Can Boiler Condensate Drain To The Ground?

Can Boiler Condensate Drain To The Ground?

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Can Boiler Condensate Drain To The Ground?

No. Boiler condensate cannot drain to the ground because the fluid is not safe for human contact.The water is usually an acidic solution that could corrode underground pipes.It must drain into a storm drain or discharge into a sewer system.

Some homes have condensate pipes that discharge to the ground, but most home builders do not include this in new homes.

There is a reasonable alternative to draining to the ground or sewer, which is to channel the fluid through an evaporator.

An evaporator changes the liquid water into steam, which you can then drain outdoors or discharge directly into the condensate system in the home.

The evaporator is a reasonably priced device used on pellet stoves to permit safe draining of the boiler.

Should You Fill The Condensate Trap With Water?

A condensate trap is a device that uses a heat exchange process to condense gases and liquids into liquid vapors.

They are mainly in refrigeration systems to remove the vapors of refrigerants such as Freon, ammonia, and water vapor. Most condensate traps use regenerative cooling cycles.

The typical refrigerant flows in at a higher pressure than the steam leaving and gets expelled through an outlet tube at a lower pressure.

A heat exchanger that uses an outside heat source to condense the refrigerant back into liquid form cools the refrigerant in the trapped vapor.

Yes. A condensed trap should be full of water because it needs water to act as a barrier, preventing untoward pressures from building up in the steam distribution system.

Leaving a condensed trap bare will allow condensate to drain out of the trap and into your heater’s pipework and ultimately onto the floor, potentially damaging the heat exchanger and condensing unit.

Can Boiler Condensate Drain To The Ground?

The condensate which has leaked out of the condensed trap into the pipework of your plumbing system should thus get gathered and diverted to its container.

The trap is always at the bottom of a gravity feed heat exchanger.

The water which collects in this trap gets pulled down through the heat exchanger by a pressure differential between the hot water inlet and cold water outlet or by differential pressure between the hot and cold parts of the heat exchanger.

The cold water outlet is typically located higher than the hot water inlet.

Water enters the trap when condensate reaches a certain level within the heat exchanger. Once this level has reached, the water drains into the trap, overflows into its container, or drains through to a drain.

A drain valve situated upstream of the trap should draw a small amount of condensate away from the condensate trap and drain it straight into an isolated drain-away device.

Can A Boiler Condensate Pipe Go Outside?

Yes. A condensate pipe can go outside, but only if properly insulated. Condensate is water that condenses on the surface of a heating or cooling coil during vaporization.

It would be best to insulate the pipe to prevent this condensation from freezing. If it’s not adequately insulated, the water will freeze and potentially damage the equipment in your home and pose a health hazard.

Condensation pipes can go outside with insulation specifically designed to handle cold temperatures. These are often called “parallel pipes” or “cistern pipes.”

These pipes handle low and even freezing temperatures, preventing condensation from building up behind the insulation. They’re commonly referred to these to as “winter pipes.”

If the space where you locate a boiler condensate pipe allows it to be outside, there is no need to insulate it.

However, if it’ must enter a building or building room, it should have insulation to prevent freezing and damage.

There are two types of pipe: The standard pipe, which has no insulation, and the parallel or “winter” pipe, which has insulation.

Standard condensate pipe should remain inside where the temperature is warmer.

If a section of parallel pipe is in an area where it might freeze, you can remove a cap on the end of the pipe to allow air into the system, thus preventing freezing.

Can Boiler Condensate Go Into A Soakaway?

No. It’s never a suitable recommendation. 

Boiler condensate, or the water produced by steam heaters and boilers, contains high concentrations of salt, sodium chloride, and other chemicals that can harm plants and animals in the surrounding areas.

The soaps will also cause a large volume of scum to form on top of the soakaway, which can clog up the drainage system and hinder washing down for plants.

An alternate solution would be to collect this liquid in a catch basin. While there is no official boiler condensate standard.

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a “Hydrochloric acid treatment of boiler condensate” (HACCP) document that states that you should not drain boiler condensate into any basin or soakaway.

Boiler condensate should settle out in most situations, lasting anywhere from one week to 30 days.

However, this process must take away from any water bodies or plants that may be sensitive to chemical contamination.

