Examples Of Drainage Problems That Plague Air Conditioners

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Air conditioners (ACs) have to handle atmospheric condensation, but they are designed in such a way that the condensation is channeled outside the house without causing any problem. Therefore, you know something is amiss if your AC is not properly draining its condensate. Here are a few causes of AC condensate problems:

Clogged Drain Line

Just like the name suggests, the AC's drain line channels condensed water from inside the air handler to the outside. The drain line can get clogged by different debris such as algae, dirt, and rust particles. When this happens, and the line can't drain water outside, it will leak inside the house and cause the associated problems.

Prevent this problem by cleaning the drain line regularly; just pour a cup or so of household bleach into the drain line inside the house and let it drain outside. However, that may not clear out serious clog that has already clogged the line. For that, use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to suck out the debris.

Disconnected Drain Line

Some drain lines become loose with time and start leaking even if they are not clogged. This won't happen to a new drain line as long as it was properly installed. However, after some years, regular wear and tear interferes with the connections and allows fluids to seep through. Solving this problem may require the input of a professional technician who will diagnose the loose point and tighten it. 

Malfunctioning Condensate Pump

The condensate pump contains a reservoir where the condensed water collects until it reaches a certain level. When the water reaches the predetermined level, it triggers the pump to start operating and move the collected water into a drainage pipe. The pump allows efficient drainage in situations where gravity cannot be relied upon to drain out the condensate. A malfunctioning pump, therefore, will allow the condensate to overfill the reservoir and overflow out of it. Again, this is something that only a trained electrician can diagnose and fix.

Leaking Drain Pan

Lastly, you may also be having condensate problems because the drain pan is damaged. Again, this isn't likely to be the problem if your system is relatively new. However, it may be the problem in an old system where the drain pan is has developed pin holes as a result of rusting. Replacing the damaged pan is the only permanent solution.

Apart from cleaning the drain line, most of the other issues require the involvement of a professional technician. Therefore, consult a technician if your drain line isn't clogged and you still have condensation problems.