Furnace condensate leak.


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Old 10-09-14, 03:22 PM
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Furnace condensate leak.

I have an Armstrong A95UH 95% furnace.

Condensate leak was appearing at the coupling (with hose clamps) that attaches the inducer fan to the boot (the boot collects the water I believe from the exhaust pvc above).

I called back the HVAC co. They replaced the coupling with an exact replacement. The leak appeared again at the same exact spot. HVAC co. returns and repositions the coupling and inspects the attachement point for cracks... none seen.

Im told to watch for it to occur again and if so they will replace the inducer. And that this was some freakish thing that they have never seen before???!!

I fear the only thing repositioning the coupling will do is mask the leak to the backside of the fitting and I wont know it is still occurring....

any ideas?
 
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Old 10-09-14, 03:33 PM
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Here is a link to the installation manual for your system: http://www.armstrongair.com/_/pdfs/i..._506724-01.pdf

That is an unusual problem. Possibly there is a hairline crack that is difficult to see. I suggest you remove the rubber coupling with hose clamps and using a magnifying glass and a good light to try and see if you can find one. It seems like the issue would be the black plastic pipe that the rubber coupling attaches to and not the coupling itself. Someone probably over-torqued the screws when tightening the clamps.

When I have a situation where I am trying to find a small defect I take a digital photo of the area from different angles and then blow up the photo on the computer screen. That usually helps find the issue.

Is the boot to which you are referring the one circled in white in the attached photo?
 
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Last edited by firedawgsatx; 10-09-14 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 10-10-14, 03:44 PM
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Yes that is exactly it, I forwarded the manual to my husband..thank you.

They want to come replace the entire inducer. My husband and I fear that taking the furnace apart to do this will cause more harm than good. Gas lines have to be disasmbled.

Should that concern us? Do you feel its a waste of time to replace the entire inducer in this case?
 
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Old 10-10-14, 04:43 PM
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Replacing the inducer should be no big deal. It will depend on which side the gas lines were brought into the cabinet as to whether not the gas lines will have to be disassembled. If you look at the photo posted previously the inducer motor assembly is on the left side of the cabinet and the gas lines enter from the right. In that case, disassembling the gas lines would not be required. I suggest you go ahead and let them replace the inducer to hopefully remedy the issue you are having with the water leak.
 
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Old 10-10-14, 05:43 PM
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Is there an external condensate drain trap? If so, is there condensate passing through it to the house drain, or is little or nothing coming to the drain?

A plugged trap can cause a backup.
 
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Old 10-10-14, 05:51 PM
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firedawgsatx- Using the photo as a guide... the gas line enters from the left, same side as inducer. The electric makeup box is also on the same side. That is what we are fearing everything gets taken apart.

edit: Looking closer at the photo it looks like the gas can only come in on that left side... the gas valve manifold bends to the right and can only enter the firebox on the right. Anyway....

goldstar- I brought that up to them about a plugged trap and the guy shrugged it off saying its not possible. Water wasn't filling that boot either, like it would be under pressure or something. Its seems to be the normal condensate drippage. I can simply pour water in the trap/vent on the side and see if it flows to confirm correct?

If both couplings leaked at the exact same spot... than that would indicate it has nothing to do with the coupling correct? If the drain is clear, then the only logical next step is the inducer itself.

Man, why does this has to be so hard !!!

Thanks for both your time in replying to me here.
 
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Old 10-10-14, 06:20 PM
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I have attached a photo of a similar inducer assembly by itself. The "boot" on this inducer appears to be an integral part of the assembly and is not listed as a separate part. If your inducer is like this one, it shows why the entire inducer assembly has to be replaced. There are many model numbers in the A95UH series. Without the entire model number of your furnace it is difficult to determine the exact inducer part number. Is the leak coming from above the "boot", below the "boot" or from the "boot" itself?
 
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Last edited by firedawgsatx; 10-10-14 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 10-11-14, 05:22 AM
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Thanks. that's not the same one though. Mine doesn't have that top piece (with that extra drain provision) attached. There is the coupling that attaches... much like a fernco but this is the exact one that comes with the furnace. It leaks at the bottom of the coupling. In fact repositioning it now has only moved the leak to the other side.

They are completely missing the boat so far. I hope the inducer replacement will rectify this.

BTW: The inducer I need is a 93W13 which is a revised part for the one in there that is labeled fasco 702112689M.
 
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Old 10-11-14, 05:55 AM
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Ok, here is a photo of that part number.
 
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Old 10-11-14, 06:41 AM
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That's exactly it. The coupling attaches to the discharge and the joint between the coupling and that opening is where the bead of water emerges from. A new coupling did not solve the issue. And repositioning the new coupling just moved the leak to the other side of that opening. Technican said he saw no crack though when he removed the coupling but he also wouldn't be able to inspect the entire circumference of the joint without removing the inducer completely.

So all I can do now is allow them to change that entire inducer. That will be the third attempt at repair. If that doesn't solve the issue... how would you proceed?
 
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Old 10-11-14, 07:07 AM
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Is there water inside the inducer? I would have the company make sure the condensate drain system is clear and not clogged/restricted. Other than the inducer and discharge fernco coupling, the only other part above that coupling is the flue collar. Have them inspect that also.
 
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Old 10-12-14, 05:24 AM
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Is there water inside the inducer? I would have the company make sure the condensate drain system is clear and not clogged/restricted. Other than the inducer and discharge fernco coupling, the only other part above that coupling is the flue collar. Have them inspect that also.
I asked if it was filled with water. The guy didn't have it totally off to installthe new coupling but he said "no"... but of course he couldn't tip it over to see what came out.

However, if it was a backup of the condensate drain that would cause a leak that high in the system, I assume the fan would have to be completely filled because the leak is above all the drain tubing in the furnace. And if the inducer was filled with water I assume I would have other issues like the inducer throwing pressure switches or not working at all.

I wished there was a photo of the condensate trap on the side of the unit... I see water inside the "vent" portion of it and I assume that is the trap and is normal. Its pictured in that manual you suggested in the first post. There are 2 open ports on that condensate drain... both lower than the point of the leak. A backup in the system I assume would show itself as overflow at those open points in the drain first, below the point where I see the drain.
 
 

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