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 Posted: Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 05:51 pm
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alohatami
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Hi. I've tried to find an answer to my problem on the internet, but have so far been unsuccessful. This seemed like the best place to try and ask.

We have a GE Heat Pump Water Heater, hybrid, I believe (I can get the specific model number if necessary). Usually it works just fine. We have the condensate drain line running to a bucket that we periodically have to empty. Every so often, for no reason I can fathom, the condensate will stop draining through the regular line and start draining through the overflow tube. When I hear the tell-tale dripping, or discover the puddle on the laundry room floor, I have to go and essentially wiggle the regular condensate drain line to get the water flowing through it again. It's like it gets some sort of air or water-tension bubble at the top of the outlet and stops draining. Moving the drain line slightly always get the water flowing back into the bucket. This problem usually only happens when the end of the drain line is under the water line in the bucket, but sometimes it drains perfectly normally when the end is submerged. Anyone have any ideas on what's causing the problem. The condensate drain line is not blocked in any way. Would putting a 1/2" to 3/4" adapter at the top of the line and running a larger drain line help?

Thanks, in advance, for any ideas any of you may have.

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 Posted: Wed Apr 4th, 2012 12:21 pm
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Geno_3245
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There are at least 3 product manuals for GE hybrid dated 10-09, 5-11, and 1-12
Each say nearly same thing.
http://www.geappliances.com/heat-pump-hot-water-heater/
http://www.geappliances.com/heat-pump-hot-water-heater/water-heater-reseller.htm
http://www.geappliances.com/heat-pump-hot-water-heater/install-water-heater.htm
http://products.geappliances.com/MarketingObjectRetrieval/Dispatcher?RequestType=PDF&Name=49-50281-2.pdf

'unit has a condensation tray. The water collected in the tray drains out of the tube coming off the back of the unit.'
'There are two drain hoses that are attached to the back of the heater. If both of these get clogged, water will spill down the outside of the unit.
The primary drain is intended to carry all condensate away. If it is clogged or if the hose is kinked, the condensate will exit the secondary drain tube and onto the floor. This is intended as a notification to the user that the primary drain is clogged. Remove
the drain hose, clear any debris and reattach. Periodically inspect the drain lines and clear any debris that may have collected in the lines.'

The GE Manuals do not specifically say how to clean the condensate pan to remove algae that might gather in pan similar to air conditioning drip pan. For example, Air conditioners need to have algae blown out of condensate lines periodically.

The State hybrid manual says to put water heater in standby mode, then turn off power, remove access panel on fan side by loosening screws, wipe dirt and debris to clean pan, inspect line for clogs and kinks, do not reduce drain tube into smaller line, put cover back and restore power, then system performs diagnostic prior to operation.





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 Posted: Thu Apr 5th, 2012 07:10 am
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alohatami
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Thank you for the reply. I'm really fairly certain that nothing is clogging the drain line or drain pan. When the condensate starts dripping out the overflow tube, I only need to move the regular drain line around a little bit to get the water going in the right direction again. The water heater will usually drain properly for a couple of weeks before I have one of these strange incidences of overflow. And, after I restore the flow in the proper direction, it usually works fine for a few more weeks again. If something were clogged, I don't see how my wiggling the line would get the flow going again. The drain line we're using is what came with the water heater. It's not being connected to a smaller line. I'm using about four feet of the line and it's draining straight into a bucket on the floor next to the heater. No kinks, just a curve or two on it's way to the bucket. The end of the tube only extends about three inches into the bucket, which is about 9" from the bottom of the bucket.

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 Posted: Thu Apr 5th, 2012 03:09 pm
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eleent
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Hello: I'd see if the problem goes away when the end of the drain line has a consistent slope downhill and the end does not  get submerged ;)

Yours,  Larry

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 Posted: Thu Apr 5th, 2012 11:29 pm
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Geno_3245
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GE uses a small diameter drain tube.
Water deposits in the line? Something small lodged in the line? End of tube under water?

Rheem appears to use 3/4" primary drain, and 1/2" secondary drain.
Maybe cut the GE line short and redirect into a larger line.

Rheem heat pump:

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 Posted: Fri Apr 6th, 2012 03:53 am
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alohatami
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I think Rheem has the right idea with the larger drain line. I think I will try that - redirecting into a larger line.

Thanks for the replies. :)

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 Posted: Fri Apr 6th, 2012 09:35 am
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Geno_3245
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Found a post about cleaning the drain line, that says to 'swing the drain tube around in your back yard.'
(And includes how to clean air filter)
http://waterheaterrepairinstructions.com/how-to-repair-a-ge-hybrid-heat-pump-water-heater.html
How to Unclog the Drain Tube on Your GE Hybrid Water Heater 
a.       Shut off the electric power to the water heater to prevent possible shock. 
b.      Disconnect the main drain hose from the water heater by removing the clamp holding it in place. You may need a pliers or a screwdriver depending on who installed your water heater. 
c.       Take the disconnected main condensate drain hose outside to a vacant area. Caution-make sure there are no people, animals or structures within 25 to 30 feet. 
d.      Carefully swing the tube over your head in a circular motion for ten seconds to clear as much of the clog as possible. 
e.       Run water through the cleared hose from an outside water faucet; do not use an indoor faucet as the bacteria in the hose could contaminate the drinking water supply. 
f.        Reconnect the main hose to your GE water heater. If the overflow section of the condensation tube is clogged, carefully run a straighten coat hanger wire through the tube to clear any debris. 
g.       Turn the power back on to the water heater after all the spilled and excess water is dried.  

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