I have a water pump in my basement which is hooked up to an artesian
well. We have had a streak of unusually hot weather here (90+ degrees
with v. high humidity), which has caused the water pump to sweat so
much that condensation drips off of the holding tank, pipes and
fittings. So much water condenses that it creates large pools of water
in my basement. Is there anything that I can do about this? Is there
something wrong in the setup of my tank that causes this? I have been
chalking it up to the fact that the extremely cold water (50 degrees or
so out of the ground) condenses when it hits the walls of the tank.
Has anyone encountered this problem? How might I address it in a way
where I can eliminate the water gathering on my basement floor -I'd
like to finish the basement some day.
That may just push the condensation downstream, with dripping pipes after
the insulation. OTOH, he might build an airtight plastic film box around
the tank and pump. The box might have a gutter around the lower edge.
How large would it have to be to prevent condensation?
Sounds like airsealing the basement would help. A fan on the pump will make
more condensation, and dehumidifiers use lots of energy and make unwelcome
heat on 90 F days.
If the pump and tank have Ap ft^2 of surface at temp Tp and the basement air
has dry bulb temp Tb and dew point Tdp, you might build an airtight plastic
film box with Ab ft^2 of surface around the tank and pump and avoid any
condensation if the box wall temp is greater than Tdp, like this, viewed
in a fixed font like Courier:
R2/3 Tdp R4/3
Rp = ---- | Rb = ----
Ap | Ab
Tp ---www----------------www-------- Tb
I = (Tb-Tp)/(Rp+Rb) and Tdp = Tp+IRp makes Ab = 2Ap/((Tb-Tp)/(Tdp-Tp)-1).
For example, Tb = 90 F (460+90 = 550 R) at 70% RH makes
Tdp = 550/(1-550ln(0.7)/9621) = 539 R, ie 539-460 = 79 F.
If the pump and tank have Ap = 25 ft^2 of Tp = 60 F surface,
Ab = 2x25((90-60)/(79-60)-1) = 86.4 ft^2 min,
eg a 2'x3'x8'-tall box.
You are correct, it is caused by the cold water in the tank and lines and the
warm, moist surrounding air - very similar to the sweating a glass of ice
The best solution I've found is to insulate the tank and pipes wherever they
are above ground. Dehumidifying the air will also probably work (possibly not
100% though), but is much more expensive. I'd recommend going with
insulation, and then, when you're ready to finish the basement, consider the
dehumidifier if humidity levels are too high.
I built a box from the 1" foam board that goes on the exterior of a house
beneath the siding, double thickness, that drops over the tank and put foam
pipe insulation on the pipes (this insulation extends through and mostly
fills the pipe hole in the insulation box). Has worked very well for me.
Make sure to dry everything off well to prevent mold growth beneath the
insulation. I did mine in winter when there wasn't a condensation problem,
but washed all the pipes and tank with a mild bleach solution just to be on
the safe side. That required draining the system so I could disconnect and
move the tank out to get behind it and wipe down the back side. Bit of a
PITA, but no more condensation...
I think that having a fan blowing across the area, as suggested by another
poster, will be counter productive as it'll cause more warm moist air to pass
across the cold surfaces.
(substitute strickland in the obvious location to reply directly)
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