PVC from furnace into foundation?


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Old 11-15-09, 10:01 AM
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PVC from furnace into foundation?

Hi, does anyone know what the pvc from the furnace into the foundation floor is for (see pictures below)? I'm hoping it might be a condensation drain that is hooked up to my sump system under the foundation? If so, is it possible to plumb into it for draining a water heater leak?

The reason I'm asking is that I'm about to finish my basement and I'm looking for a way to prevent my hot water tank from flooding the finished basement someday. My current plan is to put in a water detection system with a valve that will shut of the water supply into the tank when the tank starts to leak. I will be placing a dam around the tank and then a condensate pump that will remove the water that will leak out of the tank. Is it possible to plumb the pump into this pvc drain on the furnace (if that's in fact what it is)? Or will I need to plumb all the way over to the sump pit?

Thanks!

- Bill



 
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Old 11-15-09, 10:43 AM
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Yes, it looks like it's probably a line draining the condensate away from the furnace on the bottom and the AC coil on the top.

I'd be inclined to verify that by pouring water into what appears to be an open t-fitting coming off the AC coil.

Whether it's a good idea to use that as a drain line for the water heater I don't know. I can't think of any particular reason you can't or shouldn't.
 
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Old 11-15-09, 12:12 PM
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Thanks, I dumped 5 gallons into the drain, it seemed to drain fine but I didn't see anything come into the sump pit? Maybe it just drains into the stone under the foundation? Worst case for the water tank would be 60 gallons of water pumped through it which I would imagine would drain fine into the stone. I'm thinking I should move forward with the idea of pumping through this drain? I will put a check valve on both the furnace side and a/c side just to be safe also.

Thanks - Bill
 
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Old 11-15-09, 01:06 PM
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Frankly. most people just put a can or bucket under the relief valve. If it ever opens, usually it's just a drip.

You could get a good deal of water flowing, but that would be quite rare.


Your idea of building a dam, a water detector and a water shutoff valve seems overly technical and overkill.

First, how much damage would some water from the water heater actually do? Significant flooding would be quite rare.

The usual practice in situations where some water might do significant damages would be to put a water heater pan under the water heater with a plumbing fitting that can be connected to a drain.

Have you considered this kind of solution, if you even need that much?

Most water heater leaks from relief valves or tanks amount to some drips that might form a trickle of water over time.

Significant amount of water leakage is pretty rare.

Keep it simple and proportional to the amount of damage that might really be done is the usual practice.
 
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Old 11-15-09, 01:27 PM
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A couple of added comments. Pumps don't work when the power is out. How about drilling another hole next to the water heater? And, before you finish your basement, there is lots of reading available on moisture problems, the least of which will come from your water heater.

Also, if you heat with oil, where is your oil tank?

One of the best plans for a basement is the ability to handle water from all sources with minimal damage.

Trying to help,
Bud
 
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Old 11-15-09, 03:42 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I'm not too concerned with it being too technical or if it might be overkill. Also, if the power is out at the same time my tank goes and the pump doesn't work then I will just consider that a very unlucky coincidence. I'm not crazy about drilling into the floor either. Since the drain from the furnace is right next to the water tank, this will be a quick and easy install and not too expensive either.

My main objective is peace of mind that my water heater won't ruin my basement. It is going to be carpeted and I would hope to avoid the mess the water tank has the potential to create, especially if it could've been avoided.

I have seen water tanks go before where they have created quite a mess with a lot of water. My tank is only 4 years old so maybe they make them better these days? If the thing would never let out a ton of water and all I need is a pan then that would be great. But, the question is can I guarantee that will be the case?

I'm all for the simpler the better but I'm not afraid to go the extra mile (even if it's overkill) to give me peace of mind.
 
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Old 11-15-09, 08:03 PM
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I know many homes where the water heaters are older than the hills and never a leak. But not my home. I have never been able to resolve the issue, but my electric water heaters only last about 3-5 years and then spring a leak inside somewhere. I have mine located close to a floor drain that drains to daylight so the floods have had minimal impact, but a lot of water. My current one has started to leak and the new heater is already down there.

So I do agree with some precautions.
Bud
 
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Old 11-16-09, 10:25 AM
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Yes they are the condensate lines, as far as putting check valves on them, don't. Many builders drain into the foundation, its cheap and easy. I don't like it, when it does clog it can be a problem. I would install a condensate pump and pump it to your sump pit. As far as your water heater goes check out

WAGS
 
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Old 11-16-09, 03:52 PM
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I found some pictures today of the basement as my house was being built. There was one showing the floor post sump and pre furnace. There was no drain in the floor at that point so these condensate lines do not run into the sump. I should've figured!! Oh well, I will plumb the condensate pump to the sump pit and leave the condensate lines alone.

I've seen the WAGS before but I'm leaning towards the FloodStop System for Water Heaters instead. Any positive/negative experience with those? It doesn't have a gas shutoff though but I wasn't planning on adding one anyway unless I find that it's a must to have one if I add a water shutoff? I didn't think it was.

WAGS seems pretty expensive for a "1 use valve". And, I really like having the ability to test something first to make sure it works (it must be the software engineer in me )
 
 

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