HVAC condensor pump ?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Mathematics!, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. Mathematics!

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2008
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    Ok , I have noticed at my house that a sound that usually comes regularly
    doesn't any more.

    It is effecting the ice maker and the heat I believe.

    So I went down stairs and narrowed it down to the condensor pump on the HVAC system.

    The pump model is KT3-1UL automatic condensor pump.
    By Hartell division of Millton Roy.

    I am wondering how to fix this and what the automatic condensor pump does? Is this pump to pump the byproduct's of gas (i.e like water and CO2)
    Is this pump for pumping wasted water or clean water?

    I know how plumbing goes but I never did HVAC so I am a little losed.
    I did follow the instructions on checking the pump. Such as checking if the pump is getting power... No problem their.

    I haven't been using air conditioner yet. Still using the heat.

    I have a natural gas water heater but I don't think this has anything to do with it.

    Thanks for any help
     
  2. mbohuntr

    Active Member

    Apr 6, 2009
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    A gas furnace uses a condensate pump, while a hvac unit uses a condensing coil. Burning gas causes condensation in the exhaust much like your car exhaust.It goes to a floor drain. I doubt it has anything to do with your ice maker. A heat pump(HVAC) or AC unit simply cycles a gas either foward or reverse to either produce heat or cooling. it is then moved outside to that big coil and fan to let the outside ambient temp return the gas to it's other state to begin the prosess over again. I have a pretty rudimentary understanding at best, but I don't think you can really hear either one. The furnace may have a safety switch to keep it off if the pump fails though.
     
  3. Mathematics!

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2008
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    Here is some pictures of what I am talking about.

    The HVAC pump what is it for?
    Could this pump be used for something that has to do with the condensation of an ice maker ?

    The outside shot is the air conditioning unit.

    I am wondering what the little plastic tube pipe is and the little plastic copper wire. Both connected to the pump.

    Also what is the insulated black pipe and the small copper pipe connected to the air conditioning and furnace for?

    I am using natural gas if that helps
     
  4. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    Does the lighter tan tubing (the one that appears to be pulled taut) go to a drain or to a humidifier? Does your basement have a floor drain?

    If the latter is NO, then I suspect you are right that it is a condensate pump to get water up to a drain level or to a humidifier where it is evaporated.

    Does it have a float valve, so it doesn't run dry? I don't see the copper wire attached to the pump to which you refer. Maybe it is for ground?

    I would remove it from the system, add water to its basin, and see if I could make it run. It may just be a switch instead of the motor. If it is the motor, Milton Roy may be able to replace it, but you might be better off and spend less money by replacing the whole unit.

    John
     
  5. Mathematics!

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2008
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    I have a humidifier .

    Ok so the pump picture has one plug for power and 3 pipe's running in it.


    One goes to the humidifier the other is going from the furnace to the pump and the last one was a plastic tube that has writing near it that say's discharge value. The last one looks like it is going into the laundry room or could be going into the refridgator .

    Note the 2 of the 3 pipes going into/out of the pump are plastic tubes.
    The one from the humidifier and the discharge one. The other one is just a black solid pipe going from the furnace to the pump.
     
  6. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    The copper tube to the humidifier is water to the device. It may be tee'd with water to the ice maker. Both are often 1/4" copper tubing.

    The plastic (Tygon?) tube from the hunidifier is drain or overflow.

    Are you referring to the black pipe behind and to the right of the pump that is right next to the water heater? Are you sure that pipe connects to the pump housing? It looks more like a gas pipe for the furnace. Is it metal or plastic? If metal, it is more likely a gas pipe.

    John
     
  7. Mathematics!

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2008
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    if you look at the pump picture. You can see a black pipe in back of the pump. That black pipe is connected to the pump as well as the 2 other pipes left and right. I don't think it is the gas line maybe a water or something waste from the furnace?
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  8. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    If the black pipe is plastic, it is probably the discharge and goes to a drain somewhere. I presume yo do not have a floor drain and must pump water out of your basement.

    Back to your question. If the pump doesn't work, you need to troubleshoot it. I assume there is a float valve so it doesn't run dry. That is the first thing I would look at, particularly considering the salt crystals around the drain hose fitting to the pump from the humidifier.

