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Thread: Condensate Relief Port

  1. #1
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    Condensate Relief Port

    Hi all-

    ALMOST at 100% on our new system. Tech was over yesterday to finish the furnace install and commission the system, which he did.

    Upon inspecting the work this morning I noticed one potential problem. See in the attached photo. Per the Carrier install manual, the relief tube between the collector box and condensate trap relief ports is missing.

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    He did start up, run, and check readings on the system yesterday so it does run without this connection made, however it clearly should be there and isn't.

    So my question for you all is, how important is that tube? Is it safe to run the furnace tonight (we're expecting temps in the low 50s/upper 40s) if needed? Or should I wait until I can get the installer back for yet another visit (this would be number 8 on the install) before running it again?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Which model furnace? Please post a wider angle picture showing the entire install.
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  3. #3
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    Carrier 59MN7 80K BTU

    Stand by, it's a horizontal mount in a small space so photos are difficult but I'll try and get one for you...

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    This about the best/widest shot I get. This is from pressed back as far into the corner as I can be, and panoramic-mode on the phone cam. Hope this shows enough!

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  6. #5
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    Post a picture of the install manual section that deals with the tube. Someone on here who is a carrier dealer may be able to give you a quick answer on this. Personally I'm a tech at a large trane dealer and tranes do no have a tube like that so I'd like to see more information from the manual if possible.

    Tranes do have a large tube (about a nickel in diameter) coming off the inducer and going straight to a p trap because condensate needs to be able to make it's way to the p trap.

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  7. #6
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    Yes they need to install the tubes. They also need to read page 30 regarding properly suspending furnace, and pages 54 thru 64 about venting. There are several issues with how that is done that will lead to inconsistent reliability. Did they install the gasket around the drain trap when they moved it?
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  8. #7
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    Thanks.

    I'm curious what you think, from a professional standpoint, is the best way to approach these issues with the installer (where things have not been done to the Install Manual specs)? Like, do I send them the page from the install manual and be like "this is wrong, you need to fix it"? Or do I point out the problem and say that I'm concerned, and can you confirm that this is done to manufacturer specs? If they STILL don't do it to manufacturer specs (which, based on the way this has gone with them, I'd be surprised if they did), do I address the situation directly with Carrier and see if they can recommend someone who will redo it correctly?

    For example I already addressed the way the furnace is supported with them. Originally it was only hanging from the width-wise unistrut. I told them the install manual specifically says it must be supported along the length and that I wanted it re-hung properly, and cited the page from the manual (p. 30, as comfortdoc said).

    Their "fix" was what you see here. Sure they installed unistrut along the length, but they left the original width-wise unistrut in place! I was out of town when this was done (my wife was home) so I didn't see it until a few days later and I was just like WTF!?

  9. #8
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    Call and speak to the install manager and owner and point out he issues. It’s not difficult to remove the small struts and raise the long ones.

    Is that an attic install. If so, it requires a secondary drain pan under it.

    Was a permit pulled?
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    Thanks.

    It’s installed in a utility space above one of our bathrooms. It’s an open floor plan, loft condo so that space is where the furnace and hot water heater are. They did build secondary drip pans that are sitting on the floor of the space, under the furnace and evap coil. You can just barely see the corner of it in the first photo I posted. They don’t drain to anywhere but they do have wet switches in them that are wired to the furnace G terminal for emergency shutoff. Is this code compliant? From the bit of reading I did it sounded like it was.

    I did not pull a permit. Not sure if they did, but my guess is also no.

  11. #10
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    Code is minimum standard and in reality just another tax.

    Talk with the service manager and or owner.

  12. #11
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    Got it. Will do.

    @comfortdoc, out of curiosity what issues do you see with the venting? I see in the install manual that using the side ports is one of the recommended methods for a horizontal/left installation, but I do also see where it says pipe size transitions should not be used on the horizontal run (which they did)

    Re: you earlier question about whether they installed the gasket on the condensate trap, it looks like the plastic of the trap is pressed right up against the green foam piece with the ports on it. I don’t see any rubber, unless the gasket would not be easily visible.

  13. #12
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    The yellow tube is the tube. It was not reconfigured properly. It's missing the grey or black collector box pressure switch tube.

  14. #13
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    Sigh.

    It looks like they may have also trimmed the yellow tube's length because I don't think it will reach between those two ports with how long it currently is. Unless it's meant to stretch?

    Guess they're coming back for at least 1 more visit!

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjams View Post
    Thanks.

    I'm curious what you think, from a professional standpoint, is the best way to approach these issues with the installer (where things have not been done to the Install Manual specs)? Like, do I send them the page from the install manual and be like "this is wrong, you need to fix it"? Or do I point out the problem and say that I'm concerned, and can you confirm that this is done to manufacturer specs? If they STILL don't do it to manufacturer specs (which, based on the way this has gone with them, I'd be surprised if they did), do I address the situation directly with Carrier and see if they can recommend someone who will redo it correctly?

    For example I already addressed the way the furnace is supported with them. Originally it was only hanging from the width-wise unistrut. I told them the install manual specifically says it must be supported along the length and that I wanted it re-hung properly, and cited the page from the manual (p. 30, as comfortdoc said).

    Their "fix" was what you see here. Sure they installed unistrut along the length, but they left the original width-wise unistrut in place! I was out of town when this was done (my wife was home) so I didn't see it until a few days later and I was just like WTF!?
    Personally I would be just fine with width wise unistrut in my own home. We have literally installed 1000's of units like that. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen any unit of any brand with length wise strut.



