Our home is relatively new (built in 2014), but something I noticed is that the PVC pipe going into our furnace (which connects to the outside of the home) is developing some condensation (which can be seen as the discolored gray ring in the picture below). My concern with this is the potential for water to reach the electrical outlet below it, posing a potential fire risk (maybe)?

Is this a valid concern? Is there a recommendation on how to resolve this or who I could contact to help resolve it? Is this normal behavior for this type of air return to the furnace?

This isn't a large amount of water, just a small beading around the ring where it attaches to the furnace, but figure the experts here on the site would be able to answer this much better than I could.

enter image description here

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    Probably not a concern. If you're still worried, you can wrap a strip of cloth around the pipe; the cloth will absorb the water and then make it easier for the water to evaporate before it goes anywhere dubious. Mar 29, 2016 at 17:07
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    Usually on newer furnaces they have an intake and exhaust exiting the house the exhaust contains a large amount of water vapor and drains back to condensate drain or pump so some moisture is present. If you are concerned about dribbles getting in the box use some calking to divert the water away from the box. water wont collect in that box but the water that may get in there can corrode the switch and wire nuts over time and it would take many years. One good thing is that it is basically distilled water so it wont conduct electricity well until dust and rust contaminate it.
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 29, 2016 at 19:32

2 Answers 2


No, this should not be happening & anything rusting out your system anywhere is a significant problem. Mine was installed, right, 6-years ago & I don't have any such thing. It could simply be colder outdoor air flooding that pipe or the space that the pipe runs in due to the exterior not being sealed shut to the outdoors. You may notice a cold section of floor above this pipe's area.

My other problem with your picture is that the pipe was dramatically enlarged & is not the smaller diameter which connects to the rusted gray collar. This should not be & is not helping matters nor is it allowing the system to run optimally & may very well be a violation of the Manufacturer's installation instructions.

Call or Email the Builder & put in a Warranty Claim. If the Builder doesn't respond immediately or timely. Then definitely, get an HVAC guy or firm out to inspect your system as well as this singular item's situation & correct whatever needs correcting. Then, ship a copy of the bill off to the Builder for immediate reimbursement.


That's probably the exhaust flue and it's normal that condensate (acidic water) runs down that pipe. If you open the cover on the furnace it should connect to a blower motor (draft inducer.) Where they meet you'll see a rubber tube running to the left side of the furnace to a trap and then on to a drain or discharge pump.

It's not good that the water is getting out at that spot and rusting it. The PVC's pipe fittings were either not joined properly or at all. If water is getting out flue gasses can get out too and that's something you should get fixed as soon as possible.

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