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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    I'm having a replacement heatpump installed with new matching airhandler. The HVAC contractor told me that it is their practice to install a new drip pan under the unit with an emergency float shut off should the water in the pan get too high. He said they don't as a rule install a secondary drain from the pan itself.

    I've checked my present installation and the pan does have a pvc drain line coming out of it in addition to an emergency float shutoff in the pan. The secondary emergency pan drain ties back into the main drip line just before the cleanout tee.

    I've got two questions. it standard practice to forgo the actual second drain from the pan itself and just rely on the float switch to stop the unit should the primary drip line coming from the coil have a problem?

    Second... if indeed the practice is to actually have a second pvc drip line coming from the pan itself(and an emergency float switch) wouldn't it make sense that it not tie into the first drip line and be an independent line run out of the house...maybe next the present drip line.

    Any thought would would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    Depends on local regulations... However if it's an attic unit, industry best practices indicate either an emergency cutoff switch on a second drain line. Second drain line ideally is a separate parallel system that discharges to a highly visible outlet (adjacent to a window).

    Please note that stoppage of condensate drain lines on residential equipment is a very common occurrence in the industry. I've long championed clear plastic U fittings to be able to see pending failures. I can't understand why such a simply safety device is totally ignored in residential refrigeration installation. By instructing the client to observe to U-tube carefully every time they change their filter(s) you’ll likely never have to suffer a water damage home.

    The case of second line verses cutout switch really gets down to periodic service. These systems are subject to failure with time, therefore are the compelling reason behind yearly servicing of refrigeration equipment. I've had clients proudly share with me that they had a unit last XX years without every being serviced. Other clients actually state that they fear service techs will damage their equipment either knowingly or out of ignorance. Are we as a service industry no better than "shady" auto mechanics? When I'm in someone's home, I'm humbled at the opportunity to provide quality of life for the individual who has selected my company to service their unit... I truly hope all others in the industry hold true to being the best professional they can be within the limitations of their knowledge and endeavor to constantly grow their knowledge base to be able to meet and exceed the expectations of their clients.

    If you’re a tech looking for service work: Remember to always place your clientele's needs above your personal gain, by doing this you will never go wanting for clients, understood?

    Good question, trust that this helps... God Bless

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    I have an upflow vertical system with a drain pan under the evaporator, with a a pvc line coming out of the evaporator, and an emergency pan under the whole unit with a float switch. I'm pretty confident in the setup because I check it often. The biggest concern for me is that if the drain line clogs, water will overflow the pan under the evaporator and spill all over the furnace and blower. There's a lot of fancy wiring and electronics that could get wet.

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