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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    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.

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