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HVAC School - For Techs, By Techs


Apr 25, 2024

Roman Baugh, Matthew Condron, and Luke Peterson discuss the importance of proper condensate drain installation and maintenance, particularly in commercial applications. The conversation begins with the hosts examining the typical drain configurations seen in different regional markets, highlighting the significant variations in practices across the country.

Sizing and configuration of condensate drains can have a significant impact on system performance, especially in high-static pressure systems. He emphasizes that the "one-size-fits-all" approach of using a 2-inch trap is often insufficient, as the static pressure within the system can overcome the trap's ability to prevent air from being sucked into the drain line. The hosts discuss the chart Roman presents, which provides guidance on selecting the appropriate trap depth based on the static pressure of the system.

The discussion then delves into the challenges associated with maintaining condensate drains, including the buildup of debris and the potential for double traps or airlock issues. The hosts share their experiences and best practices for cleaning and troubleshooting drain lines, with a particular focus on the importance of understanding the system's airflow and static pressure characteristics.

The conversation also touches on the use of condensate pumps, with the hosts expressing mixed opinions on their effectiveness and the potential for issues, particularly in high-humidity environments. The importance of proper insulation and support for drain lines is also highlighted, as sagging or improper installation can lead to further problems over time.

Key Topics Covered:

  • Typical drain configurations in different regional markets
  • The impact of static pressure on condensate drain performance
  • Proper trap sizing and depth based on system static pressure
  • Challenges with drain line maintenance and troubleshooting
  • The use of condensate pumps and their potential drawbacks
  • Importance of proper insulation and support for drain lines
  • Strategies for cleaning and maintaining condensate drains
  • Relationship between airflow, static pressure, and drain issues
  • Redundant protection methods, such as secondary drain pans and switches
  • Techniques for identifying and addressing air turbulence issues

 

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