A defective A/C condensate drain is a common cause of water damage inside homes. Condensate is simply water vapor condensed into liquid by contact with the cold evaporator coil in the A/C’s indoor air handler. Whenever your air conditioner is running it’s producing condensate — as many as 20 gallons on a humid day. As long as everything’s working right, the condensate is collected and diverted away down a line into your household drain system. If something goes wrong, however, gallons of water may end up spilled into your home — often before you even realize there’s a problem.
Here are some typical condensate drain system problems and what’s required to repair it:
Defective Drip Pan
As the name implies, the condensate drip pan catches water dripping off the evaporator coil. Plastic drip pans may split or otherwise leak over the years. This usually manifests as unexplained water pooling on the floor around the air handler — typically located in a closet or the attic, so it may be some time before leakage is noticed. An HVAC service technician can replace a leaky drip pan.
Clogged Drain System
The warm, wet inside of the drip pan forms the perfect condition for algae and mold. This fungal growth eventually clogs the condensate drain line. Once the drain clogs, overflow of the condensate drip pan is soon to follow. Every time the systems cycles on, more water spills out and more damage is done to the structure of the house. To remedy clogs, a qualified HVAC technician can blow out the drain line and disinfect the drip pan to kill algae and mold. Time-release tablets that inhibit fungal growth are then installed to prevent future clogs.
Some air conditioners include sensors that detect condensate drain problems like an impending drip pan overflow and automatically cut off power to the unit to prevent water damage from spillage. An A/C that won’t power up may have a condensate problem that requires professional service.
For qualified service to resolve condensate drain problems, contact Hartman Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in New Haven, Indiana and surrounding Fort Wayne area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about condensate drains and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 260-376-2961.
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