Condensation trap/clean out question

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Old 02-02-11, 11:38 AM
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Condensation trap/clean out question

I have been told that my gas furance/central air does not have and really needs a clean out or trap. Have heard it mentioned two ways.

I am going to try and post a picture of the current drain system. Not sure if it's going to work.

My question is, is this a DIY project? How does it work and how to use it.? Untill last year, the drain was running to the far end of the crawl space and simply was running into the dirt around the foundation. I did add additional pipe and ran it to a sump pump..I was amazed (to say the least) the amount of water coming into the pump well and being pumped to the outside. This was hooked up this way for about 16 years and the previous owned could not figure out why the crawl space was always flooded.

Anyway, any info you can provided would be greatly appreciate. I was told that my heat exchanger was rusted and needed to be replaced ASAP. Right now, I occasionly get a WHOOSING noise when the heat kicks on, and it is scaring me to the point that I am thinking of turning it off and using the wood insert only for the rest of the winter....

Again, many thanks for any help and hope that the picture comes out O.K......

http:11s934.photobucket.com/albums/ad189/crater22_2009
 
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Old 02-02-11, 07:23 PM
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I copied & pasted the link into my browser & notta. You want to try again?

When someone says they have been told their furnace needs to be repalced ASAP, I always suggest getting a second opinion unless either the servicer can show you a defect or you have the utmost trust in the servicer. Heat exchangers can be examined with a fiber optic scope or there are electronic tests which can point to a problem. The mere sight of rust isn't always a cause for alarm.
 
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Old 02-03-11, 08:03 AM
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Old 02-03-11, 08:50 PM
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If the furnace is, as it appears to be, an upflow (blower at the bottom) you do not need a trap. In fact, I prefer there not be one.
 
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Old 02-05-11, 05:24 AM
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Actually, it is down flow furnace, with central air. It was explained to me that this was also a problem, as the central air unit should have been installed at the bottom. The condesation pipe is slated slightly and the pipe continues down into the crawl space and runs over the entire length of the plenum or is it called a trunk. I have pictures of the pipe dripping with moisture, due to the fact that it is about two inches above the plenum, and was not insulated in any way.

Thanks for any more information, and I apologize for not knowing the proper term's....
 
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Old 02-05-11, 11:54 AM
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Downflow

This is not good, not good at all.

What you have been told is absolutely correct. With the air conditioner's evaporator coil being upstream of the furnace it is very likely the furnace heat exchanger is rusted thru. If it isn't it will be soon. I strongly recommend having the furnace replaced, the evaporator coil moved to below the furnace, & insulating the duct work. Don't be surprised if when the furnace is removed if they find the plenum to be rusty as well.
 
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Old 02-05-11, 02:11 PM
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That is exactly what I was afraid of. Before I moved in here last year, I could hear a WHOSH WHOSH WHOSH noise before the the heat would kick on. When I moved in and took over the house, I was a little scared of lighting the pilot myself, since I had never done it before. I called the local electric company to come and light it and they Red Taged it because of the rust. I had a company come out and remove the exchanger and clean it out good. It has worked since then and most of this year. Like I said, I get the occansional WHOSH noise before it kicks in.

I guess I will turn it off and rely on the insert and run the fan, also use space heaters. This kind of sucks since next week we are looking at temps back close to --none degrees--. Being old and on a fixed income really sucks. Did not plan to be in this position but health problems forced me to retire before I was prepared. Anyway, enough of my problems and want to thank you very much for your
feedback..

One more question. If I turn off the gas supply, do I just turn the valve to the off postion and leave the other electrical supply alone? Or should I call the gas company to come out.?

Rgds and Happy Birthday to me..
 
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Old 02-05-11, 06:15 PM
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Sorry 'bout messin' up your b'day. That really stinks.

If your gas company will do so, have them come out & check out the furnace. When you get ready to replace it, ask friends, neighbors, etc. about which contractors they've used & how satisfied they were with the price & work. Also don't get hung up on equipment brands. Nobody makes junk but there are a LOT of junk installations, yours being a case in point.
As I tell everyone considering a new installation: I'd much rather have the "cheapest" equipment, installed by the best installer than the "best" equipment installed poorly.
 
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Old 02-07-11, 12:27 PM
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Grady, thanks once again for all your help. If I may, I would like to ask one more question regarding the draining of the line. After your reply, I tried to not use the furnace at all, but it got just to darned cold. The following morning, I decided to use the furance again until it feel on the floor or blew up. It ran fine, no nosies, no whoosh sounds and no banging of pipes.

What I am thinking of doing for now, at least is to cut down on the amount of drain pipe. Currently it runs as follows: Appx 6' horizitonal from the furance down into the crawl space. Appx 15-20' vertical toward the foundation wall. (About 4' which is directly above the plenum .) Then about 3' horizitonal down the wall and then appx 30' vertical to the sump pump. My thinking (as stupid as it might be) is that it is too much to allow all the condensation moisture to leave.

I am thinking that for the immed. future, I will cut the amount of run for the first vertical space, (which is above the plenum) to just past the plenum and place a 15 gallon bucket under it to catch the water.

After I find if this makes a differance, I will re-connect the pipes, cutting the distance of drainage big time, making sure that every thing slopes properly into the sump pump.

I am just trying to get through the winter until I can afford to replace the furnace. I will probably not get a new air cond. unit, so I am sure it will save me some money.

Sorry to be a pain, but all you guy's are great
 
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Old 02-07-11, 01:01 PM
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I am only a homeowner but if I understand correctly, you are still focused on the condesation drain line. When the furnace is running in the winter, you should not have anything coming out of the drain unless you have a humidifier tapped into the same line. The winter air is typically much dryer than the summer. Additionally, it is the AC that creates the condensation due to the humidity and the tempurature difference between the air and the AC equipment (think of a glass with a cold drink on a hot day). I would put your efforts on the drainline aside until you consider running the AC.

I think one issue to consider here is that if you do have a cracked or rusted heat exchanger, could you also have a carbon monoxide leak - potentially deadly? As a safety issue, I think you need to consider having the furnace checked by a respected and trusted technician.
 
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Old 02-07-11, 05:43 PM
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Pjaffe is correct on both points.

My primary concern is the strong possibility of a rusted out heat exchanger and the danger of operating the furnace in that condition.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, & potentially deadly gas produced when nearly anything is burned. I know times are tight but PLEASE get the furnace checked.
 
 

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