Outsidde (stinky crawlspace) air coming in

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Old 09-24-06, 07:37 PM
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Question Outsidde (stinky crawlspace) air coming in

Last week a stray (tom) cat got closed under our house and didn't make noise for 4 days. By that time we had a lot of cat pee! Seems that it drank water from the drip pan under the air handler and proceeded to mark every square foot under there. The smell started coming in the house, so we began pulling up plastic under there, thinking we'd just lay more and fix the problem. But we found a mucky mess under the plastic - major moisture. Lots of mold. We had a leaky shower drain that had gone unnoticed. Mixed with the cat's activities, it was really odiferous. so we have several issues. But my big question at this point is why outside air (the pee and mold smell) is coming into the house. If I pull out the filter and stick my head in a return duct when the air isn't blowing, it's like I'm sitting in the crawlspace. I don't see any ducts disconnected down there. I do see several places where the wrapping on the thick insulation has popped, and you can see the pink insulation, but I assume there is a plastic duct somewhere inside that and smell shouldn't get in. Am I correct that the air handler shouldn't be sucking outside air under there?
 
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Old 09-24-06, 08:07 PM
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Wink

Do you have a return register in the duct down there???. We put them in in the crawl space.
I do see several places where the wrapping on the thick insulation has popped, and you can see the pink insulation, but I assume there is a plastic duct somewhere inside that

If this is the round flex pipe there isnt much plastic inside it. Did you look is there a hole to the inside of the pipe?
Why is there water in the drip pan under the unit?????
You dont say just what you have down there.Is it all flex pipe?? Have you checked it all. Is the furnace or blower unit tight???


ED
 
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Old 09-24-06, 09:05 PM
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Do you have a wood burning fire place,maybe the vent is open,this will vent warm air and draw air through the crawlspace vents and through your ductwork.older duct systems may have had a combustion air for the furnace to vent properly.or a fresh air into the return ductwork .if you dont have crawl vents,you should this will prevent mold and moisture build up,and the air may be comming down the furnace vent (very bad!!)also insulation often smells like piss ,dont know why.more info would be helpfull,like gas ,elect ,air cond .sounds like you have some kind of makeup air problem ,i hope you dont have gas apliances
 
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Old 09-24-06, 09:22 PM
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You dont want vents in crawl space in any way. They just let the warm air in to kick up the humidity under the home. We seal all crawl spaces. Insulation on the walls. 6 mil poly on the ground and insulation just up on the sill plate in each joist space all around the home.

ED
 
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Old 09-25-06, 06:53 AM
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I don't see anything that looks like a return duct under there. Would you expect it to be near the air handler itself? I know my mom's has filters that you actually change at the air handler but I don't see one on ours. It's a pretty tight space, so you have to just about get on your stomach to get under the ducts. With the mud and cat urine, I have been hesitant to go sliding around everywhere, so I do have a few more places to check.

The system is an all electric heat pump. We noticed water under the unit this summer and realized that the drip line ran out under the foundation, but no longer came out of the ground outside. We didn't even know a pipe went out there Our crawlspace is lower than the dirt outside, so the line ran at least 20 feet from the house underground and came out by a tree. The white pvc pipe dumped into a regular black drainage pipe somewhere under ground, which must have gotten crushed over the years. The unit was dripping from its corners and we couldn't tell where the blockage was (and didn't want to get electrocuted), so my husband sawed through the pipe 10 feet from the unit to see if the blockage was before the drip line. But water did come out of the line where he cut it, and is going in a big pan at the moment. I have a plumber coming to see about doing some serious drainage work and making the line drain somewhere better (like to a sump pump) while he is at it.

The ducts are all the big round flex stuff, with square boxes where the intakes are. The pipe that is split the worst is bent in some crazy loops to go around other ducts and pipes. It hangs down to about 8 or 10 inches over the (muddy) ground, so I didn't stick my head all the way under to check it out. I guess I need to. The joints all look like they are taped and have some sort of putty at the air handler itself.

Question - should the ducts be able to bend in tight curves without popping?
 
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Old 09-25-06, 07:43 AM
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Question - should the ducts be able to bend in tight curves without popping?
There is a wire like inside that flex pipe that will let them bend some .But not to tight.
I would check all the pipe down there also feel them and see if any water is inside them or just wet. If so get new ones.
On that drain pipe from the AC they have small pumps that you can let the water run into right after the P trap on the unit. It will then pump it outside for you. This can be why you have all the water under the poly
The return duct would be on one end of the unit down there and the supply on the other end.

ED
 
 

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