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install backup condenser pipe or drain pan

We are in the process of purchasing a 2 story (2500 sq ft) home built in 1972.
The entire a/c unit (furnace and condenser) was installed in 2006. After we hired a home inspector - he mentioned that the a/c is missing a secondary drain pan and there is no backup condenser pipe.

Since the furnace is located up stairs - can we install a backup condenser pipe so that the condensation comes outside through the pipe either on the side of the house or above the front door? or just get a backup drain pan and check it often?

How much do these items cost? What's most effective? :confused:



Re: install backup condenser pipe or drain pan

A pan with a drain to the outside is a must. Just a pan that you will check often is not an option. As an alternative, a pump with a tube to the outside can be installed.

In my city, the drain pipe outside the house must go down to about 6" off the ground.

How much does this cost? get 2-3 bids and choose the best one for you.

Re: install backup condenser pipe or drain pan

I don't know what the Inspector is talking about when he mentioned a "back up condenser pipe". When I do the drain from the secondary pan I run it so that it drains out over a window, one that is used often. I run the drain from the primary so it goes into the gutter, that way you don't have any PVC showing, or it can be run in the Slim Duct if they use that. This way if you see water dripping while looking out the window you'll know you primary and secondary drains are both plugged and you should call your HVAC guy quick. Most Cos. will also install a float switch which will shut the unit down if the drains get plugged. Materials are not that bad and should only take a couple hours, depending on how the unit is sitting. If it's on the deck it will be more involved as your Ductwork is connected and makes it harder to raise to get the pan under. If the unit is hanging it should be much easier.

Re: install backup condenser pipe or drain pan

A lot times in Florida we do install drain pans for overflows beneath the units. If you do not drain it to the outside; then you need to istall a float safety switch that breaks the red power wire to your thermostat. Some installers break the yellow wire to the condensor or heat pump. I usually change this because it alerts the customer much faster when nothing comes on so they do not waste electricity running the blower. Another option for water overflows is the " Wet Switch", This can also be used in conjunction with or in place of floats. When it senses water it shuts the equipment down and some have auxilliry wiring to hook up an audible or visual alarm. To help line clogs and overflows I highly suggest a "Two Way Clean Out Tee". It provides access to vacum out (with a wet/dry vac) your condensate line and add chemicals to keep your drain clear. It allows you to clean the line from both directions ( out let and drain pan). Many times in the past twenty years I have gotten a lot of calls for leaking airhandlers and furnaces and I have seen what happens when there is no protection. A little money now saves a lot of money later. Hope this helps.

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