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SuperNet9
Go Ninja,Go Ninja Go..
Premium
join:2002-10-08
Harwood Heights, IL
kudos:5

New Furnace/humidifier water going into sub pump

New furnace/ powered humidifier water going into sub pump is that ok?
I never seen my sub pump never go off as much as it is now.
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Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY

There may be a little water that goes to the sump pump occasionally from a humidifier, but there is certainly shouldn't be a significant amount. You would probably be best to shut off the water supply until you can get the installer to check the installation.



jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1
reply to SuperNet9

When some whole house humidifiers run, water flows the entire time they are on. This is usually done to prevent stagnation and mold growth. Excess water goes to a sump/drain. Maybe yours needs to be adjusted.
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guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:1
reply to SuperNet9

You mean you already had a new system installed? Sound like the installer screwed up ...

»How does this price quote look for heat/ac



pike
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-01
Washington, DC
kudos:3
reply to SuperNet9

Click for full size
No, that's absolutely incorrect. Your installer should have installed a separate condensate pump (pictured above) for the humidifier/heat/AC water. Using the sump pump is not acceptable. Get the installer back out and tell them they must install a proper condensate pump.

guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to SuperNet9

A 6K system and they screwed you out of doing it right for 38 bucks ?

Hopefully the new system wasn't installed by the clowns that wanted to keep changing the control board in the old system ..

»www.amazon.com/KT-15-1UL-Hartell···sxp_f_pt


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·callwithus
reply to pike

said by pike:

No, that's absolutely incorrect. Your installer should have installed a separate condensate pump (pictured above) for the humidifier/heat/AC water. Using the sump pump is not acceptable. Get the installer back out and tell them they must install a proper condensate pump.

Just curious, why not? Is it a code violation to dump the outlet of the humidifier/AC condensation into a sump pump pit?


StillLearn
Premium
join:2002-03-21
Streamwood, IL
Reviews:
·AT&T Midwest
reply to SuperNet9

There is totally no problem dumping AC condenser or dehumidifier water into the sump pit. The drain from a condensing furnace combustion products could be a different story without that water being diluted by other water or having the acid neutralized somehow.



rockotman
...Blown On The Steel Breeze
Emerging Research
join:2000-08-06
DSotM
kudos:2
reply to pike

The use of a separate condensate pump is only warranted if there is no convenient place to drain the condensate in the vicinity of the source of condensate. If there is a drain right next to the furnace, and routing the effluent to that drain does not create a tripping hazard, it is perfectly acceptable to let the effluent run into the drain. Condensate pumps are typically used when the drain is located in another part of the area, and it is necessary to pump the effluent up and overhead across the area; i.e., to a wash basin or drain on the other side of the room.
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Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to pike

Installing A condensate pump is certainly not required and a bad idea is not required. It just is another item to be maintained that provides no benefit.



Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4

And failure results in condensate spillage with possible damage.

There is nothing wrong with dumping into a sump pit. But if the occasional running of the sump is annoying, contact the installer and ask about other options. Of course if you have been otherwise happy with the job and service, be polite in the request. Honey, vinegar, and all that stuff.



rockotman
...Blown On The Steel Breeze
Emerging Research
join:2000-08-06
DSotM
kudos:2

said by Lurch77:

And failure results in condensate spillage with possible damage.

Been there, done that (the spillage part). We had a pump at the old house to pump the discharge into a wash basin on the other side of the utility room. The float quit floating due to something that started growing in the sump, and as a result the condensate began running down the side of the furnace. Luckily, it just puddled on the floor and eventually wended its way to a floor drain in the middle of the room. I made it part of my humidifier maintenance to remove the sump and clean it thoroughly with a mild bleach solution. I did this every time I replaced the water panel in the humidifier and the problem never recurred.
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Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4

We have a customer with four large air handlers above a ceiling. They pump the AC coil condensate from them. I took a service call there one time for a water leak. Arrived to find a 5' area of ceiling caved in from the water, and water damage to office funiture below that. The pump motor had somehow come unplugged. No one ever did come up with and answer as to how or why. The location does not allow for gravity draining, so the pumps are a must. It is an old factory building that was converted to office space, and the HVAC equipment was placed wherever they could find a place for it.



cableties
Premium
join:2005-01-27
reply to SuperNet9

The code where I live is the condensate pump "has" to route into the sump.
I used a reputable plumber and this was instated due to no previous code as to installers just "popping a hole to outside or routing into sewer drain/washsink.
I have that "aprilaire" free humdifier perk when new furnace was installed. POS (the humdifier not the Carrier furnace). Just a waste of water on a board, then pisses down to condensate pump, then to sump.
The Aprilaire setup failed after a month of use...the 1" cone screen/debris filter clogged and the thing started buzzing. Never turned the supply back on since.

