Condensate Drain Line Installation Tips

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Condensate drain lines play the important role of guiding moisture—a byproduct of the air conditioning process—away from the air conditioner. By doing so, they usually protect the unit's housing from rust attacks while also protecting the home from water damage.

However, poor installation can turn condensate drain lines into a liability. The following are condensate drain line installation tips that will help you to avoid some of the problems that installation mistakes can cause.

Don't direct the condensate drain lines to the main drain piping system

Your home's main drainage system is a relatively high-pressure zone—when compared to the condensate drain line. Therefore, trying to empty the contents of the condensate drain line into the main drain piping is a mistake since it only exposes your air conditioner to the contents of the main drain piping. This usually means bacterial growths and bad odors finding their way into the air conditioning system and thereafter into your home.

When installing your system's condensate drain lines, direct them outside. If you need more control over how the water is deposited, direct the drain lines to an open trench. And if you have to use the main drain piping system, don't make direct connections. In such cases, using a moisture trap is a must.

Avoid upward-sloping

Condensate drain lines usually rely on gravitational pull to guide water away from the air conditioner. Upward-sloped sections of a condensate drain line usually rob the condensate drainage system of the benefit of not having to work against gravity. This usually leads to an ineffective drainage process that usually exposes the system to a number of risks.

Water usually moves slower at upward-sloped sections of the drain lines. This usually increases the risks of dirt particles settling, something that then increases the risks of blockages. The inefficiency in water drainage that results from upward-sloped sections also increases the risks of the condensate collector tray getting flooded. Flooding usually causes air conditioner water leaks, something that then exposes your furniture and other valuables to water damage risks. For air conditioners with condensate overflow switches, flooding usually increases the risks of air conditioner shutdowns.

Simply ensuring that your air conditioner's condensate drain lines are sloped downwards could help reduce most of these risks. However, if that does not work, you can always resort to installing a condensate drainage pump in your air conditioner. Having this pump in your system will give the system the extra push it needs to overcome gravity at upward-sloped sections, preventing any inefficiencies that might have led to flooding.