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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Columbia, TN
    Posts
    59

    how do you clean condensate drains?

    What is the best way to clean the 3/4" pvc condensate drains on airhandlers.

    Shopvac?
    Nitrogen?
    snake?

    Thanks,

    Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    747
    blow'em out if it needs a snake i replace it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    6,285
    Blow em out with nitrogen or little CO² cartridges. (swoosh)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Upstate, SC
    Posts
    2,920
    I keep a sludge sucker, nitrogen, a Gallo gun and a shop vac on my truck. Different situations call for different measures, but I use the shop vac most of the time with the Gallo gun probably coming in second.

    Bobby

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    13

    Thumbs up

    Lets be honest.The best way to blast a condensate drain is to use a take of freon.If that dont unclog it replace it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2,609
    Replace the drain with copper. Blowing, vacuuming, snaking it out will not get rid of the bacteria that clogged the drain in the first place. If you have a boat in the water do you coat the bottom with PVC to keep it from fouling? No you would use a copper coating.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    6,285
    Had a main condensate clog today. It would drain very very slow but it was draining. I used sulfuric drain opener (something that can be used on PVC and not metal) I pour a little bit in maybe 3 oz's. Waited 2 minutes and opened the pressure temp relief on the hot water heat. WOW is all I have to say. If you could hock up 4 lbs of mucus that is what it looked like coming out of the drain. Needless to say that fixed it (barf)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    New Hampsha'!!!
    Posts
    284
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Harwell View Post
    Lets be honest.The best way to blast a condensate drain is to use a take of freon.If that dont unclog it replace it.
    hmm i wonder how your local epa inspector would feel about this
    dont worry what people think, they dont do it often

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    The stuf that grows in some drains ,can't be blown or fluhed out entirely.

    We have found Descaler left in with water for 15 to 30 minutes ,after flushing ,kills the growth.

    Big problem here in Florida,drains often run under the slab and back up to grade,giant trap that holds water.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    6,285
    Quote Originally Posted by dash View Post

    Big problem here in Florida,drains often run under the slab and back up to grade,giant trap that holds water.
    Thats how the one was today. It was nasty to say the least.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    1,634
    Quote Originally Posted by dash View Post
    Big problem here in Florida,drains often run under the slab and back up to grade,giant trap that holds water.
    That's actually how I ended up doing my setup here. As a bonus, the under-slab portion acts as a giant P-trap. A clean-out piece/port on the PVC is essential, as is routine maintenance. If you wait until the drain line's totally clogged before blowing/clearing the line, you're only setting yourself up for problems.

    Another trick is to dump a bit of salt into the trap/cleanout. Just make sure it can't flow back into the equipment. Most species of bacteria which grow in in condensate lines aren't halotolerant (capable of living in a salt environment). You don't want to use too much of this if you have sensitive plants directly underneath the condensate line outside either. We use this trick all the time at work, keeping our soda & "other beverages" in an ice/brine solution in the cooler. Way too many times, we're in a hurry to pack up our equipment and get out of there that we forget about the cooler.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Quote Originally Posted by tpa-fl View Post
    That's actually how I ended up doing my setup here. As a bonus, the under-slab portion acts as a giant P-trap. A clean-out piece/port on the PVC is essential, as is routine maintenance. If you wait until the drain line's totally clogged before blowing/clearing the line, you're only setting yourself up for problems.

    Another trick is to dump a bit of salt into the trap/cleanout. Just make sure it can't flow back into the equipment. Most species of bacteria which grow in in condensate lines aren't halotolerant (capable of living in a salt environment). You don't want to use too much of this if you have sensitive plants directly underneath the condensate line outside either. We use this trick all the time at work, keeping our soda & "other beverages" in an ice/brine solution in the cooler. Way too many times, we're in a hurry to pack up our equipment and get out of there that we forget about the cooler.


    We pipe our installs and even rework some to have an access to flush,so we could add the salt there as it's on the outflow of the p-trap.'

    Thanks for the tip we'll test it,any idea how much salt for 20 feet of 3/4" PVC?Maybe salt tablets of some kind?

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