Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 44
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Hauppauge, NY
    Posts
    23

    Rheem RGRL Condensate Drain Problem

    Hello Everyone,

    I work in sales at a wholesaler in NY. We distribute Rheem equipment and the factory is giving our service tech the run around regarding a problem one of our customers is having with an installation of a Rheem RGRL07EYBGS furnace.

    Here are the commisioning notes that we sent to Rheem:

    Parameter Measured Allowed
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Temperature Rise
    Low Fire 40 25-55
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Temperature Rise
    High Fire 52 35-65
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pressure Switch
    Vacuum 1.5" 1.08" or higher
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Manifold Gas Pressure
    Low Fire 1.7" As factory specified
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Manifold Gas Pressure
    High Fire 3.5" As factory specified
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The furnace has the following problem:

    1) The pressure switch vacuum was measured at 1.5 inches when the furnace first fires. When operated at High Fire for about 10 to 15 minutes, water gurgling sounds are heard at the exhaust discharge port at the top of the furnace. The pressure switch vacuum drops down to as low as 0.95 " and is very unsteady (fluctuating between 0.95 and 1.20 inches.) The furnace kicks down to low heat on the pressure dips. (The fan kicks down and the flame reduces, causing a "thump" sound. The LED's on the circuit board also wiggle when the fan changes speeds. The gas valve "click" can be felt on the gas supply pipe.) Eventually the center LED will begin to blink twice (code 2). Tests above seem to rule out all the causes for blink code 2 shown in the install manual trouble shooting section. (ie: Hoses and switches are correct, vent has ample flow, the control module is functioning correctly, it was not windy, and our elevation is less than the 2000' base line). Our problem seems to be an exhaust restriction due to significant condensation that cannot drain through the furnace, especially when the induced exhaust blower is run at high speed. The blower motor seemed to be running hot. It was quite warm to the touch.

    We had him check all the hoses leading into the condensate trap, as well as the pipe coming out of the trap. All were free of kinks, and had a definite downhill pitch. All had flow. We had him double check the furnace to see that it was level. Turning off the power to the furnace for about 5 seconds, then turning it back on again will clear the problem, but only for about 10 minutes.

    We had him disconnect the drain tube at the bottom of the transition "t" and check for a blockage (pvc filings or residual plastic left over from when the fitting was injection molded) and that fitting is clear and free of debree. Right now the condensate line is running out of the furnace to a "t" with a 6" tall drain vent tube vertically and the other side of the "t" is running into a bucket so that we have as little restriction as possible to the drain.

    The venting is run horizontally from the basement out of the property. All venting is 3" PVC from the top of the furnace all the way out of the house. Both intake and exhaust EACH contain about 15' of straight pipe with EACH having 4 45 degree fittings. There are no 90 degree elbows in the vent system.

    As of now the furnace has dip switch number 7 set to keep the furnace in low fire mode. It limps along so that the home owner is not with out heat, but at night it's impossible to keep the house over 65 degrees with the cold temperatures we've been having.

    The contractor doesn't know what else to try and the Rheem factory techs have been "working on this" for 2 days without any feedback. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. We'll give the contractor any parts that he needs to "try" anything that might solve this problem.

    I would really appreciate any feedback or suggestions. The home owners are older folks and I'd like to settle this issue before we have another snow storm at the end of this week.

    Thank you,

    Tom Esposito

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    georgia
    Posts
    562
    no ideas, but my Rheem RGJF manual says that 3" should be converted down to 2" before sidewall penetration. There are different requirements based on BTU of furnace. There should be a vane in the air intake tube. The two pipes must be in the same pressure zone. Intake opening should be 4" from sidewall, exhaust opening should be 12" from sidewall and 4" apart. No elbows or screens on openings.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Hauppauge, NY
    Posts
    23
    Here are a few images:













  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Here and there
    Posts
    4,808
    Does it operate any differently with the door off ? The drain and vent all look within spec
    i belong to peta ... people eating tasty animals. all my opinions are just mine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    georgia
    Posts
    562
    Looks decent to me but I'm just a homeowner. Gurgling would normally indicate an airflow problem of some sort, at least in plumbing.