IMHO-inefficient design: waste of water, waste of electricity, shortens lifespan of condensate pump (how long do they last?) and sumppump (not good having them run all winter, dumping water out to freeze/ice; not good having run all summer when above 80F out). Now before I google, is there an efficient inline humidifier for HVAC system??
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dcurrey
Premium
join:2004-06-29
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Cincinnati Bell
·ViaTalk
reply to SuperNet9

In one of these furnace threads someone mentioned a steam humidifier. I am planning on checking them out. My last house had the pad bypass type and they do dump a lot of water.

Since my new house doesn't have one getting a one installed is on my list of things to do.

Currently just using a large humidifier that I used with my ranch house I had several years ago. It seems to do a good job but pain to keep filling it up and cleaning it every couple weeks.



John97
Over The Hills And Far Away
Premium
join:2000-11-14
Spring Hill, FL
Reviews:
·Bright House
·ooma

said by dcurrey:

In one of these furnace threads someone mentioned a steam humidifier. I am planning on checking them out. My last house had the pad bypass type and they do dump a lot of water.

Since my new house doesn't have one getting a one installed is on my list of things to do.

Currently just using a large humidifier that I used with my ranch house I had several years ago. It seems to do a good job but pain to keep filling it up and cleaning it every couple weeks.

I installed a steam humidifier at my old house. After trying other types that just didn't work well with heat pumps, I bit the bullet and bought the steam one. It required a water source, of course, along with it's own dedicated circuit. Other than that - installation was easy and it worked great. It required a drain and I just routed it to one of the existing condensate pumps that was already there.

It worked very well.
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dcurrey
Premium
join:2004-06-29
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Cincinnati Bell
·ViaTalk

Other than a dedicated circuit I would be good to go as far as installation goes. Hot water heater is next to furnace along with floor drain.

It would be easy to tie into an existing circuit for electric but why would the unit require a dedicated electric line. That could be a problem.



John97
Over The Hills And Far Away
Premium
join:2000-11-14
Spring Hill, FL
Reviews:
·Bright House
·ooma

said by dcurrey:

Other than a dedicated circuit I would be good to go as far as installation goes. Hot water heater is next to furnace along with floor drain.

It would be easy to tie into an existing circuit for electric but why would the unit require a dedicated electric line. That could be a problem.

The unit I had required a dedicated circuit due to the electrical draw of the heating element.
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dcurrey
Premium
join:2004-06-29

I see. Guess heating the water up to create steam would pull a good amount of electric. Not sure if it warrants a dedicated circuit but I guess they do.



leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:9
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
reply to John97

said by John97:

The unit I had required a dedicated circuit due to the electrical draw of the heating element.

There is no code that mandates a separate circuit for the humidifier but a new dedicated circuit is typically required.
The current draw (especially for single phase steam humidifiers) tends to be too high to add to any existing circuit you may already have in place. If you do have a sufficiently powerful circuit nearby it may exceed the required over current protection for the humidifier which again means running a new circuit or at least installing a fused disconnect (unless the humidifier is internally fused). I'm not sure whether the disconnect is a code requirement (I think it is) but it helps with the maintenance of the steam canister (even the sealed, disposable ones need to be replaced eventually).

Before buying a steam humidifier have the water analyzed for its conductivity. The steam canisters are designed for a certain water conductivity range and using the wrong one will give poor results. The difference is primarily the spacing of the electrodes. The electrodes should not be too close so that the resulting current trips a breaker or blows a fuse but still close enough for a high current that turns the water into steam instantly instead of slowly boiling the water in the canister.
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Jon
Premium
join:2001-01-20
Lisle, IL
reply to SuperNet9

All that snow we got has been melting the last two or three days. that may be part of why it's running so often.


MaynardKrebs
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4
reply to SuperNet9

Condensing furnace/boiler condensate should be neutralized to as close to pH 7.0 as possible before being dumped into a sump for pumping out. The condensate is acidic and can damage pump components and even concrete sumps.

The easiest and cheapest way to neutralize condensate is to use some 3-4" PVC pipe and build a 12"-18" tall assembly with a glued cap right on the bottom, a condensate input connection near the bottom on the side, a condensate output connection near the top on the side, and a screw cap on the top.

Fill the PVC column with 3/4" limestone or marble chips from a landscape supply store. The condensate will be neutralized by the limestone/marble-acid reaction. By injecting the condensate at the bottom of the column, it will be neutralized by the time it flows out of the output at the top. When the acid has devoured 1/2 the limestone simply add more stone via the screw top.



