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AIR CONDITIONING & HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS
A/C - HEAT PUMP CONTROLS & SWITCHES
AIR CONDITIONER COMPONENT PARTS
AIR CONDITIONER TYPES, ENERGY SOURCES
AIR FILTER EFFICIENCY
AIR FILTERS, FIBERGLASS PARTICLES
AIR FLOW MEASUREMENT CFM
APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY RATINGS
BLOWER DOORS & AIR INFILTRATION
BLOWER FAN CONTINUOUS OPERATION
BLOWER FAN OPERATION & TESTING
BOOKSTORE - Air Conditioning "How To" Books
CAPACITORS for HARD STARTING MOTORS
CLEANING & Legionella BACTERIA
CHINESE DRYWALL HAZARDS
CONDENSATION or SWEATING PIPES, TANKS
DEFINITION of Heating & Cooling Terms
DEW POINT CALCULATION for WALLS
DEW POINT TABLE - CONDENSATION POINT GUIDE
DIAGNOSE & FIX AIR CONDITIONER / HEAT PUMP
DIAGNOSE & FIX HEATING PROBLEMS-BOILER
DIAGNOSE & FIX HEATING PROBLEMS-FURNACE
DUCTS - Asbestos
DUCT INSULATION, Asbestos Paper
DUCT INSULATION for SOUNDPROOFING
DUCT SYSTEM NOISES
DUCTS, Asbestos Transite Pipe
DUST, HVAC CONTAMINATION STUDY
ELECTRIC MOTOR OVERLOAD RESET SWITCH
EVAPORATIVE COOLING SYSTEMS
FAN LIMIT SWITCH
GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS, TOXIC
GAS DETECTION INSTRUMENTS
HEAT LOSS (or GAIN) in buildings
HEAT LOSS (or GAIN) INDICATORS
HEAT LOSS R U & K VALUE CALCULATION
HEATING SMALL LOADS
INSPECTION CHECKLIST - OUTDOOR UNIT
INSPECTION LIMITATIONS, A/C SYSTEMS
LEED GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATION
LOST COOLING CAPACITY
LOW VOLTAGE TRANSFORMER TEST
MOTOR OVERLOAD RESET SWITCH
MOLD in AIR HANDLERS & DUCT WORK
OPERATING COST, AIR CONDITIONER
OPERATING DEFECTS, AIR CONDITIONING
REPAIR GUIDE, AIR CONDITIONERS / HEAT PUMPS
REPAIR & DIAGNOSTIC FAQs for A/C
THERMOSTATS, HEATING / COOLING
THERMOSTATIC EXPANSION VALVES
WATER COOLED AIR CONDITIONERS
WINDOW / WALL AIR CONDITIONERS
WINDOW / WALL A/C SUPPORTS
This air conditioning repair article discusses the problems and hazards caused by leaky air conditioner or heat pump condensate drip trays and overflow pans. We address the inspection of air conditioning condensate systems, including air conditioning condensate leaks, health hazards from air conditioner leaks, the related mold risk, and condensate leak repairs, as well as condensate piping, traps, drains, condensate pumps, and the detection and hazards of air conditioning system condensate leaks in buildings. Air conditioner or heat pump condensate leak health and safety concerns are reviewed here.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
This sequence of photos shows of an attic air conditioning condensate line what happens when an amateur rigs up a condensate drain in an attic without proper glue, support, and slope.
The plastic piping was not securely supported and when touched, fell apart to spill condensate into the attic floor and into the ceilings below.
Condensate leaks into an attic ceiling risk not only damage to the building but a hidden mold reservoir in the building insulation or on the attic side of the ceiling drywall below.
Since this air conditioning attic system was the same one which showed the dog bowl and kitchen pot in use to catch condensate drips at the air handler unit, the inspector was not remiss in checking the remainder of the condensate drain line rather aggressively.
Condensate leaks from the air handler's internal drip tray (below the evaporator coil) occur if the internal drain is clogged.
When condensate wets the insulation on the interior of the blower compartment there is risk of problematic mold growth in the system.
In warm humid climates such as the Southern U.S.,
high levels of condensate production in the air handler unit can also result in movement of condensate
downstream into the supply duct, forced there by the blower itself.
[Example air conditioning inspection report language]: We did not see a trap on the condensate line itself - usually installed as good practice - ask your HVAC service person about this detail. It could be required for sanitary or other reasons. CONDENSATE TRAPS have several function including avoiding possible draw of unsanitary air or bacteria back into the building air supply.
Readers who need to clean or unclog a blocked or leaky overflowing A/C or heat pump condensate drain should see CONDENSATE DRAIN CLEAN & DE-CLOG.
We suspect that due to the clogged condensate drain line on Mr. Behrends' cooling system, A/C condensate was overflowing into a condensate overflow pan that used a sensor switch that responds to water in the overflow pan by turning off the A/C system. This design is intended to prevent condensate from overflowing the pan and flooding the building - a possible source of mold or other damage - DF
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Questions & answers or comments about the hazards associated with air conditioner or heat pump condensate drip tray or overflow tray leaks
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Technical Reviewers & References
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