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  #1  
Old 07-20-2008
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Can We Build This Cheaper?

OK Mates,

I found this condensate remover for marine A/C units. It uses the venturi effect to suck the water out of the condensate pan. instead of it running into the bilge. It's a great idea but the price seems outrageous for what you get. Mermaid Condensator / Accessories / Marine Division / Home - Mermaid Manufacturing - Home of Mermaid Marine Air Conditioning

Dog I am sure you can come up with sumthin.

Fair Winds

Capn Dave
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Old 07-28-2008
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Dave, I'm wondering...we used to make fluidic gates and switches by carving soap bars. (To learn how they worked, not to make machines.) A foot of one inch copper tubing, six inches of 1/16" tubing penetrating the sidewall and then angled down inside, solder the two together...and I think you'd have a ten dollar venturi fitting. Hook the condensate to the little tube, drain to the big one, make sure the venturi tube is pointed downstream not up and away it goes. Add the check valve as they do for security, and it still is a $20 part.

Could be worth an experiment for someone with AC and a couple of bits of pipe. Venturis might be rocket science, but at least there are no explosives involved in this kind.[g]
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Old 07-28-2008
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I may be wrong, but that seems very similar to a Venturi for an ozone kit on a hot tub. Of course in the case of the hot tub its a gas that its merging but it may still work for this purpose. The below is just the first link I could find.

I haven't posted enough to add a link but if you google or try spadepot.com you can see some examples and the seem to be going for $20 to $30.

Cheers.
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Old 07-28-2008
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Why bother... the condensate from an A/C condenser is pretty much pure water...since it is condensate... if it gets into the bilge, it won't cause nasty smells.

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Originally Posted by capn_dave View Post
OK Mates,

I found this condensate remover for marine A/C units. It uses the venturi effect to suck the water out of the condensate pan. instead of it running into the bilge. It's a great idea but the price seems outrageous for what you get. Mermaid Condensator / Accessories / Marine Division / Home - Mermaid Manufacturing - Home of Mermaid Marine Air Conditioning

Dog I am sure you can come up with sumthin.

Fair Winds

Capn Dave
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Old 07-28-2008
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why don't you just install an a/c condensate pump. little giant makes a bunch of different sizes.
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Old 07-29-2008
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Dog, I have to disagree with you on this one. Condensate would be pure water if it wasn't mixed with the air inside the boat, but it is.

The air that mixes with the water will contain minute bits of whatever is drifting around in the air, including dead skin cells, mold spores, etc. What you have is a pre-made mix of biological debris that will quickly turn into a 'science project' in the drip pan of an A/C unit.

Getting the condensate overboard is a must if you don't want a sour smell.

Cap'n Dave, I don't know how your a/c unit is mounted, but if you have a bit of drop from the drain pan, you might do what I did on Breeze. I had a very small plexiglass box made up at the local plastics shop. It has a removable top for access inside it. Inside the box is a small, very cheap bilge pump and an electronic bilge pump switch. the plumbing was pretty straight forward. I put a cheap plastic thru-hull fitting high on the box and attached a hose from there to the drip pan of the a/c unit. The outlet from the pump goes out through a piece of hose that I used 5200 to hold in place. Then I put one of the small, very lightweight check valves just outside of the box (from Whale. They're made for bilge pumps) and tied the other end of the hose into the downhill side of another bilge pump's output.

This made a huge difference inside the boat. It got rid of a high percentage of the musty smell from the a/c.

The other thing you can do is throw a bromide tablet, one of the small ones used for Jacuzzi tubs, into the condensate catch box. This will kill the critters that might otherwise start growing in there. They last quite a while, since they're really designed for hot water. They leech enough stuff out to kill what grows and the concentration isn't high enough to damage anything inside the box.
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Old 07-29-2008
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IIRC my Mermaid 16,500 BTU unit is installed so that the condensate drips back into the water line that provides cooling water - no rocket science at all.
Not saying it works good, but there it is.

Dog, letting it drain to the bilge is easy for you to say - your bilge is as shallow as mine. It takes a swipe of the sponge to completely clean it .
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Old 07-29-2008
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Yeah, but its a big sponge...

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Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
IIRC my Mermaid 16,500 BTU unit is installed so that the condensate drips back into the water line that provides cooling water - no rocket science at all.
Not saying it works good, but there it is.

Dog, letting it drain to the bilge is easy for you to say - your bilge is as shallow as mine. It takes a swipe of the sponge to completely clean it .
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 07-29-2008
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chuckles, when i said "rocket science" I meant that in two ways. A venturi literally IS rocket science, using fluidics and pressure differentials and designing optimal venturis (aka "jets") is part of designing a rocket engine's combustion chamber and fuel mix system. So yes, it is rocket science.

And of course, at the same time, here it is NOT rocket science. The parameters are not critical, and nothing is going to blow up, or run out of fuel halfway to Mars, if the design is way less than optimal.

Sort of like the o-rings on the space shuttle booster rocket. O-rings are just plumbing, not rocket science. Until you hit one cold morning, and someone figures out that tapwater and rocket exhaust don't quite behave the same way. (You may remember that one, sadly the bosses thought o-rings were just plumbing.) Here, if it doesn't work...there's not much lost.

Some residential window AC units now use the condensate to cool the evaporator coils, apparently it stops the dripping and boosts the efficiency at the same time. Problematic on a boat, where the "evaporate" would also be inside the hull though.
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Old 10-17-2008
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I tried the Mermaid but had issues with water flow. I have a 12K BTU with a March LC-3 pump. The Mermain Condensator seemed to decrease the flow quite a bit and thus I had issues with cooling the old AC unit.

And then I found the simple answer: Tom Aquatics Aqua Lifter—Dosing Pump. It can lift up to 30 inches and sucks my drain pan dry. My issue is that I can not even drain to the bilge due to a rise in the tubing path. This at least gets it to the bilge. And all for $15!


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