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AIR CONDITIONING & HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS
A/C - HEAT PUMP CONTROLS & SWITCHES
AIR CONDITIONER COMPONENT PARTS
AIR CONDITIONER TYPES, ENERGY SOURCES
AIR FILTER EFFICIENCY
AIR FILTERS, FIBERGLASS PARTICLES
AIR FLOW MEASUREMENT CFM
APPLIANCE DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY RATINGS
BLOWER DOORS & AIR INFILTRATION
BLOWER FAN CONTINUOUS OPERATION
BLOWER FAN OPERATION & TESTING
BOOKSTORE - Air Conditioning "How To" Books
CAPACITORS for HARD STARTING MOTORS
CLEANING & Legionella BACTERIA
CHINESE DRYWALL HAZARDS
CONDENSATION or SWEATING PIPES, TANKS
DEFINITION of HEATING & COOLING TERMS
DEW POINT CALCULATION for WALLS
DEW POINT TABLE - CONDENSATION POINT GUIDE
DIAGNOSTIC GUIDES A/C / HEAT PUMP
DIAGNOSE & FIX HEATING PROBLEMS-BOILER
DIAGNOSE & FIX HEATING PROBLEMS-FURNACE
DUCTS - Asbestos
DUCT INSULATION, Asbestos Paper
DUCT INSULATION for SOUNDPROOFING
DUCT SYSTEM & DUCT DEFECTS
DUCT SYSTEM NOISES
DUCTS, Asbestos Transite Pipe
DUST, HVAC CONTAMINATION STUDY
ELECTRIC MOTOR OVERLOAD RESET SWITCH
EVAPORATIVE COOLING SYSTEMS
FAN LIMIT SWITCH
GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS, TOXIC
GAS DETECTION INSTRUMENTS
HEAT LOSS (or GAIN) in buildings
HEAT LOSS (or GAIN) INDICATORS
HEAT LOSS R U & K VALUE CALCULATION
HEATING SMALL LOADS
INSPECTION CHECKLIST - OUTDOOR UNIT
INSPECTION LIMITATIONS, A/C SYSTEMS
LEED GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATION
LOST COOLING CAPACITY
LOW VOLTAGE TRANSFORMER TEST
MOTOR OVERLOAD RESET SWITCH
MOLD in AIR HANDLERS & DUCT WORK
OPERATING COST, AIR CONDITIONER
OPERATING DEFECTS, AIR CONDITIONING
REPAIR GUIDES A/C / HEAT PUMP
REPAIR & DIAGNOSTIC FAQs for A/C
THERMOSTATS, HEATING / COOLING
THERMOSTATIC EXPANSION VALVES
WATER COOLED AIR CONDITIONERS
WINDOW / WALL AIR CONDITIONERS
WINDOW / WALL A/C SUPPORTS
A/C condensate drains & pumps: codes, installation, leaks, clogs, connections, troubleshooting & repair: this air conditioning repair article discusses the inspection and repair or un-clogging of air conditioning condensate systems, including Air Conditioning condensate drains, condensate pumps, and their proper installation as part of our review of condensate piping, traps, drains, condensate pumps, and the detection and hazards of air conditioning system condensate leaks in buildings. Condensate leak health and safety concerns are reviewed. Readers who need to clean or unclog a blocked or leaky overflowing A/C or heat pump condensate drain should see CONDENSATE DRAIN CLEAN & DE-CLOG.
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Uniform Mechanical Code Section 310.0, 310.1 Condensate Disposal
ICC Model Building Code, Section 307: Condensate Disposal Regulations & Recommendations
The following HVACR condensate disposal recommendations summary cites, paraphrases, & comments on the widely adopted 2006 ICC model building code section on condensate disposal, section 307 
1. Requirement for a drainage system
For the two Types of Condensate: Fuel burning devices vs Evaporators & cooling coils
2. Types, sizes, slope of Condensate Drain Piping
4. Acceptable Condensate Drainage Terminations
5. Requirements for a Backup Condensate Drain System & Backup Condensate Drain Options
6. Other requirements for a condensate water-level monitoring device
7. Model building code requirements for a trap on the HVACR condensate drain system
Condensate Pan, Overflow Pan or Base Pan Cleaning Recommendations
We did not find cleaning requirements for condensate drip trays cited in the model building codes surveyed to date. However a read of manufacturer's installation instructions can provide further advice. For example:
Our photo (left) shows a white flexible tube used as condensate drain tubing for a split system air conditioning system being installed in a New York Home. (click photo to see an enlarged, detailed version). Photo courtesy Galow Homes.
Even now the drain is not perfectly sloped (note it's a bit high at that second cripple stud from left) but it was much worse before we re-routed the drain. The air conditioner installer had the drain line sloping up-hill in the area I've circled in the photo.
Having already had condensate drain line clogs and backups and leaks from the indoor air handler into the building wall at another split-system air conditioner where the condensate drain was improperly sloped and clog-prone, I was not going to let it happen again at this installation.
The installer thought I was being unreasonably demanding. But then, he was ignoring the plumbing code (1/8" per foot slope for condensate drain lines) and apparently didn't recognize the potential costs in rot, insect damage or mold if we simply let the condensate drain clog (due to an improper slope and dust that will enter the line) followed by leaks into the building wall up at the air handler.
See SPLIT SYSTEM AIR CONDITIONERS & HEAT PUMPS for complete information about the installation, routing, insulation, & protection of condensate drains for split system cooling or heat pump units.
CONDENSATE DRAINS - Air Conditioning or Heat Pump Condensate Drains Connected to a Building Plumbing Vent Pipe?
Safety Hazards of Air Conditioning or Heat Pump System Condensate Leaks Onto a Furnace Heat Exchanger
Air conditioner condensate leaks into a furnace as we can see in these two photographs, can be dangerous. If the air conditioner condensate leaks cause rust holes in the furnace heat exchanger there is risk of dangerous flue gases, including carbon monoxide, leaking into the building air supply when the heater is running.
The rust seen in the bottom of the blower compartment tells us that this problem has gone on for some time. Further inspection of the heat exchanger is needed for damage, and on most systems, further inspection for mold contamination in the air handler and duct work may also be in order since the system has been spilling water into the air handler and perhaps the ductwork.
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