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HVAC School - For Techs, By Techs

Aug 27, 2019

In this short podcast episode, Bryan discusses the importance of the trap and vent in condensate drains. He also describes some trapping and venting best practices.

Anytime you have long runs of horizontal drains, you run the risk of having a double-trap. A double-trap creates a water seal, which traps air between the two traps and prevents a system from draining properly. To avoid the complications of double-traps, you can create a proper trap at the air handler. When making a P-trap, make sure the outlet is lower than the inlet; traps need some fall. Then, you would vent it.

When creating a vent, make sure it has enough height to be higher than the pan. That way, it should take longer for the drain to overflow if it backs up. If the system has a float switch, that should be tripped before condensate can overflow from the vent. On RTUs, the cleanout is close to the unit, and the vent will go after that; RTU units can have shorter vents. Do NOT cap the vents.

Some best practices to avoid double-traps include strapping the drain properly. PVC can be especially challenging because it tends to bow and bend over time. Location can also present challenges, as we run drains underground due to the building structures and geology in Florida, which can cause backups. However, in the end, the main goal is to create a drain line that prevents air from blocking up the drain and doesn't cause property damage when it backs up.


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