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Thread: Here's how I put a stop to the everlasting mud pie [pics]

  1. #1
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    Here's how I put a stop to the everlasting mud pie [pics]

    While I understand it's common practice and universally accepted by builders everywhere to place the condensate line just outside the exterior wall of a house, I have feared foundation damage as well as had to deal with a big filthy mud pile on the side of the yard which created kind of a dead zone.

    So, we planned to have pavers installed throughout the backyard and side of the house and the time was now for me to once and for all put a stop to this mess.




    Here's the original pipe they plumbed when the house was built in 2002. Lucky for me, they didn't prime the joint and glue it properly, making it easy to separate.



    I went ahead and made some modifications and solvent welded everything up.



    If you pay attention, you can see the 3/4" condensate line coming out of the wall. This comes from the unit on the second story. I took care of that one too. That line's pitched and clamped to the concrete wall.



    Here's the same area after they finished the pavers.



    Here's the other side of the fence.



    This is the finished product and this will be the new permanent home of the mud puddle. I couldn't go much further from the house, because this is South Florida where houses are built on top of one another and my neighbor's yard begins about two feet from there. Didn't want to encroach or anything, but he's cool with it. His only concern was if the water is chlorinated from the pool. We're going to be landscaping the area soon, and I plan to dig out a little well, kind of like a French drain, and fill it in with gravel. I'm considering to make a half-loop on the 3/4" line, but I don't want to cause a restriction and a clog, but I also need to keep it elevated above the dirt so it doesn't get buried over time. It's just something I'll figure out in time, but for tonight, I wanted to share this with the forum. Any constructive feedback is welcome.

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  3. #2
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    Is that Inch and Half pipe coming from the Crawlspace ?

    Sump Pump I assume ?
    Tell your Cat I said "Psst Psst Psst"

  4. #3
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    No crawlspace. This house is a slab on grade in Miami FL. What you probably see is the relief valve piping for the old water heater. It's been replaced a few years ago with a tankless heater.


    If we had a basement, it'd be underwater

  5. #4
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    The pipe in the second picture

    That looks like 1.5 pipe

    whats it for
    Tell your Cat I said "Psst Psst Psst"

  6. #5
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    Looks like a big A double trap?

  7. #6
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    Oh that's the extension that I lengthened out to the front yard. This comes from the unit downstairs but unlike the AHU upstairs, this one goes under the slab of the house and is always full of water. Usually this is the one that needs to be cleaned out more often than the one upstairs.

    The AHU still uses a 3/4 pipe but meets the 2" PVC with a reducer bushing

  8. #7
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    Yeah, what's with the bigger pipe that you buried? If I am reading your description right, that is from one of your 2 air conditioner systems? Is it somehow hooked up to a condensate pump at the air handler. I can't see it working if not, so I'm, hoping it is. Does anything else go into it (like your high efficiency water heater that you mentioned), or just the air conditioner? Why is the pipe so huge, when I'm guessing 3/8" vinyl tubing would have probably worked just as good (if it's coming from a little condensate pump like I'm picturing)?

    I can assure you that is not "common practice and universally accepted by builders everywhere to place the condensate line just outside the exterior wall of a house".

    Where I live, it is actually pretty rare to see an air conditioner's drain piped to outside. They usually go to a floor drain or a sump pump pit or a condensate pump going to a laundry sink or washing machine standpipe or other place inside of the house. Most systems around here seem to be coupled together with a condensing furnace, which means it can't go outside, otherwise it would freeze and back up when it gets cold outside.

    I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking at, but your pavers do look nice! I don't know alot about pavers or landscaping, but hopefully you figured out a way for them to be pitched slightly AWAY from the house.

    By the way, where is your other condensing unit? Or did I misunderstand and you only have one?
    If at First You Don't Succeed, Skydiving Is Not for You.

  9. #8
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    Thank you for the feedback about the pavers haha. This is my dads house (and the one I grew up in) and it sure cost him a pretty penny! I'm going to edit my post but yes, we have two split systems. One upstairs and one down. Upstairs uses the 3/4 pipe and it works off gravity. The downstairs one was plumbed by the builder to use a 2" PVC.

