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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    23

    So much condensation under furnace into crawl space

    The home is a 1400 sq ft ranch on a crawl (cement floor/walls in crawl). 3years old. The furnace is an Air Ease Tech 80 (2.5 ton).

    We live in NW Indiana..its been hot and humid.

    The furnace is centrally located in house in a laundry room. The air flow is downward. In the laundry room is a 3/4 pvc drain that exits from the bottom of the unit near the floor.

    Under the furnace, into the crawl space is the plenum, which comes about 16" from the floor (crawl space floor). From this plenum are 2 large cylinder shoots that feed various floor vents. The shoots exit the plenum towards the top.

    I discovered a wet floor under the plenum and noticed the water was coming from the plenum. I opened 1 corner and a lot of water poured out. We have discovered some water the past 2 summers, but this year seemed worse.

    The drain in the furnace room is not clogged. I opened up the furnace panel to discovered an A coil. It is clean. The drip pan is all PVC and I can only see about half of it, but that is clean too and doesnt have any standing water in it. I tried to take off the cover to see in the middle of the A coil and down into the plenum, but there is so little wiggle room to take off that panel, that I didnt try further.

    I poured water into the pan, as much as I could, to see if it all runs out the pvc drain pipe and it did. This also caused no water to drip into the plenum and onto the crawl floor.

    There is no sign of frost. The house cools fine. When the unit is on, there is a steady, immediate, trickle coming from the pvc pipe. And there is also a stead trickly coming from the bottom of the plenum in the crawl space about 5 minutes after the unit is on.

    Where is all this water coming from?

    My only theory, is that something is wrong with the drip pan (either its being missed or its cracked or broke on the side I cant see)
    Or
    Is it possible that the cold air into the plenum (into the crawl) is causing condensation inside the plenum thus all the water? NOTE: the outside of the plenum is cold, but doesnt sweat on the outside.

    The crawl has 2 or 3 vents where we have 1 vent open during the summer.

    The duct work and plenum in the crawl space are not insulated.

    Help!?

    P.S. The original installers are no longer in business and the 2 other companies that came out, well, lets just say I am now looking for more options.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    pinehurst north carolina
    Posts
    49
    Quote Originally Posted by kezug View Post
    The home is a 1400 sq ft ranch on a crawl (cement floor/walls in crawl). 3years old. The furnace is an Air Ease Tech 80 (2.5 ton).

    We live in NW Indiana..its been hot and humid.

    The furnace is centrally located in house in a laundry room. The air flow is downward. In the laundry room is a 3/4 pvc drain that exits from the bottom of the unit near the floor.

    Under the furnace, into the crawl space is the plenum, which comes about 16" from the floor (crawl space floor). From this plenum are 2 large cylinder shoots that feed various floor vents. The shoots exit the plenum towards the top.

    I discovered a wet floor under the plenum and noticed the water was coming from the plenum. I opened 1 corner and a lot of water poured out. We have discovered some water the past 2 summers, but this year seemed worse.

    The drain in the furnace room is not clogged. I opened up the furnace panel to discovered an A coil. It is clean. The drip pan is all PVC and I can only see about half of it, but that is clean too and doesnt have any standing water in it. I tried to take off the cover to see in the middle of the A coil and down into the plenum, but there is so little wiggle room to take off that panel, that I didnt try further.

    I poured water into the pan, as much as I could, to see if it all runs out the pvc drain pipe and it did. This also caused no water to drip into the plenum and onto the crawl floor.

    There is no sign of frost. The house cools fine. When the unit is on, there is a steady, immediate, trickle coming from the pvc pipe. And there is also a stead trickly coming from the bottom of the plenum in the crawl space about 5 minutes after the unit is on.

    Where is all this water coming from?

    My only theory, is that something is wrong with the drip pan (either its being missed or its cracked or broke on the side I cant see)
    Or
    Is it possible that the cold air into the plenum (into the crawl) is causing condensation inside the plenum thus all the water? NOTE: the outside of the plenum is cold, but doesnt sweat on the outside.

    The crawl has 2 or 3 vents where we have 1 vent open during the summer.

    The duct work and plenum in the crawl space are not insulated.

    Help!?

    P.S. The original installers are no longer in business and the 2 other companies that came out, well, lets just say I am now looking for more options.
    Is your crawlspace conditioned? If you did'nt intend to condition your crawlspace then that might be the reason that the water is there. Most of the time you would expect to find your ductwork and plenums insulated. Maybe the ducts are insulated inside instead of outside. You could post some pics and consider calling a "reputable" company to have them check out the entire duct system.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by reediejay View Post


    Is your crawlspace conditioned? If you did'nt intend to condition your crawlspace then that might be the reason that the water is there. Most of the time you would expect to find your ductwork and plenums insulated. Maybe the ducts are insulated inside instead of outside. You could post some pics and consider calling a "reputable" company to have them check out the entire duct system.
    Thanks for the reply. The crawl is not conditioned (I am assuming you mean are there vents in the crawl...no)

    The ductwork and plenum are not insulated.

    I just bought some bubble reflectix stuff that is R13 in value. It is meant for wrapping duct or lining walls etc... I am thinking that is a quick way to see if it helps in the condensation in the plenum (that is, if that is where all the water is coming from).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Posts
    2,919
    reflectix does not work well as duct insulation. I have tried it. Don't waste your money.

    Encapsulate your crawlspace instead.
    Remember, Air Conditioning begins with AIR.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,575
    I have a couple other thoughts, but they are more along the line of stuff I cannot discuss in an open forum.

    I second the call to a Pro, they should be able to determine the cause.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    23
    We have called a pro. In fact, 3 companies have come out. They all claim nothing is wrong. However, not one of them has done any sort of troubleshooting like I have (I am an IT guy and know nothing about HVAC, but I do know how to troubleshoot to pin point an issue).

    Not once did any of them turn the unit on, go in the crawl and watch the water trickle from the plenum.

    At this point, I have lost hope in the pro's.

    The original installer wont call back.

    Each tech after that didnt go in the crawl. All they did was open up the unit and indicate...drip pan is dry, nothing wrong here.!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    pinehurst north carolina
    Posts
    49
    I would call the owner of the firm that you thought had the most promise and insist they go under the crawl and find out the answer. If you paid for a complete diagnostic then you should get it and its only going to be a few things but they won't know if they don't look at everything. If they won't come back then you may have to get one more and tell them everything upfront and insist they go under before they get there or don't pay them until they do. There is an answer to this it just has to be investigated properly

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    3,823
    Answer this.

    Do you have a trap on the drain that leaves the a-coil?
    Always here

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    5,153
    Keep looking. Unfortunately DIY info isn't allowed here.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by energy star View Post
    Answer this.

    Do you have a trap on the drain that leaves the a-coil?
    If I understand this question...No...the drain has 2 horizontal 90 degree bends that lead to a drain in the floor.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by hvacrmedic View Post
    Keep looking. Unfortunately DIY info isn't allowed here.
    I didnt realize this. Where can I go to get some help on this matter?

    In my case, I have lost faith in someone helping me in this matter and need to get as much info so that when/if I call another company, I can get them to the issue right away, instead of waiting/hope for them to investigate and find the issue.

    I think this is a simple solution, I just cant quite find it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    1,309
    If the water is IN the plenum, how can it be caused by condensation? Wouldn't that air already be at the lower dewpoint? If it was condensation, it would be on the outside, wouldn't it?

    Wouldn't that imply that the condensate drain from the coil is not working? If the house is 3 years old, isn't it covered by a homeowner's warranty? If so, shouldn't the installing company should fix it free of charge.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    23
    Here are some pics (I can get more if needed)





















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