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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis
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    10

    Should I neutralize my condensate?

    Going from an 80% to a 95% so I haven't had to worry about this issue before...

    This is going to drain into an existing sump and then pumped to the sanitary sewer. Currently the washing machine, water softener, and some ground water go into this sump in the basement.

    Do I need to be concerned about the condensate eating away at my sump pump over time? If so, how much time?

    How much volume of condensate should I expect? Will it be diluted enough by the other wastewater in the sump to not matter by that point?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    999
    I had a HE furnace installed 2 years ago. Previously, my a/c condensate drained to the outside.

    Living in the Philadelphia area, I was concerned with wintertime condensate, so I had my condensate pumped from the basement to a first floor laundry tub. The pump is acid resistant and I have a sump also, but opted to have it dumped in the tub.

    If you have metal waste lines, neutralization is a good idea (likely, a must). I have pvc, but created my own 'neutralizer' using marble chips available from Lowes or other garden centers. The unit sits in the wash tub, so there is no problem with condensate backup/overflow. The condensate tube discharges into the botton of the unit and flows up and out into the tub to drain.

    I have never read anywhere what the acidity (pH) of the condensate is, but I tasted the outlow of my unit and it doesn't seem to have any hint of a sour (acidic) taste.

    Amp

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    68,367
    In most areas, its a violation to have a sump pump pump into the sanitary drain system. Might want to check with your local codes before having an inspector come out an issuing you a fine.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Phoenix
    Posts
    155
    Quote Originally Posted by kettledrum View Post
    Going from an 80% to a 95% so I haven't had to worry about this issue before...

    This is going to drain into an existing sump and then pumped to the sanitary sewer. Currently the washing machine, water softener, and some ground water go into this sump in the basement.

    Do I need to be concerned about the condensate eating away at my sump pump over time? If so, how much time?

    How much volume of condensate should I expect? Will it be diluted enough by the other wastewater in the sump to not matter by that point?
    I'd be alot more worried about the brine/flush water coming out of your softener damaging the pump than anything else.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis
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    10
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    In most areas, its a violation to have a sump pump pump into the sanitary drain system. Might want to check with your local codes before having an inspector come out an issuing you a fine.
    Thanks for your concern. Although I'm not sure how the wastewater from the washing machine (and from a utility sink that I forgot about when I made the OP) is supposed to get to the sewer if it's not pumped. Sanitary outlet is a good 6 feet higher than the outlet from the washing machine. But that's not what I'm asking about anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by rzyzzy View Post
    I'd be alot more worried about the brine/flush water coming out of your softener damaging the pump than anything else.
    That'll be something I'd have to research. Obviously I'm not aware of this problem. Is there a solution for that issue? Where should that drain?


    So we've now uncovered two additional issues, but does anyone know anything about my initial questions?

    • Do I need to be concerned about the condensate eating away at my sump pump over time? If so, how much time?


    • How much volume of condensate should I expect? Will it be diluted enough by the other wastewater in the sump to not matter by that point?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    68,367
    While you have to pump the utility sink, and clothes washers water when the drain pipe is so high.
    They are not suppose to go to a sump first. They make pumps just for that.

    If you install a furnace. And the inspector sees your current set up. You don't want to be paying that fine. Not to mention, not being able to use your wash machine. Until you correct the set up.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Phoenix
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    155
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    While you have to pump the utility sink, and clothes washers water when the drain pipe is so high.
    They are not suppose to go to a sump first. They make pumps just for that.

    If you install a furnace. And the inspector sees your current set up. You don't want to be paying that fine. Not to mention, not being able to use your wash machine. Until you correct the set up.
    The only thing not allowed into a sanitary sewer in my area is the groundwater from a sump pump - putting effluent from a washing machine or a condensate line into sanitary sewer is fine.

    In most areas of the country, excepting some areas of clownifornia, water softener effluent is fine in a sanitary sewer - and usually under enough pressure that there wouldn't be a need to put it into a sump crock first. For the one I installed last summer, you could run the line 6 feet above the softener head, and quite a distance if you oversized the drain line.

    To answer the op's questions -

    expect a constant dribble from your condensate line - more if the humidity is higher. PH should be a nothingburger... lots of people put condensate water into a sump croc.

    As to killing your sump pump - who knows? Putting the softener effluent into a sewer drain would reduce the load on it... the condensate from your furnace is going to be a trivial amount of water.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    Wash machine, furnace condensate is fine here to, to pump into a sanitary line.
    Just can't have teh sump pump doing it. Since it could pump ground water into the line.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    maryland
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    1,355
    I read somewhere that the condensate from high efficiency gas furnaces have about the same level of acidity as orange juice. Don't quote me, I just remember that from somewhere.

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