I recently got a new package unit installed to replace the 30-year-old one that came with the house. It works MUCH better than the old one, which had a slow leak and iced up regularly.

I noticed that the condensate drain drips straight out onto the pad. Should there be a trap here? Picture of drain

The round hole on the left has a standard pipe fitting inside, and currently it is just dripping straight down.

How bad is it to leave it like this? This Bryant system has the coils positioned before the blower, so presumably the drain is under suction when the unit is running. Fortunately, it doesn't run all the time.

  • I would have expected isolation pads between the base frame and the slab
    – Jasen
    Jul 29 '20 at 1:34
  • For sound dampening? Might help a bit I guess. Fortunately, the new unit is massively quieter than the old one due to the condenser being stacked on top of the coil/compressor/heat exchanger section, instead of the compressor being right next to the house (old unit was more like a pancake). The duct connections are short, flexible connectors. I can't tell you how nice it is to finally have working A/C after all these years :) Jul 29 '20 at 4:03
  • You're asking about a trap, but do you simply mean a drain tube extension?
    – isherwood
    Jul 29 '20 at 14:32
  • mainly to stop the base from rubbing on the concrete and rusting out, but also to reduce vibrations it may have feet that are not visible from this angle.
    – Jasen
    Jul 29 '20 at 21:28
  • 1
    I would leave it the way it is since it sounds like you followed the MFG instructions.
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 3 '20 at 14:35

The drainage is normal and you want it to drain. Some units are quite sensitive to blockage and a trap will prevent the condensate from getting out. This drainage is quite normal.
I would not worry as just about every unit has a drain of some type - most just like yours.

  • Great to know, thanks! I was just worried about the drain getting clogged or stuffed full of something by a critter, but it's a good few inches off the ground, so I guess that's unlikely. Jul 29 '20 at 4:03
  • I have had minor issues with insects when the unit is not run but not often as the times when the unit is not being used is usually cold and less critter activity when it’s cold.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 29 '20 at 13:25

You only need a trap if you're connecting directly to a different drain pipe

With no drain pipe no trap is needed. with an air gap no trap is needed.

  • It doesn't make it harder for the unit to drain? There's slight suction on the pipe as the coils are on the return side. Jul 29 '20 at 3:42
  • 1
    You only need a trap when connecting to a sewer drain and this is to prevent the gasses from the sewer isolated. Air gap are usually on food storage coolers and freezers to prevent any migration bacteria laden moisture.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 29 '20 at 13:22
  • These things drain by gravity, There will only be suction on the pipe if it's full of water usually they don't produce condensate at a rate sufficient to fill the pipe.
    – Jasen
    Jul 31 '20 at 2:31

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