Getting the Best Condensate Pump for Your Home
A condensate pump can save you thousands of dollars in repair costs for your heating and cooling system. This little machine is made to take accumulated and excess water away from your furnace for optimum performance.
How it Works
Your condensate pump works with gravity. The pump is installed below the drain on your heating and cooling unit. As water condenses inside the unit it will run through a pipe that is attached to the drain and the pump.
The pump uses gravity to remove the water so it is important to have it installed lower than the drain on your system. The pump can be used in both commercial and residential applications to remove collected water as needed.
A residential condensate pump is often much smaller and less powerful than those used in commercial refrigerators and freezers but are still absolutely necessary for a properly operating heating and cooling system.
There is a small reservoir in your furnace and air conditioner that collects water as it condenses. This reservoir can easily become too full causing the float to shut the cooling or heating unit off.
If you have a slow heating or cooling unit then you may simply need to replace the condensate pumps.
The condensate pump will work on its own by turning on and off as needed. The machine can tell when the water has begun to drain into the pump. The motor of the pump will then begin working to push the excess water out of the pipes.
The pump does need to be plugged into an electrical outlet to work in most home uses. The pump also needs to be connected to the heating and cooling unit at the right location under the drain to work properly.
It is easy to install your own condensate pump if you are a home owner and have been having problems with your gas furnace or general heating and cooling system.
You may notice an excess of moisture if you check the area where the heating and cooling unit is located or you may need to have your current pump tested to see whether it is working or not.
In general, you can install the pump yourself with just a few tools and a couple of hour’s time.
To begin the installation you need to have chosen the condensate pump that you want to use. The pump should be designed for your type of furnace, whether you have a gas furnace or another type of system.
If you aren’t sure which type of system that you have installed talk to a professional about which type of pump is right for your home.
You will also need the pipe to connect to your furnace, glue, and some basic tools from the garage. You can use flexible plastic pipe or PVC pipe from your local hardware store.
Many professionals rely on PVC pipe since it is consider a long-lasting alternative to other types of pipe sold today. Couplings and joiners for the pipe are also needed.
You simply need to attach your condensate pump to the floor or right under the drain, and then connect the PVD pipe to allow the unit to drain into the pump.
Choosing the Right Pump
Your air conditioner and furnace need to have a pump attached to draw the accumulated moisture out of the unit.
If you have a combination heating and cooling, or HVAC, unit then you only need one pump for both features.
Gas furnaces and air conditioners typically need to have their own pump to work properly.
Look at the uses that the condensate pump that you are interested in has. Each individual pump will be designed for one purpose whether that is for a gas furnace, for an air conditioner, or for a HVAC unit.
It generally isn’t recommended to use the wrong pump for the appliance that you have since the pump may not work as good as it should if used improperly.
When to Use a Pump
A condensate pump can be used in many situations. For instance, if you have sweaty pipes in your building or home then you probably need to have a pump installed.
The pump will pull all the moisture out of the system and help it work more efficiently as well as working as a mold remover.
You will typically find the pump that is attached to heating and cooling units in the basement of large offices and buildings.
The pump will help pull all this excess moisture away for a cooler environment.
Air conditioning units are among the most common uses for a pump since the cool air naturally produces a lot of condensation in the summer.
The pump will need to have an adequate drain before it can work properly, however.
There are many solutions to draining your condensate pump but the best way is through the drains that are installed in your heating or cooling unit.
If you don’t have a way to drain the water away you may find that you have many of the same problems that you had before installing the pump.
Buying the Best
Buying a condensate pump is as simple as choosing the model that you need for your air conditioner, gas furnace, or HVAC unit.
There are many selections on the market to choose from. You can easily find the pump that fits your system and that is within your budget.
You will also want to opt for a high quality pump that meets the standards for safety to ensure your new pump doesn’t end up becoming a wasted investment.
With the right pump you will find that your heating and cooling units run much more efficiently and you have less condensation overall. You may want to install your condensate pump yourself if you are comfortable with the task.
Little Giant Condensate Pump
This “little” pump isn’t really small, but it is a giant as far as a workhorse. And this is our number one pick and really the only pump brand you should need for most of your HVAC installations.
The 554421 particular unit has a 1/30 HP motor and a 1/2 gallon ABS tank which makes it more than adequate for most standard installations.
If you need something bigger or smaller, they have a lot of different models to choose from.
And save yourself some time and just grab the Little Giant CV-10 Check Valve as you should always be using one as a security measure should something go wrong with your pump. They’re super cheap and installing one is simple enough.
The LG can pump out water through 100 feet of hose if necessary. But you should always try to keep your discharges to 50 feet or less.
Hopefully this guide has helped you choose the best condensate pump for your needs. If you have questions on the models or wiring, just ask in the comments below. We’ll do all we can to help!