    John
     
  9. mbohuntr

    Active Member

    Apr 6, 2009
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    You have all three. A condensate pump from your furnace exhaust, a humidistat, and an AC "A"coil in your furnace. the coil in your furnace is attached by that insulated black line out to the condensing coil in the yard. Under that coil in the duct is a condensate pan and drain. the drain must come out somewhere and go either to a pump or drain. It probably isn't working this time of year anyway, so not the problem. (unless your runnin the AC) The humidistat motor is likely the culprit , there is a water filled pan in the duct along with a squirrel cage fan to put moisture in the air. Like they said, there is a float switch to maintain the water level. You may also hear the condensate pump run as the furnace cycles on, then again, maybe not. I found the easiest way to diagnose the problem is to remember what is working when you hear the noise. A gas water heater must run a system check before the gas valve will fully open. So will a furnace, it will use a vacuum switch to sense the exhaust fan running, and a thermocouple to sense a flame before it opens the gas valve fully. Your humidistat likely has a float switch and doesn't use power to pump the water. The ice maker and humidistat supply lines run on water pressure. Hope this narrows it down...do you have a sump pump?
     
  10. Mathematics!

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2008
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    Thanks for all the help. I think I have figured how everything works.

    But I do have one more question I am curious about in the second picture attached.

    Why do we need the 2 big white plastic pipes comeing out of the furnace?
    I mean I think these are for letting steam or hot air out of the house to the outside. Wouldn't this be wasting heat ?

    I can see why you need the big white plastic pipe on the hot water heater. To let the steam/hot air/ pressure out of the tank so it doesn't explode.

    But why would you want to let off steam from the furnace to the outside.
    Seems like you would be just wasting heat. Unless these pipes are to vent out carbon dioxide???

    Why 2 big white pipes instead of one big white pipe? Is their any reason for 2 or just because they wanted 2 (no reason).
    Do these 2 pipes carry the same thing? Or do they carry seprate air waste.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2009
  11. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    What state are you in? You also have a plastic pipe out of the water heater in that photo, which apparently is for flue gases to the outside.

    For the furnace, does one get warmer than the other when it operates? If so, the the cool one is intake for combustion, and the warm one is exhaust for the flue. Even on efficient furnaces in Ohio, we still use metal for the exhaust -- I am not sure whether code requires metal for the exhaust, though. Alternatively, they could both be intake for the combustion air.

    John
     
  12. mbohuntr

    Active Member

    Apr 6, 2009
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    I have never seen two pipes coming out for flue gas, but they are plastic because the gas is highly corrosive and will eat a metal pipe in short order leaking carbon monoxide into the home.
     
  13. Mathematics!

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2008
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    I know the white pipe from the hot water heater is the flue pipe.
    But what is it venting is it just hot steam/ air or is it carbon dioxide or something else?

    I mean is it dangerous gas/air comeing out of the house from this pipe?

    As for the 2 big white pipes comeing out of the furnance going to the outside in picture 2. I traced both of them and they run side by side directly to the outside. I still don't understand why we need 2 if they are just flue gas pipes? I am think they both carry the same types of gas/air but maybe they are used for different gases don't know?
    Maybe the air conditioner has something to do with it Don't know? Any do it your self HVAC people lurking around this forum.

    I believe the by-products of burning natural gas is water and carbon dioxide.
    So maybe it is venting just carbon dioxide?

    Anyway I am in US , state MA

    I am also curious as to if anybody knows where carbon monxide CO could be created. I thought the by-products are only water and CO2 which is harmless to humans. But I am unsure how CO can be create/built up from the gas sources in your house. Obviously if their was nothing that made CO we wouldn't need CO detectors in houses and everybody would be safe from CO posioning?

    Thanks for the help
    Maybe I am missing something on the chemical reactions of burning natural gas maybe it produces CO?
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2009
  14. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    You should not breath flue gases. While they may be mostly air, CO2 and water, they also contain partially combusted fuel gas (CO) and oxides of whatever impurities were in the fuel gas plus maybe some oxides of nitrogen from the air. The oxides are what make them so corrosive, as mentioned above. CO2 is not poisonous in the same since that CO is, but it does have undesirable physiological effects, which include hyperventilation (fast breathing) and a sense of suffocation.

