A condensate pump is a small item, about the size of a shoebox. It does, however, have in important job.
But first, a little back ground. Today’s high-efficiency furnaces produce an exhaust stream with a higher than average water content. As it cools it forms condensate, which is a fancy word for water. This water is usually pumped out of the mechanical room with simple condensate pump. A neat little system – when everything works as it should.
Mechanical rooms without floor drains are unfortunately all too common. And when a condensate pump fails, as they do, the water produced by the furnace simply floods the room. Although the amount of water left on the floor from a failed pump is usually small, sometimes it doesn’t take much to cause damage. We met one of our customers after she had flooded twice.
Condensate pumps typically fail for one of two reasons. Either they stop working as in this case from mechanical breakdown, or the outlet tube becomes plugged. They tend to be the weak link in the high-efficiency furnace system unless the fail-safes that are built into the system are used.
Read our next instalment of this series that details an elegant solution as devised by one of our best technicians.