The smell was there as soon as we opened the door to the unfinished furnace room. The staining on the floor was evident. Further inspection found some evidence of molds on the sub floor and floor joists above.
Looking to the left I saw the mother of all traps! This is to capture and eliminate the AC condensate discharge.
And it wasn't leaking now, because they repaired it! And they used purple primer! Well, thank goodness for that.
It looked like it glued nicely to that ABS joint too!
To fix the leaking someone recently added that little extension to the vertical tube on the left. If I was as good as Charlie Buell I could shade everything a light blue to show where this trap contains water! But believe me when I say the water inside was all the way to just below where the condensate line drips!
A trap that was too deep was made too deeper!
Here is the new problem. The condensate discharge is a slow, continual trickle. There is not much energy behind it. In this case it did not have the force behind it to overcome the physics of what the trap contains. Some of it backs up and there was 3/4" of water in the bottom of the furnace. And that was leaking onto the floor all around!
They traded one problem for another.
A trap is not to be a huge reservoir. It should be designed to contain just enough water to block any sewer gas from getting into the house. Instead of the
extension, if they had just designed and installed a smaller, proper trap this problem would have been solved a long time ago.
This is unprofessional work, at best.
My recommendation: Most things properly installed, like condensate traps, are designed with common sense. Get a home inspector, who probably has a lot of that!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560