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Old 04-03-2012, 08:33   #1
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Mermaid Condensation Drain

Every so often the drain tube from the A/C condensation pan clogs up with some unidentifiable, apparently living, goop and water from the pan ends up on the cabin sole instead of the bilge.

In a perfect world, I would remember to check it every time I am on board, but I don't. Is there any sort of chemical you could put in the pan once in a while to stop this? (Something that won't damage the unit, obviously.)
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:50   #2
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Re: Mermaid Condensation Drain

An A/C shop should be able to supply Condensate Pan Treatment Tablets (Chlorine or Bromine based, or other), such as:

Chlorine/bromine-free condensate pan treatment tablets
Nu-Calgon: Products: IAQ Assurance Program
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:51   #3
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Re: Mermaid Condensation Drain

Rig a venturi to the system and suck the condensate pan dry.
You add a aquarium venturi to the seawater cooling hose near the overboard discharge. Pipe the suction nipple to the pan and the venturi effect will suck the pan dry, adding the condensate to the overboard discharge
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:15   #4
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Re: Mermaid Condensation Drain

^^^

This guy gave you the correct answer before I could!

You can rig this yourself or buy the expensive version from Mermaid. They are great units, but this should come standard with them.
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:08   #5
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Re: Mermaid Condensation Drain

In my limited experience, a venturi condensator doesn’t keep the pan absolutely dry, which is required to prevent biological contamination.
Notwithstanding, not a bad idea, though, IMHO, not worth $165.

Mermaid Condensator / Accessories / Marine Division / Home - Mermaid Manufacturing - Home of Mermaid Marine Air Conditioning

http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|6880|48359|328481&id=162519
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:18   #6
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Re: Mermaid Condensation Drain

Thats a new one for me !! $165 is nothing compared to 4 or 5 hundred in wood work that almost always happens when the darn things run over ! I use the clorine tabs but theres other things that can cause a overflow ! just my 2 cents Bob and Connie
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Old 04-03-2012, 14:36   #7
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Re: Mermaid Condensation Drain

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
In my limited experience, a venturi condensator doesn’t keep the pan absolutely dry, which is required to prevent biological contamination.
Notwithstanding, not a bad idea, though, IMHO, not worth $165.

Mermaid Condensator / Accessories / Marine Division / Home - Mermaid Manufacturing - Home of Mermaid Marine Air Conditioning

http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|6880|48359|328481&id=162519
Which is why I would advocate a homebrew solution. A Venturi condensator would seem to be simple to make. Maybe even with enough space between the unit and the pan to run a sponge on a stick (like the kind used in light dishwashing). A few swipes with that sucks up the water, a few more swipes with the sponge damp with bleach kills the critters.
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:23   #8
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Re: Mermaid Condensation Drain

Aquarium venturis gor for less than $20. I added a valve downstream. $165 is ridiculous.
mine gets the pan pretty darn dry, the small bit of water left evaporates before becoming an issue.
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Old 05-03-2012, 18:48   #9
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Re: Mermaid Condensation Drain

I bought the Mermaid Condensator for 1 of my boats. Works great! Instead of using the catch pans drain, I tapped and plugged that, then used a piece of SS 1/4 tube , bent and mounted in the lowest corner of the drain pan and also flush to the bottom of the pan, to suck every bit of condensation out. Pan is always dry.
I agree the prices for the Condensator is a little steep. Being a tool maker and having 3 friends that wanted one, I copied the unit, but improved on it, eliminating a couple of the parts. The original is over engineered in my opinion. 5 yrs now and each of the units I made have never needed any servicing.

As of this time, I have yet to install my spare unit in my cruisers AC system. There is always a small amount of condensation in the catch pan that never drains do to drain not at lowest level and also the drain fitting not being at very bottom of pan. In no time, the condensation dries up leaving a crust behind that flakes off that loosens up and then is free to flow into the AC sump pan. That's a nasty pan when it gets cleaned. The Mermaid Condensator setup, (theirs or mine) eliminates any standing water from the cabin of the 1 boat. Gotta get busy this spring and install the spare unit in the cruiser.
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Old 30-05-2012, 04:16   #10
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Re: Mermaid Condensation Drain

The Mermaid Condensator was the best money I ever spent 10 years ago. Other than once a season filter cleaning its maintenance and trouble free. Back then you could buy them direct from Mermaid.
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Old 30-05-2012, 05:41   #11
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Re: Mermaid Condensation Drain

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, msd58.
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Old 04-06-2012, 21:23   #12
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Re: Mermaid Condensation Drain

Got my spare condensation installed, also lined the CruiseAir catch pan with AL. to rid the painted steel that is original and rusted, Relocated drain to lowest point of pan for 100% drainage. My AC catch pan drains into a sump box, then would be pumped overboard when 1/2 full. Problem was that box always had standing condensation. Never pumped empty. I installed the condensator suction hose in the sump boxes lowest point. Now that box never has more than a few droplets of water, that simply evaporate in no time. If by chance the condensation does get plugged up, the sump box pump will still work as normal.

I do prefer the higher flow of water thru the coils when the condensation is not used though . Just seems like it would effect the AC's efficiency. But, several yrs with not a single issue with using the unit in my other boat, all must be OK with the restricted flow.
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Old 13-04-2015, 10:20   #13
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Re: Mermaid Condensation Drain

I installed a Mermaid Condensator and can highly recommend it. Only thing I did not like is their check valve. It was too stiff and didn't allow any flow. I purchased a replacement with a larger diaphragm which works perfectly. Made a video for those of you who haven't experienced the Venturi system.
Also, as many of you know, you can achieve the same thing at a fraction of the cost if you buy a plastic Venturi, tubing, check-valve and fittings.
https://youtu.be/0DhGDnHODvw
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