    I attached a picture of the other side of the AHU piping for the first floor unit. This was done by the builder and I made no modifications here. As I mentioned, we have no basement probably due to the water table being 6ish feet down below as well as the fact that it's hot here almost all year long and when it gets "cold," that's about 60 degrees for a few days. Ignore the dirt on the floor please and thanks. Also attached is a picture of both condensing units. There's a jetski trailer leaning on the upstairs unit and I've told my dad it's probably not the best but sometimes dads just don't listen.
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  10. #9
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    I don't see how that can possibly work. Looks like the big pipe goes through the floor and into the ground, across to outside and up to where you put your first 90 (trap #1) and then horizontally through your new pipe underneath those pavers to another elbow that's pointing up (trap #2) and then to a big upside down goose neck. I guess maybe the whole mess could be considered as one giant weird shaped trap (maybe), but I still wouldn't expect it to work very well.

    If it does prove to not work very well, I think the easiest solution at this point might be to add a condensate pump somewhere to force the water through that pvc.
    If at First You Don't Succeed, Skydiving Is Not for You.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ammoniadog View Post
    I don't see how that can possibly work. Looks like the big pipe goes through the floor and into the ground, across to outside and up to where you put your first 90 (trap #1) and then horizontally through your new pipe underneath those pavers to another elbow that's pointing up (trap #2) and then to a big upside down goose neck. I guess maybe the whole mess could be considered as one giant weird shaped trap (maybe), but I still wouldn't expect it to work very well.

    If it does prove to not work very well, I think the easiest solution at this point might be to add a condensate pump somewhere to force the water through that pvc.
    I hear ya. The 90 elbow wasn't ideal but would've required a lot more digging and cutting the pipe right by the footing to the house. The pipe has always been full of water since day one and also wanted to ask you guys if you ever see this in the field. It DOES work perfectly with a constant stream of water coming out on a hot day. The reason it works is because the AHU is higher than the gooseneck, so it sort of just overflows.

  12. #11
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    I’m confused you’re going from three-quarter to inch and a half down then back up to three-quarter correct

  13. #12
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    Oh ... your lower unit AH is like 4 feet up in the air ... then 3/4 pipe drops 4 feet down into the 2 inch pipe

    Thats still crazy big using 2 inch pipe ... but I guess thats how ya'll do in Florida
    Tell your Cat I said "Psst Psst Psst"

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    Quote Originally Posted by pecmsg View Post
    I’m confused you’re going from three-quarter to inch and a half down then back up to three-quarter correct
    No no. I am going to edit the post for clarity. Two split systems. Upstairs uses 3/4 all the way. Downstairs system uses 3/4" from the AHU and then increases to 2" the rest of the way since the pipe travels under the concrete slab and foundation. Basically all I did was relocate the gooseneck but I did have to use an extra 90 rather than cutting out the one that was originally there. The gooseneck pulled right out since they glued it poorly and in place of that, I added an elbow and ran it out to the front yard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snapperhead View Post
    Oh ... your lower units AH is like 4 feet up in the air
    Correct. The slab is elevated for flood protection and the AHU is sitting about waist-high. So as the AHU drips, the pipe can't hold anymore water and it drips out in the yard. Also I love your signature, I will be letting my cat know.

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  16. #14
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    Eliminate th 2” and install a pump!

  17. #15
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    Looks like it's to late for that ....
    Well I guess you could leave what's already been done in the ground ....

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    A 2” P-Trap 3’ Deep🤣

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    Yea it's not the ideal situation but that's how they did it. I never thought to install a pump, but this works too. Some houses in the neighborhood (cookie cutter houses) don't have a unit for each floor. They just use a bigger system on the second floor and cool the whole house.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pecmsg View Post
    A 2” P-Trap 3’ Deep🤣
    Yes that's pretty much what it is ....

  21. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty4fairlane View Post
    Yea it's not the ideal situation but that's how they did it. I never thought to install a pump, but this works too. Some houses in the neighborhood (cookie cutter houses) don't have a unit for each floor. They just use a bigger system on the second floor and cool the whole house.
    Until it doesn’t!

  22. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty4fairlane View Post
    Yea it's not the ideal situation but that's how they did it. I never thought to install a pump, but this works too. Some houses in the neighborhood (cookie cutter houses) don't have a unit for each floor. They just use a bigger system on the second floor and cool the whole house.
    I hear nothing but complaints on houses with 1 system
    Tell your Cat I said "Psst Psst Psst"

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