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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SE Texas
    Posts
    440
    Quote Originally Posted by crymtide View Post
    Since we have so many answers I'll add mine. The cheapest fastest most effective method is a heater designed to go inside the drain pipe (available at a refrigeration supply store). You wire it to be on continuously and there is no need for insulation on the drain line. These heaters are braided metal on the outside and feed in to the drain line right at the start in the drain pan with the wiring going to the terminal block where the fans and defrost coils land. On a 208/230 volt system you use the available 208/ 230volt heater or you can get one that is voltage specific 208 vac or 240 vac and land on the incoming terminals supplying voltage to the terminal strips. You'll find only one leg on the fans/heaters is switched on/off by the defrost timer, and choosing the correct terminals will get you power all the time even if you end up jumping to a separate unused terminal to supply your power during fan/heater switching. The braided heaters are available in multiple lengths but aren't designed to go through bends other than the one or two close to the pan so this doesn't work if your running around the walls of the freezer before you exit the freezer wall, but work very well for drains that after 2 or so bends head through the back or side wall.
    Yeah, I know about those types of heaters. That's what was there when I started on this issue. In fact, I have a kit of various lengths of 120V braided heat cable that was given to me by one of the maintenance guys when I started work here. I thought about using them, but I ordered a RayChem 120V 12' heat cable with a NEMA 5-15 plug from Grainger. I re-piped the drain today and tapped into the light circuit on top of the box. Ran it in liquid tight conduit, mounted an indoor/outdoor 1-gang rectangle box up behind the evaporator coil so no one can mess with it and installed a receptacle cover enclosure.

    Question. Where would you get 240V power all the time from the terminal block in the evaporator coil? As I said, I can get it between "N" and "3" when it's in defrost or I can get it between "N" and "4" when the fans are running, but there is no non-switched, all the time, 240V circuit at the terminal board. I would need to pull another wire from the condensing unit on the roof, which would have been a lot more trouble than installing a receptacle behind the evaporator coil.

    Anyway, thanks for all the advice and suggestions everyone. I really appreciate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by 76olds View Post
    I've seen outlets inside the freezer for the drain line heater.

    Powered from the light circuit.

    Convenient place to plug in the light when your working in the freezer.
    Exactly!
    With your chrome heart shining in the sun, long may you run.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Guayaquil EC
    Posts
    10,331
    Quote Originally Posted by SandShark View Post
    ...Question. Where would you get 240V power all the time from the terminal block in the evaporator coil? As I said, I can get it between "N" and "3" when it's in defrost or I can get it between "N" and "4" when the fans are running, but there is no non-switched, all the time, 240V circuit at the terminal board. I would need to pull another wire from the condensing unit on the roof, which would have been a lot more trouble than installing a receptacle behind the evaporator coil...
    While connecting the drain line heater to the fans is usually sufficient, if you need constant power in a hurry, just install relay to switch between 3 and 4...with the NC contacts wired to 4, the NO to 3 and the coil to 3.

    Voila...constant power.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Chicagoland Area
    Posts
    4,591
    Quote Originally Posted by VTP99 View Post
    You said it went to #3 and I'm saying move it to # 4
    Also if you have to splice just use butt connectors with heat shrink tubing.
    Agree

    Stay away from a gfci. It will get wet. It will trip. It will get knocked out from employees stacking boxes. You will be back repiping.
    Officially, Down for the count

    YOU HAVE TO GET OFF YOUR ASS TO GET ON YOUR FEET

    I know enough to know, I don't know enough
    Liberalism-Ideas so good they mandate them

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    376
    I have never had a problem using terminal 4 on the coil terminal board.

    Also, when installing an outlet inside the box, make sure you seal the wires inside the conduit just outside the box.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SE Texas
    Posts
    440
    Quote Originally Posted by icemeister View Post
    While connecting the drain line heater to the fans is usually sufficient, if you need constant power in a hurry, just install relay to switch between 3 and 4...with the NC contacts wired to 4, the NO to 3 and the coil to 3.