    Did you try using a stethoscope to narrow down exactly where the gurgling is coming from?

    If you pour a bunch of water in the vent stack just after the furnace's condensate trap does it drain fast? If you temporarily disconnect your condensate plumbing from the furnace does it still have problems?

    You might want to run a snake camera down the exhaust port in the furnace and inspect the condensate system.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    1,012
    If you hear gurgling then there is water getting trapped in the inducer fan motor housing. Not being there with my hands on the unit I would say that that is where your problem is coming from. It just takes a little bit of water to slow the fan down enough to shut it down. I would go through the drain lines and make sure everything is draining properly.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    N.E. Ok.
    Posts
    1,376
    Rheem have any technical bulletins out on that inducer.
    especially when the induced exhaust blower is run at high speed. The blower motor seemed to be running hot. It was quite warm to the touch.
    Technical questions are not allowed to be discussed in this open forum, so you won't be able to go to far with this.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    983
    Are you sure there is adequate slope on the exhaust pipe back to the furnace? I would also put a 90* elbow on the intake so it can't recirculate exhaust into the combustion air.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Hauppauge, NY
    Posts
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by b26440510 View Post
    no ideas, but my Rheem RGJF manual says that 3" should be converted down to 2" before sidewall penetration. There are different requirements based on BTU of furnace. There should be a vane in the air intake tube. The two pipes must be in the same pressure zone. Intake opening should be 4" from sidewall, exhaust opening should be 12" from sidewall and 4" apart. No elbows or screens on openings.
    You're correct. I posted a few pictures and one of them shows that he has correctly installed the venting per the manual.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Hauppauge, NY
    Posts
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by jpb2 View Post
    Does it operate any differently with the door off ? The drain and vent all look within spec
    Agreed. That's the first thing we asked. The furnace acts the same way with the door off, so it's unlikely that his intake air is the problem. To your point, it is a common problem / mistake.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Hauppauge, NY
    Posts
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by b26440510 View Post

    Did you try using a stethoscope to narrow down exactly where the gurgling is coming from? The gurgling is in the white tube inside the furnace above the transition elbow, but can be heard outside the furnace with the door on.

    If you temporarily disconnect your condensate plumbing from the furnace does it still have problems? I mentioned in the first post that we had him disconnect the drain from the transition elbow inside the furnace and check the elbow for a blockage. He also blew out the line that runs from the elbow down into the trap and out of the furnace. Additionally, he has disconnected the drain tube outside the furnace from the pump and it's currently just empting into a bucket.

    You might want to run a snake camera down the exhaust port in the furnace and inspect the condensate system. It's a short distance and he has been able to inspect everything from the transition elbow out of the furnace. It is clear of debris
    I believe that it's safe to say that the passage way is clear from the inducer motor through the condensate line and exhaust pipe

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Hauppauge, NY
    Posts
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by keeplearnin View Post
    If you hear gurgling then there is water getting trapped in the inducer fan motor housing. Not being there with my hands on the unit I would say that that is where your problem is coming from. It just takes a little bit of water to slow the fan down enough to shut it down. I would go through the drain lines and make sure everything is draining properly.
    If you wouldn't mind reading the previous post to b26440510, I think the contractor has done enough to insure that the drain side of the condensate line is clear.

    Re inducer motor: Do you believe that the motor could be bad and that's the reason why the condensate builds up?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Hauppauge, NY
    Posts
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by captube View Post
    Rheem have any technical bulletins out on that inducer. Our tech guy doesn't remember seeing anything like this in the bulletins. I've started to read through them myself and I hope to get through the rest of it tomorrow


    Technical questions are not allowed to be discussed in this open forum, so you won't be able to go to far with this.
    I just found the requirements for professional membership. I'll need at least 15 posts to apply for access to the technical forums and I'm only half way there.

    PLEASE FORGIVE ME FOR POSTING SO MANY TIMES IN THIS THREAD.

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event