Condensate Pump Question

Discussion in 'HVAC Heating & Cooling' started by Tlhfirelion, Jul 10, 2014.

  1. Tlhfirelion

    Tlhfirelion New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Missouri
    Hello. I am looking at getting rid of the drain line in the middle of my basement mechanical room and installing a condensate pump. I was going to get the pump from lowes or home depot but was told by a relative to look up the Little Giant line of pumps. They seem to have good reviews online but that doesn't always mean it's a good solution. Is this a decent brand or is there another company I should look at? I liked the giant one because it was less expensive than the lowes brand with better reviews.

    There is a plug right next to my air handler where I can attach it and plug it in. I plan to have the drain line run over 3' to the block wall, up about 8' and then outside and drain onto the gravel thats along the backside of my house. It would seem most pumps can lift about 20' right?

    I've never dealt with these pumps before but they seem simple enough. Thank you in advance for your feedback.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    That's the brand they used when they installed my boiler. It works fine. There are LOTS of different models to accommodate different situations (the volume of condensate expected, the lift requirement, whether it has any extra float switch contacts in it, etc.), so one size/model may not be the best for every situation. Extra switch contacts might be useful to trigger an alarm (as in, the pump stopped working), or to disable the device (boiler, furnace, a/c unit) from running should the pump fail, but are not required.
  3. Tlhfirelion

    Tlhfirelion New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Missouri
    Thank you for the reply. The extra alarm switches and what not aren't really a requirement. There is a drain in the middle of the room so any overflow will work its way there without any damage. I'm down in the basement enough to where I'd find an issue most likely the same day. It's nice to know you had good luck with the little giant brand. As far as what size I need, I have no idea how to calculate that. We have a 2.5 ton Goodman heat pump that's about 1 Million years old but it still keeps working. I hope to upgrade that at some point in the next year or so to a 16 SEER unit but I doubt that matter much regarding the condensate pump? I am a fan of reasonable overkill so if I need 8' of lift and there is a 10' lift model, I'll go for the 20'. Nothing absurd, just make it easier on the unit.

    Any suggestions as to what size or model I might need? Thanks again for the reply.
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    If you can, put a bucket to collect the condensate for say an hour. You want a sump in the pump assembly big enough so that it doesn't have to run every few minutes. If it sits forever, it could start to grow some stuff, so huge isn't better. I do not remember what their spec sheets say, but they likely give some examples and suggestions on their website. One of the HVAC pros would have a better idea than I.
  5. Stuff

    Stuff Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Draining outside is usually not good in the north. When it freezes it won't work very well. One solution is to take it over to a laundry tub.

    Also, they recommend going up first, then over.

    It sounds like even the smallest would work for your setup.
    http://www.little-giantpump.com/hvac_cond.htm
  6. Tlhfirelion

    Tlhfirelion New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Missouri
    Thank you for the feedback, you make a valid point about stuff growing. I will get a bucket and see how much I collect in an hour. It's 95 today and humid so it's a good day to test! Thanks!
  7. Tlhfirelion

    Tlhfirelion New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Missouri
    Thank you for the feedback and specs on the drain. We do get freezing but since it's not draining any during the winter, is that a concern? I could try and run it up and slightly over to the washing machine drain if that's an option. It's just easier to sent it out the back wall and onto the gravel where nobody ever goes. Im near the Arkansas line so I'm not usually accused of being from the "north" lol
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    Constant moisture can draw carpenter ants and termites, so take that into consideration. My a/c runs out onto my driveway, my boiler and humidifier overflow run to the WM stand pipe, since draining water on the driveway in the winter isn't a great idea!
  9. Tlhfirelion

    Tlhfirelion New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Missouri
    Well my little giant arrived yesterday and it's installed. I ran the drain tube straight up from the pumps location to the laundry room, and then ran it down the washing machine drain. I used about 15 of the 20' drain tube included with the pump. It seems to be working fine and has no problem pumping the water 15 up. Thank you for the help! Have a good day!
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