You can drain boiler condensate into a catch basin. Still, one should filter it through a charcoal or chemical filter explicitly designed for boilers for the most effective results and further protection.

In most cases, boiler condensate contains chemicals that can directly harm rainbows or kill off the fish and plants in your fish tank.

It may tempt you to dump excess water from your fish tank into a nearby garden or the earth, but you do more harm than good.

Fish faeces and other substances that wash down are high in nitrogen levels, negatively affecting plant life in your garden.

Where Can I Discharge My Condensate Pump?

Condensate pumps help your air conditioner circulate water in your home. Your pump helps to keep the drain line clear and stop standing water from developing in your home.

You have to know where to discharge your condensate pump to prevent problems. However, this is a tricky question to answer.

First, remember that you want your condensate pump to discharge outdoors to the public sewer or septic system. (Please note there are special requirements for septic systems in some areas.)

Second, there are special requirements for where you can discharge water from your condensate pump depending on whether your area is dry or wet.

Dry Areas

Your condensate pump must discharge at least 100 feet away from dry wells or springs in a dry area.

If your area is a “severe dry area,” you must discharge the water at least 200 feet away from these well systems.

Can Boiler Condensate Drain To The Ground?

In addition, you should not discharge wet weather flow into ditches or any other channel that may lead to your neighbor’s well system in both dry areas.

Wet Areas

Your condensate pump must discharge at least 150 feet away from surface water sources in a wet area.

I also define extra requirements for discharging flow into surface water or groundwater sources as swampy.

If you have concerns about where you can discharge your condensate pump, please contact a local DEQ office.

The DEQ has prepared a table to help you determine what is appropriate in your specific situation.

(NOTE: In some states, these additional wet area rules do not apply to condensate pumps.

Can Boiler Condensate Go Into A Cast-Iron Pipe?

Yes. Boiler condensate is a by-product of steam or hot water that enters the building; it falls as rain or snow and follows the same path back to the boiler.

This condensed water can go into a cast-iron pipe as long as there are no restrictions to stop it from flowing.

However, installing a separate pipe for condensation with an older cast iron system is advisable since corrosive substances may be present in the moist air.

A large condensate backing up into the primary system can be problematic because of where it goes.

It may back up in a cast iron high rise pipe, or if it enters a line with plastic pipe, it is at risk of getting corroded and causing problems in the line.

A good principle is to inspect the line once per week and ensure condensate is not leaking from the pipe.

In addition, since condensate lines are not in use very often, it is a good idea for buildings to inspect the pipes for any corrosion or damage once every five years.

It’s best to remove the condensate line from the primary system and have it go directly to a sump pump. This way, there would not be any risk of any corrosion at all.

If a building owner wants to keep the condensate pipe in their building’s mainline, then they must do some preventative maintenance on the pipe.

Can You Run Boiler Condensate Into The Gutter?

Yes. You can run a boiler condensate into the gutter. Condensate is the liquid water that forms in a steam boiler and exits it via the flue.

You will find it appearing in cold weather when you have not vented your chimney or if you have changed to gray water.

A typical boiler condensate has a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and it can run into a gutter or downspout with no problems by connecting to a hose.

If the condensate contains solids, they will be in tiny sludge-like pieces.

Keep them out of contact with the ground to prevent contact with anything that would corrode piping, such as your roof and siding.

If a condensate system is not at its full potential, water only gets discharged into the gutter and downspout, depending on the design.

However, it’s possible to build a system that will not let the water go into the air.

Boiler condensate contains a lot of salts from the original boiler water. It leaves behind a white residue on everything it touches as it flows out.

Garden hoses are not for hot condensates, and their insulation becomes loose as the temperature changes. So, when you apply pressure to your system, water explodes and messes up your yard.

Does Boiler Condensate Need A Trap?

No. A boiler condensate does not need a trap. This is because the boiler condensate contains steam and water vapor. Hence, this is not a liquid; instead, it’s a gas.

If you installed a condensate trap in your system, the steam and water vapor would condense into the trap and become a liquid.

That liquid will seep into your floor or evaporate through dry pipes if exposed to air that has lower humidity values than within your building.

A trap could also become a bottleneck for steam. It could cause the steam to back up and become a hazard.

