Frequently Asked Questions
What products do you provide?
We have three series of neutralizers; Residential (up to 200,000 BTU), Commercial (200,000 - 1,000,000 BTU), and Industrial (1,000,000 - 5,000,000 BTU). There are multiple fitting options for each. We offer two types of neutralizer; a grey solid tube, and a clear tube for convenient visual reference of media level. Our condensate neutralizers contain calcium carbonate which needs to be replaced every heating season, and can be obtained through your local contractor or HVAC supplies distributor.
Which model should I choose?
The size of your heating unit, and the amount of output determines the correct size of neutralizer and accompanying fitting. Condensate production can be estimated based on one gallon per hour for every 100,000 BTUs of input, so you need to ensure that the size of your neutralizer is correct. If the acidic output level is less than 3.5PH, it may be necessary to install two neutralizers in tandem to obtain the desired PH level.
How does the neutralizer work?
The acidic condensate passes through the neutralizer where the acid is immediately reduced using calcium carbonate media. The treated condensate passes through your condensate pump to a drain on your property and out to the sewer or septic system.
How does the use of a neutralizer effect the environment?
Once properly neutralized, the water harmlessly passes through our water systems, saving costly repairs at home, sewer replacement costs, and repairs at the water treatment plant. A condensate neutralizer is an easy, positive step forward ecologically to help reduce our acidic emissions.
What does the law say about neutralizers?
The allowable concentration of PH into the sewer system is municipally governed and found in the Sewer Use By-Laws section. This quote is taken from the City of Etobicoke Sewer Use By-Law: “No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged…any waters or wastes having a PH of less than six point zero (6.0) or greater than ten point five (10.5) and not remaining within these limits on dilution…”. There is a varying degree to which this by-law is enforced, but generally the local plumbing and heating inspectors will be checking on newly installed high efficiency heating units to ensure that there is a neutralizer. Populous centers have been enforcing such a by-law and many more areas are following suit. The use of a neutralizer is currently enforced in many Canadian cities and locations worldwide.
How acidic is the condensate?
The acidic level of condensate is measured in PH on a scale of 0 – 14, with 7 being neutral. This scale is not linear; each step below 7 is ten times more acidic than the next higher number. High efficient heating units can produce up to six gallons daily of acidic condensate of 2.9 to 4 on the PH scale. The actual PH will vary as a result of different variables; ambient air, system down time, acidic content of condensate, chemical make-up of fuel burned, and efficiency of the heating system, to name a few. Treated condensate should be as close to neutral as possible with a PH of 5 being the minimum. The FM line of condensate neutralizers are a compact, universal product which has been proven to help neutralize this harmful acid.
How does condensate cause damage?
Typical condensate from a condensing boiler or furnace has a PH level of 2.9 to 4, which is acidic enough to leave stains, kill shrubs, and eat away drainage systems. The acid produced is strong enough, when exposed over time, to dissolve metal parts, concrete floors, sinks, iron fittings and clay sewer pipes. Condensate can perforate copper pipe in five months if left untreated. One heating season may be long enough to incur repairs or replacement to condensate pumps if you do not properly neutralize your condensate. A neutralizer is highly recommended to home owners who have either a condensate pump or no PVC drainage. For those with septic systems, the acid produced by high efficient furnaces will kill the enzymes that are necessary in the natural breakdown of wastes. With a greater concentration of these furnaces, comes a greater risk of damage, not only to the sewer discharge cylinders, but to the water pumps and cleaning facilities.
How do I care for and refill my neutralizer?
The neutralizer may be installed vertically or horizontally, but we suggest that you check your local bylaws and confer with your inspector beforehand. To help support the larger style neutralizers, the use of strapping fastened to the body of the furnace or boiler is suggested. Neutralizers with barbed fittings require hose claps applied to the junctions to ensure a leak free seal. A flexible hose will fit over a barbed fitting and a rigid tube matches best with CPVC or female socket fittings.
For regular maintenance:
- Remove the threaded cap from the neutralizer body.
- Rinse and inspect media (calcium carbonate).
- Top up contents with a convenient FM Refill.
- Thread cap back on ONLY after replacing existing Teflon tape with new.
All models are designed to be maintenance free for one whole heating season, provided you have chosen the correct size neutralizer for your condensate output. As it is the owner’s responsibility to maintain their units, we strongly suggest learning the average monthly rate at which the contents of your neutralizer are consumed in order to determine how often to refill. If you are unable to perform upkeep on your unit, we suggest hiring a reliable contractor to perform the maintenance for you.