This is a tough post to write. First of all, I broke my rule of trying to post at least once a week. Secondly, this is probably the first piece of handy work I am proud of for its function, but not its appearance.
The first issue; the lack of posts; was precipitated by my other money pit (car), needing a new transmission and clutch. Hopefully that “investment will keep the car at bay for another year or two.
The second issue has more back story. Maybe it is best explained by a picture and we can work our way backwards…
Its kind of like a crime scene. It all started in August 09′, Great my house has central air! 12 or so months later, the finishing touches were going on in the house and turning the AC on was a necessity. Turning the AC on the first time in over a year resulted in a recharge of the unit for the summer. I knew there was a leak, but at the time there was no way I could afford to replace anything. I was already in over my head in so many other areas of the house, I just needed a bandaid for the time being.
Another 12 months later…90 degree heat hits us in May. I turn the air on and it blows warm for hours. Another call to recharge. The thing was completely empty. Freon was also apparently $50 more expensive then last year. This is supposedly due to the fact that the kind my 40 yr old system takes is illegal at this point so the cost keeps going up. With the AC running inefficiently for yet another season I was quickly reminded of a problem I had not encountered since last year…
The air handler on the furnace leaked condensate last year. I could swear it wasn’t this bad, or maybe it was just the extreme heat and humidity we had that first week it was recharged, but I had a nice pond going down there. I think the most unnerving thing was walking down into the basement and thinking that the sewer had over flowed again. With the puddle growing and having spread to the old boiler pit, the basement was becoming a disaster yet again.
Saturday I woke up with a purpose. Having convinced myself I needed to take a break from large projects because of the car, I went to Home Depot with the sole intent of stopping the ponding in my basement as cheaply as possible. A new unit (I was told I need to do the AC split system and furnace at the same time) will probably be every bit of $10k, so we all know that isn’t happening this year.
Some conversations with a buddy at work led me to take aggressive action. We had always thought the pan the catches the condensate and funnels it out of the unit into a pvc line and out the back of the house was rusted through, hence the extreme amount of water showing up. Turns out, the pvc line leavning the unit was not only clogged (with what I don’t know) but it had no where enough fall to actually have the water LEAVE THE HOUSE.
As you can see I can’t even photograph all of the original line. It zigzags its way through the chimney and into the pit I spent so much time covering over in the back patio. After I determined this couldn’t be salvaged, I looked to run it between the water heater and the chimney…it wouldn’t fit.
$32. Thats what I spent at Home Depot Saturday. A drastic departure from well, any weekend in recent memory. The pieces of pvc pipe I bought there though, would really make me smile the rest of the weekend. First step was redoing the drain for the set-tub. That had gotten demolished trying to fix my plumbing backup. This went smoother then expected. After repairing the sink it was time to rig up a new condensate line.
The line leaving the unit was 3/4″. I bought a reducer and got it down to 1/2″ for the rest of the run to the sink. The sink is 36″ high and the line leaving the unit something like 44″. So that left me with 8″ of fall over maybe 10′. I knew I could make this work. I mocked everything up, it seemed to reach and I took a gamble gluing it all together. Right now it is held up with some crude strapping, but I hope to make it more “permanent,” aka strong enough to last the summer.
As you can see the basement is bone dry now. ALL of the condensate seems to be making its way into the sink. The dehumidifier is still running to try and get the last bit of water out of there. I know it looks really unprofessional, but its the best stop gap project I’ve done on the house in recent memory. Maybe it was just that fact that what I set out to do in the AM actually worked…
At any rate, I’m still getting used to wordpress and its inner workings. If anyone who reads my site blogs with wordpress and could explain how I could make tabs across the top of the page for say, Living Room, Kitchen, Bathroom, Etc. that would be of great help. That should make it easier to navigate back through the posts since we are bordering on 2 yrs here at the LocustPointRowhouse.
I have some other projects gearing up around here that I hope to get to in another post this week.
Thanks for making the move to Locustpointrowhouse.com with me and stay tuned.