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  1. #1
    Hello, we live in a 1 year old, energy star home. We have 90+ high efficiency furnace. I noticed this morning we had some water dripping onto the basement floor. Upon closer inspection I seen it was coming from the intake pipe. It was frozen and dripping water. I'll post some pictures to help out. Why would this be happening? It is only -15C outside and gets much colder during Jan and Feb. I'm worried...
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Upstate SC
    Posts
    1,439
    Is your basement conditioned space?



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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Buffalo NY
    Posts
    3,080
    It is because it is not insulated.


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  4. #4
    By conditioned what do you mean??

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    1,095
    Quote Originally Posted by Needingadvice View Post
    By conditioned what do you mean??
    Are you in southern alberta? I ask because its probably the only place it's -15 in all of North America right now.
    That pipe should be insulated all the way to your return air trunk, the ice on the pipe is frozen moisture from your home.
    If there is a damper on that pipe, (a small handle) closing it may help.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,829
    The cold, below freezing outdoor air is causing the warmer basement air to cool on the pipe surface, which reduces the temperature sufficiently to cause condensate water to form on the pipe. It is further exacerbated because the incoming air is below freezing, causing frost to form on the pipe. I'd recommend an HRV be professionally installed. The HRV (heat recover ventilator) will remove Btu's of heat from air being removed from the home and deposit them into the incoming air, thus warming it to some extent. This will save you some energy rather than having that -15°C cold air going directly into the return air for the home.
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  7. #7
    Lol, yes we are in Southern Alberta. I contacted my home builders new Hvac company and they said they will come out next week to address the problem. Frustrating considering this is a brand new home...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    1,095
    I notice by the joists you probably paid more than a couple bucks for that place.

    Ask them about putting an hrv in. New homes are too tight for a passive fresh air supply to do any good, especially when they're not installed correctly. If you don't have any luck with them, call my company.

  9. #9
    The scary thing in all of this is the seemingly lack of knowledge by the company or more the employees that installed this furnace and ducts. Especially living in southern Alberta where the temps can drop to -35C at times. Makes you wonder what else wasn't done correctly. So should this be something covered by new home warranty?

  10. #10
    Thanks syndicated, sounds like a plan. Are they much to install?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    1,095
    Quote Originally Posted by Needingadvice View Post
    Thanks syndicated, sounds like a plan. Are they much to install?
    We can't discuss pricing ofcourse, but they're not too bad.
    The frozen pipe issue would be covered by new home warranty. Hrv install wouldn't be. Perhaps you could make an arrangement with the company?
    Or if you're near Calgary, call Arpi's.

  12. #12
    Thanks a ton everyone for all the great info. I'm down in Lethbridge Syndicated so I'm not sure your company would drive 2 hours for a small job, but I'll mention the HRV to my local company on Tuesday and get a quote.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,673
    in pictures 1 and 3 there is a handle on the duct, CLOSE it!!! you might also go to the outside of the house where the intake to this is and block it with something to keep that air from even getting into the pipe.

    a little education;

    this is a fresh air intake and not combustion air for the furnace. this can be on any unit,(gas, electric, oil) not just a 90% furnace.

    as has been said this needs to be addressed by the installation company. others can speak to the effectiveness of insulation on that pipe, but why bring in cold or hot air to condition it, especially in extreme temperatures!!??

    I would think insulation would only shift the freezing/condensation to the return duct where this connects.
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