How High-Efficiency Furnaces Link to a Concrete Floor Drain

If you’re upgrading to a new high-efficiency condensing furnace, you may also opt to upgrade to a concrete floor drain. What does plumbing have to do with furnaces? High-efficiency models with AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) ratings above 90% deliver more warm comfort at lower monthly natural-gas expense. These furnaces integrate a secondary heat exchanger that extracts extra heat by cooling furnace exhaust gases. This process also condenses water from those hot gases, which must be disposed into a drain or released outside the house. Here are some reasons why some options may not be ideal.

  • Furnace condensate water is acidic. Releasing this very acidic water from a pipe that extends outside through an exterior wall may over time damage the wall structure or the concrete foundation as it drips.
  • Outdoor drainage may freeze. In cold weather, water released by the outdoor drain pipe may freeze at the end of the pipe, causing a blockage of condensate drain flow. If condensate is blocked by ice (or other obstructions such as insect nests), a sensor will detect this blockage and automatically shut down the furnace.

Advantages of a Concrete Floor Drain

  • A concrete floor drain near the furnace location reduces the amount of pipe needed to convey the condensate water outside or to an existing drain.
  • Unlike existing household drains, the new floor drain pipe can be made of acid-resistant material that will not deteriorate when exposed to acidic condensate.
  • Plumbing the furnace to a nearby floor drain is less complicated, as gravity flow will convey the condensate water down to the drain at floor level without the need for a pump.
  • The drain trap in the condensate drain system that is required for safety reasons to prevent furnace-exhaust gases from entering living spaces requires periodic cleaning. This trap can be more easily accessed if the drain system is plumbed to a floor drain.

If you’re considering a high-efficiency furnace, ask the pros at Paitson Bros. about a concrete floor drain. Since 1922, we’ve been providing reliable information about heating and cooling alternatives.

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    By Jeff Paitson
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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

    Jeff’s belief is that the business belongs to Jesus Christ; therefore 10 percent of the company’s profits go toward the Maryland Community Church.

    Jeff is a Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce member and in his spare time, he enjoys photography.
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    Ethan Ethan Rayburn is a lifelong resident of Terre Haute and a 2005 graduate of Purdue University.

    An Eagle Scout, Ethan spent four years as a non-profit executive with the Boy Scouts of America before joining Paitson Bros. as a comfort advisor and later General Manager. In that role, Ethan has brought a renewed enthusiasm for customer care, integrity, value, and service to Paitson Bros. Heating & Air Conditioning.

    Ethan enjoys singing and was a member of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club. He also enjoys playing and coaching soccer, spending time with his family and two young boys, and volunteering his time and resources with his church, Terre Haute First Baptist Church, which he has attended from a very young age.
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