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Neutalizing PH condensate,,,

Typically I include a neutralizer on all my m/c installs, as I do understand about underfloor(concrete) sewer pipe corrosion,,, but many just drill a hole through the concrete and let-it weep away,,, any thoughts?  


  • Timco
    Timco Member Posts: 3,025

    It would need to be a sizable hole because the mod cons I service put out a ton of water...Check with building code but sounds really hokey to me....
    Just a guy running some pipes.
  • I hear ya Tim,,,

    The concrete hole size is about 2",, why these guys opt for that, instead of a proper neutralizer is beyond me.
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,066
    It's All About the Ole Greenback

    I agree with both of you. Every mod/con should have a neutralizer of some sort on it. I;ll tell you why most don't use them. They are so scared to lose a job that they underbid the job to get it. Homeowners have no clue that the condensate leaving that boiler is like battery acid so guys get away with it.

    I truly believe the mod/con is starting to turn into a typical 3 section oil boiler. Every mfg has one, every guy is selling one and nearly ever boiler installed is most likely set up wrong in some aspect. Its nice that there are a group of guys here that do heat losses but the typical guy going to the counter doesn't so he just fires it off like a 3 section oil boiler, collects the check and is outta there.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • TonyS
    TonyS Member Posts: 849
    Around here a plumbing license

    is required to cut into a sanitary sewer line. This leaves alot of hvac men having to hire a plumber...they usually dont like that. So they drill a hole in the concrete and use the stone under the floor as a french drain.

    Technically it is illegal to dump unmetered water in the sewer and as has been stated here,some units produce alot of water. Imagine entire citys with condensing boilers and furnaces on a cold night dumping hundreds of thousands of gallons in the sewer system, its only a matter of time till they get on to that.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,665
    illegal to dump unmetered water

    Where I live, it may be legal because the water and the sewage are run by separate companies. The water company charges a fixed charge each month for service and a variable charge depending on the amount of water used. The sewer company charges a fixed charge every quarter. It may be required to neutralize the condensate, though, since the drain pipe is cast iron.

    As far as the amount of condensate to be removed, my installation manual says the condensate pump should be capable of handling two gallons per hour. I imagine this figure contains a margin of safety, so perhaps my boiler condenses one gallon per hour. ? As far as I can tell, my condensate pump can handle a little over 40 gallons per hour at the head it must overcome. I know it never runs continuously.

    I do not know if 2 gallons per hour is considered a little or a lot. I know if I had a tap that leaked that much, I would consider it a lot, but if that were the most I could get from my shower head, I would consider it inadequate.
  • TonyS
    TonyS Member Posts: 849
    Based on water consumption

    In the city and the surrounding burbs here,  sewer is based on the water meter readings.

     We have already had the lawsuits from laundry mats about dryer evaporation but they never win. They want their money! Sewer rates keep going up and up because of the cost of treatment.

  • TonyS
    TonyS Member Posts: 849
    A water closet is 1.6

    so think of it as flushing your toilet about every 45 minutes.
  • JD,,

    In the "dead of winter" at my design 126° supply water, my Solo 60 will fill a 5gal bucket in 24 hrs(almost ready to overflow).

    I understand it is tough to measure on an Ultra as the drain discharge is quite low.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,665
    In the "dead of winter"

    That is kind of interesting. I do not have the gallons per hour of condensate produced. I have a little condensate pump like this one:

    I guess I could put a bucket where the output from the pump goes, but I did not think to do that. It should not be too difficult to measure. My boiler has 80K BTU/hr input and is somewhat oversized. It will modulate down to 16K input before going into on-off mode. When you suggest it is difficult to measure, are you implying that my boiler does not condense very well? Assuming our boilers are somewhat comparable in efficiency, I would suppose that if our heat loads were the same, the amount of condensate might be fairly close. My downstairs does not require as much heat as yours, I guess, so I probably burn less gas and therefore get less condensate.

    My design day, 14F outside, would have 109Fsupply  water going into the slab to heat the downstairs. I do not know the return temperature then because it happened only twice, in the middle of the night when I was asleep. But I doubt the return temperature was under 100F. I would expect quite a bit of condensation because it could be running about 94% efficiency if the return is 100F. I think it would be informative to measure the amount of condensate produced in a day, and I will try it next winter. But it is 90F outside right now, and I sure do not want to run it under these conditions. ;-)
  • TonyS
    TonyS Member Posts: 849
    Actually JD

    98% of the country is warm air. Almost all warm air units, replacements and new are condensing. Warm air units condense all the time and they produce 1 gallon of water for every 100000 btus or therm. But this in no way is going to absolve you from paying because your unit only condenses sometimes.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,665
    Paying for condensate disposal.

    I think that whether I pay for condensate disposal or not depends pretty much on my local regulations, and who provides my water and who takes the waste water away.

