On Tuesday I came home from dropping my oldest child at VBS to find water dripping through my stove vent. Right above my vent (in the upstairs hallway) is my air conditioning unit. I turned off the switches for the inside and outside units. Then I cleaned up the drip pan and let the insulation that was damp dry. I called a friend who is an A/C repair man, and he told me to drain the condensate line outside using a shop vac.
I went out and bought a shop vac & attachments then drained the line this morning (Friday AM) for a good while. I turned the A/C on again for the first time since Tuesday, and the drip pan is a little damp after running for 45 minutes. Not soaked. Not even wet...just damp.
Is this normal? Do I need to drain my condensate line more? I'm hoping not because it is pouring outside, and I can't open windows while it is raining.
For reference, my A/C has been off COMPLETELY (inside and outside switches have been turned off) since Tuesday AM when I discovered the water in my vent. I can't remember if the drip pan has ever been damp during normal use before today. We only bought this house in late August 2013, so this is our first full summer in the house.
It is very hot outside here (90 degrees today), so I am not sure if this affects the dampness in the drip pan.
My guess is that the dampness came from the coils. It is normal for some water to enter the pan from the air conditioner. It should drain from the pan to the outside. Usually, if the pan overflows, it is because the drain to the outside is stopped up. The vacuum was to unstop the drain. Turn the air back on and watch closely to see if water pools in the pan. If it does, then you need to remove the blockage. Or -- you can pour water into the pan to make sure it is draining.
Thank you! It seems you are right. I've been obsessively checking it, and there doesn't appear to be any pooling. THANK GOODNESS.
If your drain line has a trap built into it pour a little bleach down the line. Sometimes the lines will clog up with algae or some other life form. A little bleach will kill it and open it back up. Using the shop vac will sometimes pull it through as well.
The catch pan under the attic unit should not get water in it if the drains are functioning properly. It is there as a safety in case the internal drain pan overflows due to a stopped up drain line. My external catch pan has a water switch on it that will shut the HVAC unit down if it gets wet.
Sometimes the drain lines will drip a little water in to the pan. My HVAC guy put a small plastic tub under it to catch any drips. They evaporate out before they ever amount to anything.
Keep an eye on the insulation, it should dry out without any problems with the overflow problem fixed. Fiberglass won't mold, but the paper on your drywall can. If you have water in your vent do your best to mop that up. Is this flex duct? If so you might want to disconnect this in the attic and dry it out.
Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.
My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
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