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Low-tech furnace condensate neutralization

Discussion in 'Plumbing Codes' started by Tom Herrick, Oct 18, 2018.

  1. Tom Herrick

    Tom Herrick Registered User

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    I've just become aware of some of the ramifications of the nitric acid condensate. I set up my furnace condensate line to run into the basement sump along with the humidifier excess water line. The sump pump sends its contents to an underground drain that serves as a passive cistern overflow and carries some roof gutter downspout load as well. That drain terminates in a French drain-esque leach field. I noticed that a fairly young oak tree down-slope of the field has died and that another tree has lost its leaves on one side; the side that has roots extending toward a rather porous underground drain. Somehow it dawned on me that the furnace condensate may have something to do with the trees.

    I've been reading about neutralizing the condensate before it hits any drain and there are a number of good-looking commercial and DIY options available. But it hit me that it might be more effective and less expensive to simply dump a bag of rinsed marble chips into the sump, allowing the condensate more time to be neutralized.

    Does that seem like a reasonable approach? Might I be missing something?
     
  2. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

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    A most interesting observation, what state are you in?.
     
  3. Tom Herrick

    Tom Herrick Registered User

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    Kentucky, about 10 mi. out of Lexington.
     
  4. HForester

    HForester Member

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    Kentucky plumbing code. I know nothing! What does the condensing furnace manufacturer say about the disposal of such condensate? Do they have a recommended neutralization canister? There are aftermarket units available. Neutralize at the source, not in the sump.
     
  5. Francis Vineyard

    Francis Vineyard Sawhorse

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    In my opinion the amount of condensation (which is a component of nitrogen fertilizer) that discharge during the heating season into the sump would have little effect on plants especially trees.
    Unless the concentration is so high as to feed excessive nitrogen and accelerate growth to weaken the trees susceptible to infestation (borers) and diseases.

    I recommend first contacting the University of Kentucky Agricultural Forestry Extension to help you accurately determine the cause or causes for the trees demise.
     
    Tom Herrick likes this.

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