    When I lived in Buffalo, NY, for example, we did not even have water meters, so I do not know how they charged for the water that was supplied by the city. It may have been in the property tax, or a separate water bill. I was a kid then and never saw the bills. Likewise, the city took away the waste water. I seem to recall that newly built houses got water meters.

    I know of places where the water supplied is metered. Such as where I live. If the same company took away the waste water, they would have easy access to the measurements of water I consumed, and could bill my waste water disposal on that number. That might be unfair if I watered my lawn, for example, but they sure could do it.

    Here, however, the waste water disposal company is a separate company and I do not believe they have access to my water usage. As a practical matter, they charge me a fixed quarterly bill. And the small business around here pay the same quarterly bill. I do not know what large business, such as a shopping mall pay. I assume it is more.

    So yes, it is probably a fair estimate that I condense about 1 gallon per therm of gas burned. And if I put that into the sewer system, my load goes up some. I burned 470 therms so far this heating season, so say 470 gallons of condensate since May 15 of last year. That would be about 40 gallons a month on the average, or a little over a gallon a day. Less than one flush a day. I assume it was a lot more this January and February, but it will be a lot less for the non-heating months where all I use is for domestic hot water.
  • Unknown
    edited May 2010
    JD, I only meant that,,

    If your Ultra is "floor" mounted, the condensate discharge "outlet point" is quite low, only about 8" or so off the floor,,,, difficult to get a bucket under.

    BTW- If your Ultra is too large have you ever considered "capping" the max fan speed?

    Used to be able to do this on the older series, not sure about yours.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,665
    I misunderstood you.

    I thought you meant that the amount of water condensed was low, and what you really meant was that the output point was close to the ground. True, it is close to the ground, and it dumps directly into the condensate pump. I cannot even remove the pump, and when the pump eventually quits, I will have to cut the drain right under the T there to get it out. Unless I can replace just the pump part, and keep the collection reservoir.

    But since I have the pump, I can put the measuring bucket where the pump's output comes out at some convenient spot.

    As far as capping the maximum fan speed, the manual says the default maximum firing rate is 96%, but mine has never been changed, and it is set at 94%. Not a big difference. I can also set the minimum firing rate, now 20%, and it seems to me that that is the speed that needs to be lowered. And I do not dare to do that. First, because I do not have a combustion analyzer, and second, because W-M imply it will not work well any lower than that. I assume if I go too low, I will get all kinds of flame-stability problems, possible problems with the mixture of air and gas, and such. And not being a professional, I choose to leave that to experts.

    I just wish that they made a 40K or 50K unit that would go down to 8K to 10K. My upstairs zone, for example, needs only about 6500 BTU/hour when it is 0F outside, and my design day is 14F outside. So you can see that if upstairs (finned tube baseboard) is the only zone calling for heat, the whole thing works in on-off mode instead of modulating. Fortunately, the upstairs heats up quite quickly (I intentionally have 14' of baseboard in each room up there) so it does not run that way very much. The boiler may cycle too much, but nowhere near as much as my former non-modulating oil burner did.
  • Vey true,,,

    I would not fiddle with your low RPM settings,, as I recall WM DOES ADVISE against that.

    Your "hysteresis" settings may be adjusted to help though.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,665

    By hysteresis I assume you mean the distance above and below the set point (or reset curve) the boiler is allowed to go, right?

    The default is +|- 5F, and that is where I have them. This works just fine for the domestic hot water and the downstairs zone. Since the upstairs is Slant/Fin finned baseboard, I guess I could increase that somewhat for that zone. Right now, the supply up there goes between 110F on warm days and 135F when it is 0F outside (design day is 14F, at which point the supply is 132F). I suppose I could increase that somewhat as I do not need to worry about cracking the floor or burning my feet up there. I like to keep it low to promote condensing.
  • TonyS
    TonyS Member Posts: 849
    That is interesting

    you pay a fixed cost for your sewer? 10 people in the house or doesnt matter! Kinda like a socialized sewer system lol. Where do you live?
  • EricAune
    EricAune Member Posts: 432
    Not all that new.

    About three years ago I installed a waste water meter after some extensive waste line re-piping that was used to measure the condensate entering into the sanitary system for a large shopping center.

    Neutralizers were not called for or required (PVC piping underground) by the city of Minneapolis. Go figure.

    JD, in the town where I live (and other around us) they have gone as far as requiring two separate domestic water meters, one for domestic use in the home and another as a deduct meter for the outside faucets and such.  It is commonplace for municipalities to operate both the water and sewer provided to city residence and business here.  Billing is generally based on water usage with a base price charged for minimal usage accounts such as yourself (single person for example)
    "If you don't like change, your going to like irrelevance even less"
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,665
    Where do you live?

    Monmouth County, New Jersey.
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