Home & Garden

What is on the side of my furnace?

  • Last Updated:
  • May 16th, 2020 6:31 pm
Tags:
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 21, 2003
4123 posts
1501 upvotes
Stoney Creek, ON

What is on the side of my furnace?

Well we've been in our first house for 2.5 years and while I have always noticed this unit attached to the drain lines and exhaust of my furnace I have never really put any thought in to it. However now that I am home 24/7 my curiosity about things in the home has grown quite a bit. What is this unit and is there any sort of maintenance I should have been doing on it ?
Images
  • IMG_4666.jpg
  • IMG_4667.jpg
8 replies
Deal Addict
May 23, 2009
2788 posts
1252 upvotes
Mississauga
Condensate drain for your high efficiency furnace. Your A/C A coil might be tied into it to. Some setups might include a condensate neutralizer and/or pump.

edit: For maintenance if it clogs which is rare and far between, I use a shop vac followed by a vinegar flush.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 21, 2003
4123 posts
1501 upvotes
Stoney Creek, ON
bubuski wrote: Condensate drain for your high efficiency furnace. Your A/C A coil might be tied into it to. Some setups might include a condensate neutralizer and/or pump
Interesting. Our furnace is pretty old, estimated at time of purchase (sept 2017) to be 15-17 years old. Would if be normal to be considered high efficiency back then? There's definitely no pump as there is no power to it, just the drain lines and line up the the exhaust pipe. The A coil has a separate drain line that does not connect to this unit. 1 clear drain line comes from the humidifer and the black line I can't determine but looks to be heading in to the furnace at the blower. Without opening more of it I can't determine what it is connected to.

Other than ensuring the drain lines are clear and drain which I have done a few times, is there any other maintenance I should be doing?
Deal Addict
May 23, 2009
2788 posts
1252 upvotes
Mississauga
Yes high efficiency technology (over 90% AFUE) was available and were sold in residential units. My old Goodman furnace from 1995 was a 93% high efficiency unit.

The pump is usually added if a floor drain is not available and the condensate will have to be pumped up to a utility sink or other accessible drain that is not at floor level.

I think that black box is your condensate neutralizer. Check if it has limestone gravel on the inside, as long as is not clogged it's acid neutralizing properties should last the life of the furnace. Although the limestone is sold separately as a replaceable kit. The main concern of the acidic condenstate water is your house drain pipe, if it is PVC then you don't actually need the neutralizer but your city might have it mandatory to protect the city drain lines(hazardous waste category?). My old 93% furnace had a condensate neutralizer, the replacement 97% furnace did not get a condensate neutralizer. I also now have a 96% condensing tanklesss which does not have a condensate neutralizer. It could have been the installers cutting corners and I've always thought about adding one back in.

For your humidifier, it does not need to go through a condensate neutralizer because its waste water is not acidic. It might have been added if it was easier to connect there rather than running an extra tube all the way to your floor drain.

Just make sure the tubes are clear of debris. That section that connects close to the inducer motor is one of the more common places that clogs with gunk.
Member
Aug 31, 2012
498 posts
152 upvotes
Toronto
I don’t know. But you shouldn’t be storing flammable items near your furnace.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 6, 2007
8579 posts
5422 upvotes
Kootenays
Maplesugar25 wrote: I don’t know. But you shouldn’t be storing flammable items near your furnace.
+1! My rule of thumb is at least 1 metre all around for combustible and separate room for flammable.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 21, 2003
4123 posts
1501 upvotes
Stoney Creek, ON
Gee wrote: That drain hose looks like it is kinked
I adjusted it right after I took the photo fortunately.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 21, 2003
4123 posts
1501 upvotes
Stoney Creek, ON
Maplesugar25 wrote: I don’t know. But you shouldn’t be storing flammable items near your furnace.
True. I wasn’t paying attention to that when I brought the paint cans in before winter set in. I’ll definitely move them.

Top