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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    4

    Default New High Efficiency Water Heater Issues

    I just got a new High Efficiency water heater to replace an old 15-year old not high efficiency. The new unit has a whole bunch of condensation tubes and pipes coming out of it and it ties into the drain in the floor (which previously only tied into the drain pan).

    And the drain on the floor goes down three stories (I live in a condo) and out the outside of the building, where it has froze up.

    I don't have any other drains in my utility closet where the unit resides.

    What kinds of options do I have other than getting angry at the installer for not checking where the drain terminates and warning me about using a unit with condensation?

    I'm very concerned I will have to ditch this $3000 unit and get a whole new, non-efficient one like the one I had before which was crap because we can't accommodate a continual drainage.

    Is it possible it froze because it was dripping on the gas line pipes and created a stalactite back up into the drain terminal? The amount of pipe coming out of the side of the brick outside is about 1 foot long of 2" PVC.

    The biggest concern is that it will continue to back up to the second story and back-flow through the drain pipe in the unit below me.

    Any advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: New High Efficiency Water Heater Issues

    Is there any way to install a condensate pump and tie the condensate into the waste plumbing? That would be the best way.

    Also keep in mind that the condensate is very acidic. PH of between 3 and 4. May have to add a neutralizer before it hits that pump. If not, the condensate could have adverse effects on the drainage pipe if cast iron or copper to include from the building to the street.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: New High Efficiency Water Heater Issues

    Thank you for the advice... I don't know why the installers haven't brought all this to my attention (the acid, the freezing pipes, the amount of discharge). I'm so angry right now I could spit. I almost want to say screw it and hire new people to come install an old clunker w/o condensation... this is what I get for trying to be green.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: New High Efficiency Water Heater Issues

    Just got a call from the installer, they are coming to take a look.

    They SUSPECT (without having looked at it) that the drain pipe is actually from some A/C unit (all tied together in the building) and someone has installed a humidifier and put its drainage into the A/C.

    They insist that the water heater drain goes to sewer, not to the outside. They also say on these latest models, the PH is very very low and not of concern to have to put in a neutralizer.

    Unless we get the block of ice out, there's no way of even testing the drain... how do we even know if the water heater drain in the floor goes to sewer or the thing outside?

    I'm at a loss... lets see what they have to say when they see it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: New High Efficiency Water Heater Issues

    Excuse me. The PH is very very low and you don't have to. Sorry but low PH means acidic water. Most likely a PH of 3-4. If that condensate is going into a cast or copper drain save your pennies because you will be calling a plumber to fix leaks that develope.

    The use of an acid neutralizer is also code in most areas.

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