Input on dehumidifier draining in rowhouse basement

Discussion in 'Home / Garden / Outdoors' started by Mom22, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. Mom22

    Mom22 Well-Known Member

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    I get a medium amount of seasonal musty smell in the basement (finished) in our rowhouse. We usually run a room dehumidifier in the spring and summer, and occasionally during very rainy periods, and that takes care of things. However, it is a dehumidifier with a bucket that has to be manually emptied. We don't have a floor drain or sink anywhere in the basement.

    I have done a bit of research and am considering connecting the dehumidifier to a condenser pump, and running the tubing up to a pipe that would lead to the outside. Before I have the plumber come, would like some input on this plan. I think I can set everything up, but need a pro to drill the hole and probably to run the pvc and seal off the hole. We do not have central air, btw so there is no existing condenser drain or output.

    Questions:

    1) will a condenser pump have enough power to push the (at most) 5 gallons of water per day (in the height of the muggy summer) up to above ground level (around 4-5 feet)? We would likely install right by the wall it would go out through, so it wouldn't have far to go other than up and maybe 3-4 feet out.

    2) Is it okay to have a drain come out the front of the house? I'm thinking of having it come out next to the concrete steps, which slope toward the sidewalk. It would generally be a trickle when it was running.

    3) Am I better off getting a new dehumidifier with a built in pump or keep them separate? My instinct was that having the two separate would mean it's easier to replace a single item as needed without having to replace or repair the whole thing. But there may be good reasons for having a built in pump in the dehumidifier.

    4) Is a plumber the one to do this? I assume they would have the right kinds of bits to drill through a stone/concrete foundation wall, and to seal up the seam around the pvc correctly.

    Thanks for any input, including if there are better options. Hoping to get this done by mid-December.
     
  2. xerotope

    xerotope Well-Known Member

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    Questions:

    1) will a condenser pump have enough power to push the (at most) 5 gallons of water per day (in the height of the muggy summer) up to above ground level (around 4-5 feet)? We would likely install right by the wall it would go out through, so it wouldn't have far to go other than up and maybe 3-4 feet out.

    Yes. Most small ones are rated to lift 10 gallons per hour up to 20 feet. So no problem there.

    2) Is it okay to have a drain come out the front of the house? I'm thinking of having it come out next to the concrete steps, which slope toward the sidewalk. It would generally be a trickle when it was running.

    Well, it's pretty ghetto but may be technically legal. Downspouts are supposed to go into the sewer, but I'm too lazy to look in the code for this type of application.

    I have no opinion on the other questions.

    In our house, we also have a dehumidifier in the basement. Ours drains into the sewer line which is convenient, but the catch is the line is about three feet off the floor. Rather than use a condensate pump, the dehumidifier is raised about four feet on some plastic shelving and the hose runs down from the back of the unit to an opening in the drain. Obviously that requires a plumber-type to splice in a new tee in the sewer drain.
     
  3. Elliott87

    Elliott87 Well-Known Member

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    First what you are looking for is called a condensate pump. I mention this just because it may save some miscommunications in the process. But what I am really confused about is the fact that you want to bring it out through the wall and let it flow outside. These pumps are small, and run infrequently, but when they do run they move a fair amount of water, fairly quickly. I would not put the outlet across a sidewalk, as a safety concern. A constantly wet sidewalk will grow moss and the like, and besides being unsightly it may cause a slipping hazard. You mentioned that it is a finished basement. Is there a laundry tub or sink of any kind down there? If there is, these pumps come with small vinyl tubing that can be routed and dumped into a the sink usually next to your washer's drain. If your washer uses a standpipe the tube still will probably fit. This could very easily be handled as a DIY job. If there are no drain options whatsoever, and a plumber is needed, he would most likely cut into an existing drain line and then pump the condensate there. That would be much easier, safer, and probably cheaper.

    All the home supply stores sell them, and yes they can lift 10 feet with no problem. Good Luck
     
  4. Mom22

    Mom22 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks both, if a drain can run into the sewer line, that would be great. Wasn't sure if that was legal or would run the risk of gas backing out of the sewer line. My plumber was a no-show today to advise on this project so I have a bit more time to consider different options that are effective but also relatively cheap. And the condensate terminology is really helpful!

    There is no floor drain nor is there any sink in the basement--our laundry is on the first floor and the drain lines run along the ceiling of the basement. I wonder if there is a way to tap into the laundry drain lines if they are that high up? The basement is 75% finished, with a rough storage area, and all the lines are pretty accessible. The main thing is that I want to be able to run the dehumidifier in the main room rather than behind the doors. I hear you on the line running out the front. If there's not a simple way to tap into one of the drain pipes, I wonder if having the line run into the garden in the front would be less nasty? There is a fairly large patch of grass in front, and we *could* run the line through the wall and have it pour into the flower patch. It's near where the roof spout comes down.
     

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