    Voila...constant power.
    If you saw the end of the coil with the controls and wiring, and the conditions I'd have to do that under, you'd understand why that's impossible to do. It would be easier to pull another wire.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2sac View Post
    Agree

    Stay away from a gfci. It will get wet. It will trip. It will get knocked out from employees stacking boxes. You will be back repiping.
    It remains to be seen if the receptacle will will sense a path to ground and trip. I don't think that will happen. It will not get knocked out from employees stacking boxes. It's high up, behind the evaporator coil where boxes cannot be stacked. Repiping what, the drain? What makes you say that?
    Last edited by SandShark; 04-26-2012 at 08:13 PM.
    With your chrome heart shining in the sun, long may you run.

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Plainfield IL
    Posts
    101
    I recommend not putting a GFI outlet inside the freezer unless you enjoy working on frozen drain lines! I also highly recommend using a trap because if you don't you will get snow build up in drain opening. Best of luck. In freezers I like to use Tee's with cleanouts instead of elbows....then when the drain line freezes over all I have to do to clear out the ice is heat up a piece of threaded rod and shove it thru the drain.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SE Texas
    Posts
    440
    Quote Originally Posted by Fridge Repairer View Post
    I recommend not putting a GFI outlet inside the freezer unless you enjoy working on frozen drain lines! I also highly recommend using a trap because if you don't you will get snow build up in drain opening. Best of luck. In freezers I like to use Tee's with cleanouts instead of elbows....then when the drain line freezes over all I have to do to clear out the ice is heat up a piece of threaded rod and shove it thru the drain.
    Yeah, I've been warned multiple times now not to use a GFCI, but I appreciate your repeating that warning. I think I get it. Trap has been installed, but thanks for the tip. Heat up a piece of threaded rod, huh? I'll have to write that one down so I don't forget. Thanks!
    With your chrome heart shining in the sun, long may you run.

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    753
    I'm all for a dedicated circuit. Once wires are run inside the conduit, squirt a generous glob of silicone up in it to prevent the vacuum of sub-zero temps pulling air and moisture through it and to your outlet box. Otherwise, the box will build a nice ice cube in it.

    Raychem, like Frostex, is hundreds of little parallel heaters. I've never had to remove a Raychem due to failure. I have always used insulation with it to be sure. Frozen condensate lines create a real mess and uninsulated pipe or failed sub-standard heater tape was always the culprit. Allotta work to fix it, so do it with the best stuff you can find this time around.

    Oh yes! Noo-o-o-o GFCI!


    "You never know what others don't know." -

    If I can't laugh at myself...then I'll laugh at YOU! -

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MS
    Posts
    33
    I've always thought it looked a lot neater coming out of a junction box on the light circut or dedicated and I've always added a pigtail butt connectors and heat shrink to extend the line to the box or the electrical panel on the evaporator.

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    pittsburgh, pa
    Posts
    536
    A thought.

    Wire the light circut to the load side of the gfi.

    It trips, no lights, they should call about no lights in the box.

    Of course they might not care and won't call until the door is frozen shut.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    119
    Quote Originally Posted by VTP99 View Post
    You said it went to #3 and I'm saying move it to # 4
    Also if you have to splice just use butt connectors with heat shrink tubing.
    Agreed. While I see allot of 120volt receptacles they have already been installed (by and electrician). If there is not one then definitely N and 4 with the 240 volt heater. Make sure you get all the ice out of the line and fix the splits. Then wrap it up and insulate

    Sent from my amazing 4G device

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SE Texas
    Posts
    440
    Done. I replaced the GFCI with a non-GFCI receptacle. Drain is trapped outside the box.

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    With your chrome heart shining in the sun, long may you run.

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Plainfield IL
    Posts
    101
    Beautiful job. I see plenty of pitch on your pipe....Looks nice!

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