An alternative solution to installing traps in your building’s drainage system would be to install a pressure relief valve at the level within your structure with the highest condensate collecting.

You should set this pressure relief valve at 5 PSI, more elevated than the manufacturer’s recommended maximum working pressure value for the drainpipe.

Even though you won’t need to install a trap in your drainage system, you should know that you should add the condensate to the moisture meter and monitor it at least once a day.

This is so that you may have a good sign of your building’s overall humidity levels.

Can A Condensate Pump Drain Outside?

Yes. A condensate pump can drain outside as long as the drain is lower than the condensate pump and is not subject to freezing temperatures.

You can install condensate pumps outside via a sump pump or float valve.

To install a condensate pump outside, the drainage pipe must open near the ground and be far enough away from any exposed conduit so it won’t freeze in cold weather.

Check your local building codes for more information on condensate pumps used outdoors.

For example, use a specific type of pump, such as an energy star qualified pump, if you live where the temperature can drop to freezing.

If you installed your condensate pump indoors, there is no suitable drain receptacle nearby. It is not subject to freezing temperatures.

Consider installing the condensate collection tank inside the home near the compressor or the air handling unit. Doing so will help protect your system from contamination.

If you need to install a condensate pump outside, follow these guidelines:

  • Use an isolation valve on the discharge line.
  • Protect the product with an in-line strainer or filter. If you use a strainer, it should be upstream of any drain line filters.
  • The discharge line should be higher than and slope toward any drains or sump pit to avoid freezing, freezing water, and water pressure problems.
  • Check your local building codes for more information on condensate pumps used in outdoor locations.

Does A Combi Boiler Have A Condensate Pipe?

Yes. A combi boiler has a condensate pipe – but it’s not the same as a radiator’s (or other household water pipes).

You should attach the condensate pipe to the top of the boiler, and it removes excess water from the system. It’s usually linked to an external drain, though; you can drain it internally sometimes.

As you know, water vapor forms when a hot liquid boils and creates steam. This steam will condense at some point and produce a collection of water.

The advantage of the condensate pipe is that 99% of the water will gather here (and anywhere else in your house, pool, or yard) rather than going onto heat radiators, tiles, and heating plants.

There is a risk of leaving this water in your system as it will become potentially corrosive; this is especially true if you intend to sell or rent your home.

Thus, you will want to remove it as soon as it is practical. Depending on your area, your dripping lead pipe or another method, such as a bucket and pipe system, could collect the water.

It’s also worth considering the energy required to heat this water.

If it’s left in the system, your house heating plant will need to work harder because it cannot instantly heat the water. So by removing the water, you can save energy and money.

Can You Move The Hot Water Cylinder To The Loft?

Yes. Here is how you can move a hot water cylinder to the loft.

  • Shut off the mains and disconnect the cylinder from the water supply.
  • Call a professional to help with loft access if it is impossible to reach the ladder.
  • Remove radiator valves and fill radiators with water.
  • Prepare your new location for use, including gas supply, ventilation pipes, and electrical connections.
  • Use a hot water cylinder transporter to move the cylinder through the loft hatch.
  • Disconnect the cylinder from the gas supply at the flue pipe and connect it up to gas at your new location.
  • Reconnect the supply to water and check for leaks.
  • Refill radiators with water, turn on central heating and enjoy your newly relocated hot water cylinder.

However, you don’t have to rely on the services of a professional.

The following hints should help you remove your hot water cylinder from your existing loft and move it into a new home.

With a bit of preparation, you can remove your hot water cylinders in no time.

Can Boiler Condensate Drain To The Ground?

It’s not as straightforward as many people think, but if you follow the easy steps above, you will have no problem removing and relocating a hot water cylinder to a loft in no time at all.


Condensate drains and pipes are a vital part of your HVAC system; if left unattended, they can cause severe problems in your house.

Ensure you check the condensate drain and pipes to prevent damage regularly.

If you want to install a condensate pump, consider how much moisture gets produced and make sure that it’s going somewhere safe.

If you do not know how much moisture gets produced, monitor it using a moisture meter to understand the moisture levels for at least one day.


Hi! I I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. After learning all the things about these products as a manager the hard way, I decided to start a blog and help other people.

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