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  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayMan7 View Post
    Personally I would be just fine with width wise unistrut in my own home. We have literally installed 1000's of units like that. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen any unit of any brand with length wise strut.



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    Over time the unit will sag in the middle potentially causing a failure of the gasket between primary and secondary heat exchangers.
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  18. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjams View Post
    Got it. Will do.

    @comfortdoc, out of curiosity what issues do you see with the venting? I see in the install manual that using the side ports is one of the recommended methods for a horizontal/left installation, but I do also see where it says pipe size transitions should not be used on the horizontal run (which they did)

    Re: you earlier question about whether they installed the gasket on the condensate trap, it looks like the plastic of the trap is pressed right up against the green foam piece with the ports on it. I don’t see any rubber, unless the gasket would not be easily visible.
    Vent pipe - the rubber coupling supplied with the furnace needs to be on the vent pipe, not intake air. The transitions need to be in vertical pipe not horizontal, or get special concentric fittings. The vent pipe is supposed to be sloped 1/4” per foot toward the furnace so it can drain out. As it is, with the reducer horizontal, condensate will collect in the pipe effectively reducing pipe size available for flue gasses. This will get worse when it is colder out and there are longer run times at higher capacity.

    There is a rubber gasket that goes around the drain trap in the horizontal position. It seals the rectangular opening the trap slides through. I believe Carrier calls it a Horizontal Direct Vent Trap Grommet.
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  19. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by comfortdoc View Post
    Over time the unit will sag in the middle potentially causing a failure of the gasket between primary and secondary heat exchangers.
    I get that theory but have never seen that actually happen in real life. If the unistrut was placed at the outside edges of the unit that may be worse than where we normally put them so that the unit is better supported. But still it seems to be a manufacturer CYA thing. I have yet to see a unit that is so structurally weak that it sags in the middle.

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  20. #18
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    Basically it seems this installer never opened the install instruction.

    If they were opened, clearly they were not read or understood.

    For me, I now question anything to do with this install, size, duct work, UI set up(most of that is automatic thankfully), commissioning.
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  21. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacnw View Post
    I now question anything to do with this install, size, duct work, UI set up(most of that is automatic thankfully), commissioning.
    Unfortunately I feel the same way. I'm going to call the owner tomorrow and (hopefully) discuss all of this. The system is less than 2 months old and they've already replaced the evaporator coil due to a leak (last week). I had chalked that up to manufacturing, and although that still could be it, I'm now fearing that I'm already seeing the resulting poor reliability of a bad install. Pretty disappointed. I'm an engineer myself and my hope was to find a contractor who would do their homework, crunch the numbers, and install everything correctly *the first time*. Sigh.

    Quote Originally Posted by comfortdoc View Post
    Vent pipe - the rubber coupling supplied with the furnace needs to be on the vent pipe, not intake air. The transitions need to be in vertical pipe not horizontal, or get special concentric fittings. The vent pipe is supposed to be sloped 1/4” per foot toward the furnace so it can drain out. As it is, with the reducer horizontal, condensate will collect in the pipe effectively reducing pipe size available for flue gasses. This will get worse when it is colder out and there are longer run times at higher capacity.

    There is a rubber gasket that goes around the drain trap in the horizontal position. It seals the rectangular opening the trap slides through. I believe Carrier calls it a Horizontal Direct Vent Trap Grommet.
    Copy all that. I took photos of all of it. You're correct, the trap grommet was not installed, as well as there is no seal around where the vent pipe enters the chassis. It took me a bit to realize why this is a problem, but now I get it. The 98% efficient furnace will not be quite so efficient when it is pulling combustion air in through all those holes from my conditioned space! The condensate drain pipe is also being held onto the trap by a zip tie.

    Idk if this changes your perspective on how the reducer transitions were done at all, but here is a shot from the other angle. They did install drains on both of the vent pipes, but if condensate is collecting on the left side of the reducer I'm not sure what difference the drains will make.

    Name:  IMG_7469.JPG
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Size:  2.22 MB

  22. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjams View Post
    Unfortunately I feel the same way. I'm going to call the owner tomorrow and (hopefully) discuss all of this. The system is less than 2 months old and they've already replaced the evaporator coil due to a leak (last week). I had chalked that up to manufacturing, and although that still could be it, I'm now fearing that I'm already seeing the resulting poor reliability of a bad install. Pretty disappointed. I'm an engineer myself and my hope was to find a contractor who would do their homework, crunch the numbers, and install everything correctly *the first time*. Sigh.



    Copy all that. I took photos of all of it. You're correct, the trap grommet was not installed, as well as there is no seal around where the vent pipe enters the chassis. It took me a bit to realize why this is a problem, but now I get it. The 98% efficient furnace will not be quite so efficient when it is pulling combustion air in through all those holes from my conditioned space! The condensate drain pipe is also being held onto the trap by a zip tie.

    Idk if this changes your perspective on how the reducer transitions were done at all, but here is a shot from the other angle. They did install drains on both of the vent pipes, but if condensate is collecting on the left side of the reducer I'm not sure what difference the drains will make.

    Name:  IMG_7469.JPG
Views: 75
Size:  2.22 MB
    Actually an ingenious way to drain that.

    Except that they need to have traps on the drains. It looks like they didn't use cleaner when they glue the pipes together.

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