Drip Pans

If the condensate drain leaves rust stains outside what do you think you will find in the drip pan?

A model A Ford?..:stuck_out_tongue:

Some shack in Scottsdale. Three homes today, all three had bad secondary pans. Splits were good though.:wink:

I guess we need to spend more time on the pipe insulation thing!

If you didn’t have a good split, you wouldn’t have had the stain! :slight_smile:

Haven’t seen condensate drains like that come out of the gable ends before.
Typically, from what I have seen, they are always roughed in to the rough framing and discharged directly above the box sill and extend far enough with a 45 degree elbow to not create these stains.
Most of the time it will be allowed to run the condensate to an indirect drain receptor that is close by. Then you would not have to worry about aesthetic stains on the exterior.

I have heard that condensate provides a chemical creating stains and rust, has anyone heard this?

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Condinsate should be only distilled water or very close to it. The rust is most likely from the drip pan itself or other galvanized metal that has a damaged coating.

In my opinion, it should not come out the gable end, correct?
Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

I’m not sure it makes a difference where it discharges. Window units discharge out their backsides to what’s below.

That is the secondary pan condensate drain up high like that Marcel, the primary line comes out near grade.

If you have any water comming out of the high line it means trouble.

If you have contaminated condensate water, you have a serious indoor air quality problem!

It should not be discharged where it will cause any adverse effect to the structure (this includes the soil against the foundation).

So what do you think the drip pan will look like once I get into the attic???

Ok here is the attic.

It did get hot and cold though.:slight_smile:

You are correct Marcel, the discharge is “normally” located over a window or door to notify the occupant of the issue. In this case, “Out of sight, out of mind”…

They make some great pan mounted moisture kill switches that would put an end to that particular problem.

Condensate is a result of refrigeration condensing ambient (R.H) humidity into liquid. The water accumulated is a product of indoor air and rust is from contact with various metal components of the theoretical closed system.

That being said, I don’t see the water being discharged to the outside being anywhere close to distilled, nor do I see it being any more caustic than the IAQ of the house the A/C system is conditioning.

We use to, by design, run the main drain line off the Evaporative Coil out with the Refrig. L/S, and the secondary or auxillary drain off the drain pan under the Furnace/E.Coil or AHU, out to and eave location over a prominent window or door location. The idea being that if the owner saw water dripping, they knew they had an existing problem or a problem starting with the HVAC system.
Action is needed, first, turn the system off as soon as you notice and secondly, call your HVAC service contractor. Algae and other gunk can grow in the various component pans and piping (due to lack of normal maint.) by the Homeowner/Svc. Contr., but I have never seen a real problem with the location of the drain discharge or the water.

Note: The discharge of the acidic condensate produced by a H/E 90%+ Condensing Furnace is different, and consideration to a discharge location may be more important, dependent on local codes.

Let me ask you this. How much rust is too much rust? Short of having a hole in the pan, would it get to a point where you would recommend that the pan be replaced (or further evaluated)?

Here’s TREC’s view on this and mine in bold:

(q) Cooling systems other than evaporative coolers. The inspector shall:
(1) report the type of system and energy sources;
(2) operate the system using normal control devices except when the outdoor temperature is less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit;
(3) inspect for proper performance; such as by observing the temperature difference between the supply air and the return air or noticeable vibration of the blower fan and report as in need of repair any deficiencies;
(4) report as in need of repair the lack of, or deficiencies in drainage of, condensate drain line and secondary drain line when applicable, including pipes made of inadequate material;
(5) report as in need of repair a primary drain pipe that terminates in a sewer vent, if the termination is visible;
(6) report as in need of repair a safety pan that is not appropriately sized for the evaporator coil or free of water or debris; (rust is debris) if I don’t call it out sure is st it will come back on me.**
(7) report as in need of repair a return chase and plenum that are not free of improper and hazardous conditions, such as gas pipes, sewer vents, refrigerant piping or electrical wiring.
(8 ) report as in need of repair the lack of insulation on refrigerant pipes and the primary condensate drain pipe; I get to include this one on almost every report. Some installers are starting to catch on but this is viewed as nit-picking and a nuisance comment by some sellers and realtors
(9) report as in need of repair a condensing unit that does not have adequate clearances, or air circulation, or that has deficiencies in the condition of fins, location, levelness and elevation above ground surfaces; and
(10) report as in need of repair conductor sizing and over-current protective devices that are not appropriately sized for the unit.

Joe the pictures I posted were all of secondary drip pans. These pans only see moisture when there is a problem with the primary pan and drian. So any rust is not good, and I call it out. We only get about 4 months of condensated here so it is possible I would not see moisture in a rusty pan.

And like Barry said, if I do not call it out it will come back at me.

This was at a recent EIFS inspection.
SoP for EDI requires surface stains observed and cause identification if possible.
Anyone want to hazard a guess where the stains came from?

There appear to be three pipes protruding from the attic. Three pipes from???..
(1) the TPR…
(2) the water heater drain…and
(3) the drip pan drain.

Missed by how far???

No friggin idea Barry.:smiley: :wink: