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  1. #1
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    Apr 2018
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    New air handler has p trap on outside of house of main drain

    Trane TEM4A air handler installed horizontally in spray foamed sealed attic. The primary condensation drain is a straight shot to the outside of the house with secondary capped off. When I asked the installer where is the p trap he said we install them on the outside of the house so that they are easier to clean. Sure enough we went outside and there it was. Now that the heat is picking up in GA the AC is running more and I came home to it shut off due to water in the pan. When I pulled the p trap off on the outside of the house it started pouring out. I ensured there wasn’t any clog, ran bleach through the lines and installed the p trap on the outside again (primed it) as the installer did the first time. Once again water would not drain until p trap was removed. The company is coming tomorrow and I just want some black and white facts to tell him it cannot be installed on the outside and since my media filter and all the insulation in the air handler is soaked and it was his fault I would like to have a new air handler installed with the correct negative pressure p trap drain with a vent installed. I did not pay for a soaking wet air handler that is now proan to mold/mildew. So does anyone have any codes or manuals stating bad install I can throw at him tomorrow when he tries telling me it’s ok to install them like that?

    And is requesting a new air handler a little extreme? Long time reader but first time poster. Thanks in advance for the advice. If I can figure out how to add pictures I will.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2009
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    I have never seen them that way, but I don't know why it wouldn't work, unless there are OTHER traps in the drain line, creating a blockage of air.

    like the drain line having too little pitch, or several dips in the line.

    more likely, the unit is not level, or even tilted away from the drain outlet.
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  3. #3
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    Dec 2007
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    If they left the install instructions, look at them and see if they did it properly.

    The manuals I find online don't show condensate piping. However, this unit appears to be a negative pressure coil, blower after the coil. These will hold water until the blower stops if improperly piped.
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  4. #4
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    Jan 2004
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    The line to the trap when its on the outside, must have a very large slope toward the trap for it to work. Otherwise the air handler holds the water up in it, and you get a wet air handler like you have.

    Have them put it at the air handler, and then a vent in the line right after the trap.

    New air handler is extreme. Would you pay to replace it 3 years down the road if it got wet but was due to no fault of the installer or you. Technically, you were suppose to stop using the A/C and have them come out and check it when it happened the first time. So technically, when it happened the second time, it became owner abuse/misuse.
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  5. #5
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    Aug 2002
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    My gut says the p-trap wasn't primed when you started it and allowing air to be drawn in. Would have happened wherever the trap was.

    New air handler doubt it!

  6. #6
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    Apr 2018
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks for all the replies. The p trap was primed the first time and second time. The current pvc drain comes out of the handler horizontally for a little bit then straight down through the wall 20-30 ft then has a 90 degree turn to come out the side of the house and sticks out about 6 inches and that is where the p trap is.

    What is the most upsetting to me is the wet insulation in the air handler. One of my kids has immune defiency issues and I don’t want to add a moldy ac blowing on her to our problems. Should I be worried about this?

    The tech (reputable large and trusted company) is on his way now. I will post what their resolution is after they leave. But does everyone agree the p trap should be directly beside the air handler with a vent afterwards? Yes it is a negative pressure coil and no they did not leave the manual.

  7. #7
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    Here in NC, the inspectors require install manuals for the inspection... no manual, no permit...

    No inspection, customer doesn't pay... at my company.

    Drainage is certainly a requirement and warranty issue.

    How far does the drain run horizontal?

    I would not want it that way.
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  8. #8
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    Thread Starter
    Ok so the tech came out and.......

    He agreed it should have the p trap coming out of the main drain of the air handler, the safe t shut off screwed into the secondary and a vent on the primary after the p trap.

    He said the reason that it wouldn’t drain was that with the horizontal pvc running along the attic floor did not have enough pitch and even though it had a p trap at the end it more than likely was trapped before the p, thus having two traps and not allowing it to drain.

    I’ve been running it since he left, watching the water come out beside the house and checking the attic. Everything looks good and they gave me $25 off my current annual maintenance plan. Great company, stood behind their work, and even called afterwards to ask if it was to my satisfaction or did I want them to come back out.

    Thank you to everybody on the site for the advice.

  9. #9
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    From the sound of it you got a good and honest tech.
    Take care of him!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jbreezey View Post
    Ok so the tech came out and.......

    He agreed it should have the p trap coming out of the main drain of the air handler, the safe t shut off screwed into the secondary and a vent on the primary after the p trap.

    He said the reason that it wouldn’t drain was that with the horizontal pvc running along the attic floor did not have enough pitch and even though it had a p trap at the end it more than likely was trapped before the p, thus having two traps and not allowing it to drain.

    I’ve been running it since he left, watching the water come out beside the house and checking the attic. Everything looks good and they gave me $25 off my current annual maintenance plan. Great company, stood behind their work, and even called afterwards to ask if it was to my satisfaction or did I want them to come back out.

    Thank you to everybody on the site for the advice.
    Fantastic.

    Certainly hang onto that tech’s contact info.
    The TRUE highest cost system is the system not installed properly...

    Find a HVAC-Talk Contractor by clicking here

    Do you go to a boat repairman with a sinking boat, and tell him to put in a bigger motor when he tells you to fix the holes?

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