Furnace Pro's help, whats this part called and why condensation when heating??

Discussion in 'HVAC' started by Billbill84, Oct 24, 2019.

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  1. Oct 24, 2019 #1

    Billbill84

    Billbill84

    Billbill84

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    IMG_0763.jpg Hi all. Last night I found that I had water under my furnace while the heat was running. I shut the unit down and pulled covers to investigate. My furnace was installed in 2001 so pretty sure it's not no fancy high efficiency unit just regular although it DOES have a PVC exhaust pipe(?)
    I found the condensate line had popped off at the 90 (see pic) and that's where all the water was coming from. I installed a hose clamp and it's good now.
    1) What is that part that I circled that has two drain tubes on top side and one, the one that popped off, on the bottom called??
    2) Why would there even be condensation when I'm running the heat? I thought that could only happen when the AC is on,no? Should note the humidifier is valved off and bypassed so that's not the issue and the rust above the upper exhaust fan was dry and old. Thx
     
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  2. Oct 24, 2019 #2

    Steve123

    Steve123

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    I am no HVAC pro, but water is one of the products of combustion when you burn a hydrocarbon (i.e natural gas). No doubt most of it exits as steam (that is not smoke you see out of the exhaust pipe outside in the winter, its steam), but suppose some of it will condense on cooler furnace surfaces, and condense to liquid.
     
  3. Oct 24, 2019 #3

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    One of the downsides to greater efficiency as mentioned above is when you extract more heat from the combustion you lower the temperature of the exhaust gasses. When you lower them enough below the dew point liquids condense and do not travel out with the waste heat.
     
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  4. Oct 24, 2019 #4

    Sparky617

    Sparky617

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    Mine was installed in 1999 and is a fairly efficient one for its age. My unit looks much like your unit. The condensate pump works year-round. The air coming out of the PVC exhaust is damp and warm. Out of a less efficient unit the gases would be hot and they'd use a galvanized exhaust flue. My attic unit isn't as efficient as my downstairs unit and has a galvanized exhaust stack.

    Just an FYI - begin budgeting to replace your system. I'm still hanging on to mine, but many of my neighbors all built at the same time have already replaced their units. I know I'm on borrowed time.
     
  5. Oct 24, 2019 #5

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    Mine has a condensate pump and ours is very similar and we do not have central air. The pump runs a little here and there during winter months. I have a dehumidifier in the basement and in the summer I was running down once a day and hauling a couple gallons of water up and down in a 5 gallon bucket. I got the idea to run a hose over to the little pump on the furnace and holds about a half gallon. It worked great and runs 4-6 times a day maybe. Been using it like that for a year or two now. Saves a lot of running. I don’t know how long the pump will last but I’m thinking it is good for it to see some usage and not sit dry all summer.


    On a side note as @Sparky617 said mine is around the age of his and the furnace guy told me to expect replacement anytime. At my old house the furnace was a conversion from coal to forced air. Not very efficient I’m told the furnace was from the 20s converted in the 40s and still going strong 100 years later. It was a big 2 story 1880s farm house and my gas bill was around 100 bucks and in the winter if you stood on the floor grate your feet warmed right up fast. This house 1880s tighter better construction and insulation with a 1999 furnace vented in PVC and needing replaced is about 100 bucks per month also and the air coming out is lukewarm and doesn’t do nothing for snow shovel feet.


    Kinda like my 1973 VW got 30mpg and my 2015 KIA gets 30mpg.
     
  6. Oct 25, 2019 #6

    Sparky617

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    Your 2015 Kia will out-accelerate your 1973 VW and has way more equipment than they ever dreamed of in 1973. Oh and will go for 100,000 before a major service. I had a 1969 Bug when I lived in England in the USAF. Just getting the heat to work was a big deal. I had to keep a rag on the handle above the glove box to wipe the windshield clear in the winter. Defrosters were definitely optional on those things. And with the dampness in the UK and lack of AC and the crappy heating, the windshield was always fogged up.
     
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  7. Oct 25, 2019 #7

    pjones

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    It’s a P -Trap. It needs to stay there so the condensate from your condensing furnace can drain properly. Sometimes they need to be removed for maintenance.
     
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  8. Nov 22, 2019 #8

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    If your furnace starts to leak that condensate water again, even with the drain hose properly attached, the trap is pbly getting plugged up.
    Or debris is building up on the catch pan that leads to that drain.

    You can fit a short piece of hose onto the outlet of the trap, and just blow really hard into it, four or five times.

    That will clear the blockage, pbly for a few months.
     
  9. Nov 22, 2019 #9

    Billbill84

    Billbill84

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    So far so good but I did notice while doing that repair, that my condensate pump I installed only 2 months ago, has some pretty nasty grime in it already. Do I need to flush them lines out or something?
     

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