    Non-vented heaters are legal in many states for use in large storage buildings, sheds, etc. They are always a problem and present very definite dangers. Some of them may even use waste oil as fuel, which only adds to the potential dangers. I personally would never use a non-vented fired heaters (like the portable kerosine heater one sees at "farm" supply centers), unless I were working outdoors.

    From the construction and apparent absence of a floor drain, I suspected you were in a hilly state, such as PA. In flat areas, such as Ohio, our basements all have floor drains, which avoids the need for the little lift pump that we started this thread with.

    John
     
  15. Mathematics!

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2008
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    Ok, I looked up the by-products of burning natural gas.
    In an ideal situation it is only CO2 + O2 + energy.
    But since the gas company add's sulfur and some other impurites that are not ideal (so you can smell if gas is leaking). A small percentage of CO for every cubic foot of gas does occur as waste. Usually this is so small and get's vented out the flue pipes that their is no worry. But CO can rise to dangerous levels if the vents are blocked ...etc etc

    Now I get why a CO monitor is a good thing to have and where CO comes from.

    My main question now is how do you shut off the gas to the entire house.
    I have gas shut off values next to the gas stove, gas water heater , gas furnace, and gas fireplace. What if I wanted to shut of the complete house of having any gas. So that no gas pipes in the house contained any gas kind of like the water main value that shuts off the water to the house completely. Or like the main 200Amp circuit that shuts off the power to the entire house. Where is this valve or switch?

    I went outside and found the gas meter it looks like their is a valve on it but I am not sure if this would disconnect the pipe or shut off gas.

    pictures are attached.

    Also Is the gas pipes in cast iron because they look different then the copper water pipes and the plastic white/black PVC pipes for sewer and venting?

    Is their any reason for using cast iron or something instead of copper for the gas? Is it something to do with the corosion of copper pipes to natural gas?
     
  16. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    That is simply wrong, even in the ideal state. What happens to the hydrogens in methane? In a practical sense, there is always some CO and maybe other products. Flame chemistry is complex and I have not studied it specifically.

    I thought it was the lift pump? Yes, there is a main shut-off valve, and that picture appears to be it. In some areas, the gas company can use it when people don't pay their bills.

    Yes there is. Check your code. In some areas copper can be used; however, "black iron" (i.e., plain steel, not cast iron despite the name) pipe is the standard.

    John
     
  17. mbohuntr

    Active Member

    Apr 6, 2009
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    Sounds like your enjoying the learning curve, that's awsome! Me, on the other hand will NEVER take Calculus :eek: Waterboarding with a calculater...:rolleyes:
     
  18. Mathematics!

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2008
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    Which of the 3 pictures I am assuming it is the middle one?

    Sorry about the wrong CO2 + water + energy but this is what is produced
    from pure methane gas however the gas company's natural gas is not pure which produces some CO and nitrogen oxides ...etc very small amount to the CO2 and water though.

    water is H2O so this is where the hydrocarbon (hydrogen is doing) it is used in the creation of water vabor.

    Either way we are all on the same page.
    Just curious to know is the main gas shut off always write next to the gas meter outside. Seems like the main valve should be on the outside of the house because it would defeat the purpose if their was a pipe leak before the shut of valve but still inside the house.

    Either way I never see the gas company coming to read the meter so how do they know how much gas I am using?

    Similary question but for electrical meter , and water meter?
    How do they know how much electrical energy and water I am using without physically looking at the meter outside my house.

    I know for my sewer bill they basis it on my water bill.

    For the electrical meter I don't see anything on it like a wireless transmiter or phone line hooked up to it.

    For the water meter I have a brown 18 gage wire run from the meter to a gray square box. The gray square box has no other cords going into it other then one of the ends of the brown 18 gage wire with the other end going to the water meter as said in the last sentence.

    I looked on the gray box and it say's some FCC approvide this device must beable to accept interference and 2 this device must not interfere with any other device.

    This is why I think the gray box has a wireless transmitter that transmit's the water meter reading to them. Maybe I am on the right track anybody familar with how they do it?

    As for the gas company or electric company I haven't found any way they do it without physical being their and reading the meter?
     
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