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Anyone here a contractor or building inspector?

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    Posted: 16 Jul 2010 at 11:38pm
I'm in a new apartment, and the AC unit is located above the ceiling of my bathroom.
The condensate drain discharges from a pipe sticking out of my ceiling, above the bathtub.
Directly above the place your face would be, if you are taking a bath.

Is this completely illegal?
I live in Los Angeles, CA.

Thanks,
Nathan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hootman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2010 at 12:17am
I think this right up Tiz' alley.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2010 at 3:15pm
I asked a good buddy of mine.  He's a general contractor.  He guesses the building is an older one, and that when they went to install air-conditioning, they just took a short cut.  Instead of linking the condensation release pipe to the building's pipes (or to a mop sink, as is the case in some homes), they released it into your bathroom.  He thinks this is lazy and shoddy, but doesn't know about the legality.  That would depend on local laws.  He says that, despite the oddness/annoyance of it all, the water is pure and would pose no health problem.
 
Just look at it this way---if the occasion comes up when you have to inflict Chinese water torture on someone, at least it won't be reflected in your water bill.  Just tie them up in your bathtub, and let the drip begin!
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tiz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2010 at 6:50pm
That water isn't pure, it's full of algae. It can be drunk as a dire emergency but it would be like drinking that A/C water that drips from your automobile condenser - or gutter rain water.
Chances are, if this is a fairly new apartment complex(built to modern codes) that line is a secondary drain. A homeowner awareness line so to speak.
With the unit being up in the attic, out of sight - out of mind, the owner would never know the primary drain was blocked until the water started collecting on the ceiling. So that secondary line drips condensation over a spot the homeowner will notice but not cause water damage.
A/C drains need to be cleaned out yearly.
 
One way to find out is go up in the attic and look. You'll see one line going into a waste line and that secondary one in your bathroom. If you see only that bathroom line, it could be like Thor mentioned.
If this apartment complex is old, it might not be in violation of code. Only if they remodel will they have to bring everything up to modern codes. This is Virginia regulations & cannot speak for Ca. You can call your local plumbing inspection office for answers.
 
Have you called your complex's maintenance about this?   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jimbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2010 at 9:49pm
You could always just get a length of hose or tubing, slip one end over where the water drips out, & run the rest of the hose down the wall to the edge of the tub where it will drip harmlessly into the tub drain.
 
PVC pipe would work too.
 
Mon aƩroglisseur est plein d'anguilles.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tiz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jul 2010 at 6:57pm
The exhaust fan in the bathroom is directly above the toilet bowl. Before they had the roofing replaced, every time we had a heavy rain the fan would drip water. Dripping into the toilet was fine and dandy except if I happened to be using it at the time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ForumAdmin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2010 at 12:19am
This is a new apartment complex (2-3 years). If what you're saying is true about this being a secondary line, that runs when the primary is clogged, that makes total sense. It dumps like niagara falls every time we run the AC. I'll contact maintenance.

I can't wait to find out that it's the only condensate drain, and it's like this on purpose.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2010 at 2:04am
Whether or not it's a secondary line, you'd think they'd have directed it out an outer wall rather than through the ceiling.  It'd just be really odd to see and hear that drip on every hot day.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ForumAdmin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2010 at 6:15am
Which is every day.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tiz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2010 at 8:15pm
After replacing an element in this here hot water heater this a.m., figured I'd kill some time. Got my camera for a pic of the A/C drain. The furnace/evaporater units are in their own closet in the bedroom. There are no secondary drains although I 'think' that second white outlet was designed to be it  but was never plumbed.
When that primary gets plugged, water drips from that outlet on to the water heater..... not very clever. Take the plastic hose & unscrew that black fitting - wash them in the kitchen sink with hot water and you'll see all kinds of black goop come out.
These, being in a closet would be easier for the homeowner to spot dripping water than your unit up in the attic.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ForumAdmin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2010 at 6:35pm
It's the secondary drain line, as you said Tiz.
Maintenance is clearing out the primary today.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hootman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2010 at 7:23pm
I'm confused.  Nathan, even if it is a secondary drain, don't you have this pipe sticking in your face when you are in the shower?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tiz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2010 at 8:29pm
It's probably flush with the ceiling Hooty.
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