Ken
Premium,MVM
join:2003-06-16
Markle, IN
reply to pike

said by pike:

No, that's absolutely incorrect. Your installer should have installed a separate condensate pump (pictured above) for the humidifier/heat/AC water. Using the sump pump is not acceptable. Get the installer back out and tell them they must install a proper condensate pump.

I really can't imagine why you would rather use a condensate pump instead of a sump pump. Condensate pumps are for when you don't have a sump or drain nearby and your only recourse is to install a condensate pump. A sump pit with a pump is going to be less maintenance and longer lasting than a condensate pump. Not to mention the fact if you have a water leak nearby the condensate pump isn't going to do anything to help you, while the sump pump will.


jester121
Premium
join:2003-08-09
Lake Zurich, IL
reply to cableties

said by cableties:

IMHO-inefficient design: waste of water, waste of electricity, shortens lifespan of condensate pump (how long do they last?) and sumppump (not good having them run all winter, dumping water out to freeze/ice; not good having run all summer when above 80F out).

Please explain? My sump pump better run any time the pit fills up, year round and regardless of weather, but I'm curious why you believe this?

Stevert

join:2001-10-23
Algonquin, IL
reply to SuperNet9

We got a few inches of snow last week, and warmer temps yesterday and today are melting it off pretty quickly.

With the ground mostly still frozen, the only place for that melted snow to escape is next to his foundation, where the heat loss tends to keep the ground from freezing.

I'm sure that's why his sump pump is running more frequently. I know mine is running a lot.



tmh

@comcastbusiness.net
reply to cableties

said by cableties:

I have that "aprilaire" free humdifier perk when new furnace was installed.

Aprilaire, along with Honeywell humidifiers are quality products. The version you have doesn't recycle the water, so you don't have any problems with scale buildup or mold developing in standing water. The downside is that it does use a lot of water, especially at the default setting. A simple needle valve inline can fix this.

I have a Honeywell unit. I adjust the water flow on mine to a very slow trickle, just enough to keep the pad wet when in steady state.

Even at this slow rate, it can bump humidity up to better than 55% full out when it's 20F outside. I never set it that high, because every window pane will be pouring water. 40% works better for me.

The humidifier drains into a 14 year old condensate pump that was already 7 years old when I installed the humidifier. So far, the pump still works like a champ. Just remember to clean out the pump every year and it'll keep working just fine.


rockotman
...Blown On The Steel Breeze
Emerging Research
join:2000-08-06
DSotM
kudos:2
reply to SuperNet9

My Aprilair came with an adjustable humidistat mounted to the front of the furnace air outlet plenum that monitored the humidity in the heated air coming out of the furnace. The humidistat controlled the valve that allowed water to flow through the water panel. The humidifier was the bypass type, and mounted on the side of the furnace outlet plenum.

During heating season, it was necessary to open a flapper in the bypass ductwork coming out of the humidifier. This ductwork routed air that was passing through the water panel back to the furnace cold air return. During the months when the heater was not used, all that was required was to set the humidistat to the lowest setting and close the flapper in the bypass ductwork. This effectively kept the humidifier from trying to add moister to the air while the AC, if running, was removing moisture from the air.

The AC condensate and the run-off from the humidifier both fed into the sump on the condensate pump, so that the pump did the job of getting rid of condensate when the AC was running, and getting rid of excess water from the water panel when the furnace/humidifier was running.

The set-up worked quite well, and the humidifier didn't seem to use an inordinate amount of water during the heating season.

At the start of the heating season, I would crank the humidistat setting up a bit each day until I started to notice a bit of sweat on the windows, then back it off about a quarter of the way. I found that this kept the humidity in the house just about right, making everyone comfortable, but not so bad that my wife would complain about the humidity making her hair frizz out.

I also made for good tight sealing of house by adding enough humidity to cause the framing around the windows to swell just enough that the drafts were kept at bay, but not so much that the bottoms of the windows were always sweating.
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Shine on you crazy diamond...



SuperNet9
Go Ninja,Go Ninja Go..
Premium
join:2002-10-08
Harwood Heights, IL
kudos:5
Reviews:
·VOIPO
reply to SuperNet9

Click for full size
They came back and put it in the floor drain. Is that better? Or do you think it goes to the sub pump anyway??
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Coma
Thanks Steve
Premium
join:2001-12-30
NirvanaLand

said by SuperNet9:

. . . do you think it goes to the sub sump pump anyway??


Yes

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Jon
Premium
join:2001-01-20
Lisle, IL

1 recommendation

reply to SuperNet9

said by SuperNet9:

They came back and put it in the floor drain. Is that better? Or do you think it goes to the sub pump anyway??

Not necessarily. Pour some water down the drain and see. My floor drain is near the sump pit but is connected to the sewer.