manure. Well, if I got that wrong, then I'm sorry I threw a label at you if it didn't belong...and I mean that. I'm just utterly sick of the gigantic pie-hole of the left.
    But for the record, YOU got sarcastic and personal first. I just implied that you should start your own post which I think is what this is really all about.

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