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  1. #1

    Genie pump to remove condensation.

    Hi I'm a homeowner and I'm having a problem with one of my AC units turning off due to condensation back up. It turns out that the condensation lines in the attic that empty out into a bathroom sink, go over a structural beam and not through it. So because there is an up slope that the water must travel, the condensation in the line triggers off the unit that apparently sits lower than the beam. My installer thought the best solution is to install a Genie Pump that pumps the condensation over that beam. Is this a good solution? It looks to me like I am in trouble if the pump fails. The pump looks like it would overflow if it doesn't start up. I am wondering if a better solution would be to raise the furnace/blowers a few inches to create that needed down slope? Please advise.

    Sorry the correct manufacturer of the pump is Little Giant. VCMA-20UL
    Last edited by Aprod; 07-16-2008 at 08:33 PM. Reason: wrong pump brand name

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,744
    either one would work.

    if at all possible i would go for the gravity drain.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Round Rock
    Posts
    3,562
    How old is this house? Was it built with an A/C system or was it retrofitted in? It's kinda odd that a functioning system now needs a condensate pump. What is the story behind this? Everybody knows about gravity. A pump is fine if that is all you have, but this sounds kinda weird.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,013
    Always opt for the simplest solution for a problem that will do the job and not cause other issues.
    Use the biggest hammer you like, pounding a square peg into a round hole does not equal a proper fit.

  5. #5
    Thank you guys for replying so promptly. The house is officially not even one year old. But I live in California and cooling was not needed until now. The few times I had used the AC's I noticed that the downstairs unit didn't push out cold air for too long. I mean it would start out cold. But then it just functioned like a fan. So I called, and it seemed like my installer knew where to look. What happened is that he used another guy to oversee this install. And I guess when they figured this might be a problem they waited for me to call, hoping I didn't. So now that he had to come back, he said that he thought that this could be a problem but that he couldn't install pumps because it wouldn't pass inspection. So now he installed one pump and is due to install another one, since each pump is only made to cut off one AC unit. But as I said the pump apparently has opened vent holes on the top and I am concerned that the pumps will overflow if they fail to turn on.
    I don't think they realized that the risers they were using to sit the units on top of were not high enough. They are only about 5 inches tall.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Round Rock
    Posts
    3,562
    I would think that the guy who did the job originally and whomever inspected it has a real problem. Rather than fix something he knew was wrong, he intentionally let it go hoping you wouldn't notice? I think I would be having this guy fix it correctly and if he does not, then I would contact an attorney and the city it "passed" inspection in. This is kindergarten sh@t. Guys like this make everybody else look bad.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,013
    If they knew it was wrong and if a pump wouldn't pass original inspection then they shouldn't be putting one in now. Any inspector worth his title should've noticed that the drain line didn't have the correct slope on it to drain correctly.
    Around here most work is covered by a one year warranty.... something that might be or should be in your original contract or paperwork.
    Use the biggest hammer you like, pounding a square peg into a round hole does not equal a proper fit.

  8. #8
    Thanks guys,
    It is within a year of job completion and he was installing the pumps under warranty. I just wanted to be sure that this was an acceptable fix in your industry. With my limited knowledge in this field, I have just my common sense and skepticism to fall back on. I will insist on him raising the units to a proper slope. THANKS.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    49
    Here are a few things to check over with your contractor.

    1. If your air handler has a pull-thru coil it must have a trap in the drain line even if a pump is used.

    2. There should be a secondary drain pan underneath the air handler to collect condensate if the main drain fails. This should be piped separately from the main drain to a conspicuous location.

    3. The secondary pan should have a safety device such as a float switch or wet switch to shut off the unit in case of overflow.

    4. If a pump is used be sure that it has an internal safety switch to shut off the unit in case of pump failure.

    5. A secondary pan with a safety switch should also be used underneath the pump if used. (I have seen hose fittings fail to seal 100%. The pump will drain most of the condensate yet still leak.)

    The cost to do this is much less than the potential cost of water damage to your home.

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