What is condensate and how do I properly drain condensate?

All hybrid heat pump water heaters have a condensate drain to remove water that has condensed from the warm air drawn into the water heater by the compressor to heat the water in the tank.

Review the manufacturer’s instructions when installing a condensate drain line and make sure that your drain lines connections and piping comply with all state and local codes.

Below are some considerations for the proper draining of condensate:

  • A floor or other drain no higher than 36″ (91.4 cm) above the floor must be available in close proximity to the water heater to allow for the shortest possible drain with minimal turns to be installed.
  • It is important to install a 3/4″ FNPT fitting suitable for either rigid or flexible line to the primary drain port coming off the side of the unit. Diameter reductions from the 3/4″ drain line are not recommended.
  • It’s important to route the flexible or rigid line that the discharge water cannot contact live electrical parts or cause water damage.
  • Ensure that the rigid or flexible drain line maintains a downward slope to allow for proper gravity drainage of condensate to the drain and to allow for proper function of the condensate drain blockage sensor.
  • If no drain is available then install a common condensate pump with a capacity no less than 1 gallon (3.8l)/day according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If a condensate pump is installed, it should be wired to shut off the heat pump in the event he condensate pump fails or the float switch in the pump activates.
  • Condensate drain lines that are installed in areas subject to freezing temperatures should be wrapped with a nationally recognized heat tape.
  • You shouldn’t connect condensate drain lines with other drain or discharge lines into a single (common) pipe or line. Each line (condensate drain line, temperature and relief valve discharge pipe, etc.) should be independently run to an adequate drain.

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