More and more condensing gas fired appliances are being installed every day. This includes boilers, water heaters and furnaces. These appliances produce acidic condensate that will damage many materials. Many don’t understand how corrosive the condensate is. The pH of this condensate can range from 1.8 to 4.2 depending on the chemical makeup of the gas being combusted, impurities in the combustion air and proper combustion testing. For it to be safely disposed of the pH should be above 5.
Installing contractors should be installing a neutralizing device on every installation in order to protect building drain systems, municipal infrastructure including under ground piping and treatment facilities, ground water, plants and septic systems.
Disposing of acidic waste is addressed in plumbing codes. Some codes are clearer than others and there are many jurisdictions that interpret the codes differently. Most codes say that acidic waste must be treated before disposal. The facts are that the acidic condensate from condensing appliances is destructive to many materials and is not environmentally safe to dispose of with out treatment. Even a residential installation can produce thousands of gallons of this condensate per year.
We often hear contractors say the inspector is not requiring us to install a neutralizer, so we don’t. A quality neutralizer is an easy way to protect the customers property, municipal property and the environment. Property owners who contact us by phone or through our website generally have educated them selves about this acidic condensate and one of the first things they ask is WHY didn’t my contractor install a neutralizer?
Installation of a neutralizer is simple and when properly installed should not produce additional service calls. With our combination condensate pump and neutralizer, installations requiring a condensate pump can be done with no additional labor involved.
Let’s be proactive and provide a quality neutralizer on every installation.
Mike Bernasconi is Vice President of technical operations at Neutra-Safe Corp.