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AIR CONDITIONING & HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS
A/C DATA TAGS
A/C - HEAT PUMP CRITICAL DEFECTS
A/C DIAGNOSTIC FAQs
A/C TYPES, ENERGY SOURCES
AIR CONDITIONER BTU CHART
AIR FILTERS for HVAC SYSTEMS
AIR FLOW MEASUREMENT CFM
AIR HANDLER / BLOWER UNITS
DIRTY A/C BLOWERS
DAMAGED COOLING COIL
DIRTY COOLING COIL
DIRTY COIL CLEANING PROCEDURES
FROST BUILD-UP on AIR CONDITIONER COILS
INCREASING RETURN AIR
BLOWER FAN CONTINUOUS OPERATION
BLOWER FAN OPERATION & TESTING
BLOWER LEAKS, RUST & MOLD
ADDING A/C: RETROFIT SIZING
ANIMAL ALLERGENS / PET DANDER
ANIMAL ENTRY POINTS in buildings
ANIMAL ODORS IN buildings
APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY RATINGS
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN buildings
BACKUP HEAT for HEAT PUMPS
BLOWER DOORS & AIR INFILTRATION
BLOWER FAN CONTINUOUS OPERATION
BLOWER FAN OPERATION & TESTING
BOOKSTORE - Air Conditioning "How To" Books
CAPACITORS for HARD STARTING MOTORS
CHINESE DRYWALL HAZARDS
CIRCUIT BREAKER SIZE for A/C or HEAT PUMP
CLEANING & Legionella BACTERIA
CONTROLS & SWITCHES, A/C - HEAT PUMP
COOL OFF HEAT Thermostat Switch
COOLING CAPACITY, RATED
COOLING COIL or EVAPORATOR COIL
COOLING LOAD REDUCTION by ROOF VENTS
COMBUSTION GASES & PARTICLE HAZARDS
CONDENSATE HANDLING, A/C
CONDENSATION or SWEATING PIPES, TANKS
DATA TAGS on AIR CONDITIONERS
DEFINITION of Heating & Cooling Terms
DEW POINT CALCULATION for WALLS
DEW POINT TABLE - CONDENSATION POINT GUIDE
DIAGNOSE & FIX AIR CONDITIONER / HEAT PUMP
DUCT SYSTEM & DUCT DEFECTS
DUCTS - Asbestos
DUCT INSULATION, Asbestos Paper
DUCT INSULATION for SOUNDPROOFING
DUCT SYSTEM NOISES
DUCTS, Asbestos Transite Pipe
DUST, HVAC CONTAMINATION STUDY
ENERGY SAVINGS in buildings
EVAPORATIVE COOLING SYSTEMS
EVAPORATOR COIL or COOLING COIL
EXPANSION VALVES, REFRIGERANT
FAN, AIR HANDLER BLOWER UNIT
FAN AUTO ON Thermostat Switch
FAN, COMPRESSOR/CONDENSER UNIT
FAN CONVECTOR HEATERS - HYDRONIC COILS
FAN LIMIT SWITCH
FURNACES WARM AIR HEATING SYSTEMS
GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS, TOXIC
GAS DETECTION INSTRUMENTS
GAUGE, REFRIGERATION PRESSURE TEST
HEAT LOSS (or GAIN) in buildings
HEAT LOSS (or GAIN) INDICATORS
HEAT LOSS R U & K VALUE CALCULATION
HEATING SMALL LOADS
HOUSEWRAP AIR & VAPOR BARRIERS
HUMIDITY LEVEL TARGET
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
INSPECTION CHECKLIST - OUTDOOR UNIT
INSPECTION LIMITATIONS, A/C SYSTEMS
LIGHT, GUIDE to FORENSIC USE
LOST COOLING CAPACITY
LOW VOLTAGE TRANSFORMER TEST
MANUALS & PARTS GUIDES - HVAC
MOTOR OVERLOAD RESET SWITCH
MOLD in AIR HANDLERS & DUCT WORK
MOLD INFORMATION CENTER
NOISE AIR CONDITIONER / HEAT PUMP
ODORS in AIR HANDLERS & DUCT WORK
OPERATING COST, AIR CONDITIONER
OPERATING DEFECTS, AIR CONDITIONING
OPERATING TEMPERATURES, AIR CONDITIONER
PORTABLE ROOM AIR CONDITIONERS
PRESSURE READINGS, REFRIGERANT
REPAIR GUIDE, AIR CONDITIONERS / HEAT PUMPS
REPAIR & DIAGNOSTIC FAQs for A/C
REFRIGERANTS & PIPING
RETROFIT SIZING for A/C or HEAT PUMPS
SEER RATINGS & OTHER DEFINITIONS
SPLIT SYSTEM AIR CONDITIONERS & HEAT PUMPS
THERMOSTATS, HEATING / COOLING
THERMOSTATIC EXPANSION VALVES
WATER COOLED AIR CONDITIONERS
WINDOW / WALL AIR CONDITIONERS
WINDOW / WALL A/C SUPPORTS
Air conditioner condensate handling & drainage defects: this air conditioning repair article discusses the inspection, diagnosis, and repair of air conditioning condensate drainage systems, including condensate leaks, condensate piping, traps, drains, condensate pumps, and the detection and hazards of air conditioning system condensate leaks in buildings. Condensate leak water health and safety concerns are also reviewed. This document describes the inspection of residential air conditioning systems (A/C systems) to inform home buyers, owners, and home inspectors of common cooling system defects.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
Condensate leaks or discharge errors (such as the drips into the dog bowl and cooking pot in this attic) present several risks of ugly surprises in buildings.
