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Old 07-19-2008, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh--Home of the 6 time Super Bowl Champions!
11,309 posts, read 10,906,990 times
Reputation: 4913

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Right now I am so angry that I am spitting nails. I have a pipe (not even PVC) coming off my A/C unit draining water beside the drain in the floor. I called a plumber to come out and fix it.

He comes to my house and pops off the drain cover and makes sure the drain is open. He than takes the pipe and bends it toward the open drain and asks me if I have a big rock. (I'm not kidding) He puts glue on the end of a PVC elbow and glues it to the pipe and the other end of the elbow he glues to the open drain. He then puts a big rock against the pipe to hold it in the arc position.

Now, I'm selling my house! Could you imagine when a potential buyer is coming through and looking at the rock against the pipe and saying "WTF is this?" I asked him if I could remove the rock after the glue set and he said "No, that stays like that. In the Fall you can remove it and put the drain cover back over it."

Now, I know I'm a stupid female (He charged me $75.00 for a service call and is coming back on Wed to fix it right using PVC pipe and actually piping it into the drain itself. That will be another $75.00 plus materials!

Is it possible for me to fix this myself??
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Old 07-19-2008, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,709 posts, read 50,796,235 times
Reputation: 27149
Whoaaa! Slow down. You might have think that the condensate drain should be attached directly into the drain line. It shouldn't. Condensate lines build up snot over time, clog entirely, and have to be cleared out. Usually it is impossible to properly clear them from the opening in the drip pan, and access to the other end of the tube is vital. Stuffing that into the drain and sealing it there will make that impossible, creating more income for plumbers.

The pipe should empty directly over the drain without resorting to rocks, but this is something you could have done on your own with a length of pipe, a hacksaw blade, and a small can of cement, for about $5. You can still do that.

I've had more experience than I would like clearing out condensate and ice drains. How is it done? The easiest way is to attach a wet/dry shop vac to the outlet of the drain. Once the initial clog is cleared, empty the vac, pour hot water into the pan and let that suck through until it runs clear, then run some bleach through without the vac, and add a couple of anti-mold tablets to the pan. In some rare cases a snake may be needed, and with ice drains, usually the hot water flush has to be done on a regular basis. BTW, in restaurants, that air gap between a drip hose from an ice chest and the main sanitary rain is required by code, and every plumber is familiar with such arrangements. It really is the proper way to do things.
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh--Home of the 6 time Super Bowl Champions!
11,309 posts, read 10,906,990 times
Reputation: 4913
The problem is the pipe is laying about 3-4 inches from the drain itself. So it is draining condensation along the drain and going back behind cabinets along the wall. I ripped out the cabinets because there was surface mold all over the wall from the water!

He (plumber) popped the drain cover off and now has the pipe glued to the opening (held by a rock!).

So you are telling me I cannot place that pipe into the drain directly. So how do I keep the water from going around the drain and have it drain directly into the drain itself?
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,709 posts, read 50,796,235 times
Reputation: 27149
Floor drains are supposed to have the area around them sloped towards the drain to prevent such problems. I may not have been clear in my previous suggestion. You can use an angled pvc joint and a section of pipe to exactly line up the outlet over the drain. If the drain was installed incorrectly, that is a different issue. If your drain is simply an open pipe sticking out of the floor or cabinet (unusual, but I've seen some strange things) then just loose fit a 90 degree elbow onto the end of the condensate pipe and stick the other end into the (larger) drain pipe. When it comes time to unclog the condensate line, the elbow can be slipped out of the drain, slipped off the condensate line and the clog removed. I'm suggesting without seeing the actual situation, so use this as a guideline and modify as needed.

I'm also suspecting that there might be something else going on that is adding to the problem. Condensation pipes carry icy-cold water. If there is ANY moisture in the air around them, that can condense on the OUTSIDE of the pipe, even to the point of it dripping off. If you see any evidence of that happening, the condensate line should be wrapped with foam pipe insulation. Good luck.
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:26 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh--Home of the 6 time Super Bowl Champions!
11,309 posts, read 10,906,990 times
Reputation: 4913
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Floor drains are supposed to have the area around them sloped towards the drain to prevent such problems. If your drain is simply an open pipe sticking out of the floor or cabinet (unusual, but I've seen some strange things) then just loose fit a 90 degree elbow onto the end of the condensate pipe and stick the other end into the (larger) drain pipe.

I just wanted to say thank you for your advice. I did exactly what you said to do above. I had an open drain with a drain cover on it that wouldn't allow the water to drain down. The water was collecting in the reservoir. I took pics on my cell phone and went to Home Depot where a very nice man helped me pick out the materials that I would need to fix it. No more rock holding the condensate pipe over an open drain ---me breathing a BIG sigh of relief--

Now for the shoddy plumber that is supposed to return on Wed to fix it....well I will be calling him on Monday and tellling him not to bother.

Thanks again harry chickpea!
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Old 07-20-2008, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,709 posts, read 50,796,235 times
Reputation: 27149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texanwannabe View Post
I just wanted to say thank you for your advice. I did exactly what you said to do above. I had an open drain with a drain cover on it that wouldn't allow the water to drain down. The water was collecting in the reservoir. I took pics on my cell phone and went to Home Depot where a very nice man helped me pick out the materials that I would need to fix it. No more rock holding the condensate pipe over an open drain ---me breathing a BIG sigh of relief--

Now for the shoddy plumber that is supposed to return on Wed to fix it....well I will be calling him on Monday and tellling him not to bother.

Thanks again harry chickpea!
Thank you for making my day. Your idea of taking pics and showing them to the home store employee was great. Usually (but not always) these stores have one or two employees with enough past construction experience to guide people properly.

Enjoy telling the plumber that you don't need his services. If you want to play with him a bit, tell him you found a better looking rock, and he should carry a selection of them on his truck along with the elbows and fittings.
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:47 PM
 
Location: Northern Nevada
8,545 posts, read 9,073,961 times
Reputation: 3059
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texanwannabe View Post
I just wanted to say thank you for your advice. I did exactly what you said to do above. I had an open drain with a drain cover on it that wouldn't allow the water to drain down. The water was collecting in the reservoir. I took pics on my cell phone and went to Home Depot where a very nice man helped me pick out the materials that I would need to fix it. No more rock holding the condensate pipe over an open drain ---me breathing a BIG sigh of relief--

Now for the shoddy plumber that is supposed to return on Wed to fix it....well I will be calling him on Monday and tellling him not to bother.

Thanks again harry chickpea!

You go girl!
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh--Home of the 6 time Super Bowl Champions!
11,309 posts, read 10,906,990 times
Reputation: 4913
Thanks dogmom! I was quite proud of myself! Below are the before and after pictures of my plumbing work!! I had to buy a new plastic drain cover and drill a hole in it big enough for the PVC to fit down into the drain.

Last edited by TexasGirl@Heart; 11-17-2008 at 02:04 PM..
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Old 07-21-2008, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,709 posts, read 50,796,235 times
Reputation: 27149
Very nice! Looking at the way the pipe went into the drain cover in the second photo, I was wondering where you got the custom cover! Good looking job. Give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh--Home of the 6 time Super Bowl Champions!
11,309 posts, read 10,906,990 times
Reputation: 4913
Home Depot sold me a hole driller! It actually drills out a hole in the plastic! It wasn't big enough for the PVC pipe, so I sanded it out so it was bigger using coarse grade sand paper. Thanks for the pat on the back!
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