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Condensate Disposal for Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps

When inspecting air conditioners and heat pumps, the condensate from cooling coils or evaporators shall be carried from the drain pan outlet to an approved place of disposal.  One of the best resources a home inspector can carry is a textbook called the Complete Code Check Book. We aren’t performing a code inspection, but this book will reference building standards of what is acceptable.

The information below was taken from the 2009 Complete Code Check Book:

  • Condensate may not drain to public way
  • Drainpipe minimum ¾” with min 1/8”  per foot slope
  • May drain to indirect waste such as a lavatory tailpiece, or tub overflow
  • No direct connection to waste or vent pipe
  • If condensate stoppage would damage building components, install one of the following methods:
    • Secondary drain to conspicuous point of disposal
    • Auxiliary drain pan with drain to conspicuous point
    • Auxiliary drain pan with detector and fitting
    • Water level detection in primary with interlocked cutout
  • Down-flow units with no secondary and no way to install auxiliary drain pan require internal blockage detector with interlocked cutout
  • No drilling (saddle fittings) of drain, waste, or vent (DWV) pipes to accept condensate drain

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