Here are some inspection tips that can avoid a condensate leak or even a costly mold problem in the air conditioning system air handler, duct work, or in the building itself:
Locate how & where condensate discharge is carried for final disposal
Check for a clogged A/C condensate drain line trap
Look out for an improper condensate overflow pan drain connection
A condensate pan should have its own independent drain to an approved location. Otherwise, for example if it shares the main condensate drain pipe, you have not gained much protection. An alternative to a drain on a condensate overflow pan is the installation of a Float Switch on Condensate Tray that will turn off the system if water is detected. See CONDENSATE DRAINS.
Look for corrosion or water stains on floor surfaces around the equipment
Check the condensate drip pan and at bottom of the "A frame" cooling coil, indicating that the drain may need cleaning and more important, indicating that the condensate is leaking out of the equipment or drains and not being carried to an acceptable disposal point.
Links below continue with detailed discussions of condensate handling components, defects, cleaning, maintenance, and repairs.
Reply: check for a clogged condensate drain line trap, crimps in the line, or clogs in the line; check that the line is routed to a proper destination
The condensate drain line, trap, and evidence of blockage, leaks, overflow, or improper piping should be part of annual air conditioning system service, or should be performed immediately if there is evidence of a condensate spill or leak. It only takes a quick look by an experienced service technician to see trouble. Here are some signs of trouble that a visual inspection of the condensate drain system might pick at an inspection:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about handling air conditioner and heat pump condensate
Question: Our heat pump spills water onto the floor. What's wrong and how do we fix it?
I have a question regarding our heat pump. Last summer it started leaking water. The system otherwise runs fine but we have to keep a bucket where the water comes out a rubber tube. This also does not catch all the water because the carpet still gets wet. There is no problem with heating this past winter. Is there a pump of some kind that needs to be replaced.- M.M.
It sure sounds as if your heat pump when in cooling mode is leaking condensate into the building. When warm moist indoor air passes through the cooling coil, moisture is removed from the air as it cools, condensing into water that must be drained away to an acceptable location - a floor drain or in some areas outdoors onto the ground.
A condensate leak that spills into the building interior could be caused by any of several problems such as a clogged condensate drain line or if a condensate pump is used to lift condensate from a receiving container up to a building drain, the pump could be switched off or broken.
You need to first diagnose the cause of the problem. If it's just a clogged drain line, clearing the line can get things working again quickly and probably at little or no cost. If you are unfamiliar with the equipment or can't find the condensate handling system, or if a condensate pump is not working you probably need a service call by an HVAC expert.
Watch out: in a good heat pump/air conditioner installation, the installers make provision to protect the building interior from condensate leakage should the primary condensate drainage system fail. Usually that's in the form of a condensate drip tray that is placed under the indoor air handler where the cooling coil is located (and where condensate is produced). If the condensate drain system fails and condensate begins to leak out of the equipment, the drip tray either takes condensate safely away to a drain by a separate drain line or it uses a switch that shuts down the equipment so that you know repairs are needed. Condensate that leaks into building carpets, ceilings, walls, risks formation of a costly mold contamination issue. So get this matter repaired promptly.
Question: Water blowing down my HVAC Supply Ducts, What Can I Do to Stop It?
Why is water blowing down my supply duct system? I have solved the freezing up problem, I don't have a drain problem!! I added refrigerant to solve the freezing up problem, but it is still blowing water down my supply line. How do I stop this?? - C.T.
Reply: Check the A/C system sizing, check for abnormal indoor humidity sources
If you are sure that the condensate drain is in fact draining, I don't know a simple in-air-handler fix for this problem - it's common in some humid areas such as Florida. I'd take a look at these next steps:
Question: our wall-mounted split system air conditioner leaks condensate down the interior wall
We noticed water stains and wet spots on the wall below our wall-mounted split system air conditioner. But condensate is also coming out of the drain line on the roof. What might be wrong? - Ed.
Reply: Common defects that cause leaks or blockages in wall-mounted air conditioner condensate drains
If the wall mounted air conditioner is not level, condensate may collect in its internal drain pan but may overflow the (relatively shallow) condensate pan edges before reaching the condensate drain opening. Check the unit for level, and watch out: the plastic cover may not be dead straight - it's the unit itself that should be level for the condensate drain pan to work properly. The photo at left is explained at SPLIT SYSTEM AIR CONDITIONERS & HEAT PUMPS. That white line is the condensate drain headed from the wall-mounted unit (not shown) to outdoors.
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