Common Condensate Drain Problems in Central A/Cs & How to Fix ThemCondensate drain problems can leave you without air conditioning on a hot day. They can also damage your house and ruin personal belongings. A central A/C produces much more than just cool comfort — it also yields water, and lots of it.

Humidity reduction is a major function of air conditioners. Water vapor condensed by the evaporator coil can exceed 25 gallons per day, and it’s all got to go somewhere. Condensate drain problems prevent it from properly flowing out of your home.

How it Happens

Water condensed by the evaporator drips into a condensate drain pan. The drain line from the pan is plumbed to your household drain system or extends through a wall and drains outdoors. A blockage in your system may cause the drain pan to overflow. Because air handlers are usually situated out of sight, water damage may be substantial before the leak is noted by occupants.

What a Qualified Professional Can Do

  • If the overflow is due to a clogged condensate drain system, a technician can blow out the drain line with compressed air and clean any debris out of the drain pan. Many condensate drain clogs result from algae or mold growth in the pan. A technician can pour algaecide through the primary drain line and backup line to kill active growth and also install time-release biocide tablets in the pan to prevent mold and algae growth over the long term.
  • When condensate leakage results from coil icing and rapid melting of large volumes of ice, an HVAC professional will identify and resolve causes of coil icing, including low refrigerant charge, insufficient system airflow and dirt or mold on coil surfaces.
  • To prevent severe water damage in the event of condensate drain problems, your HVAC contractor may recommend installing an overflow safety switch that automatically shuts off power to your unit if the drain pan fills. When the drain line is unclogged, power can be restored to your air conditioner.

For professional service to resolve condensate drain problems in Los Angeles, contactAround the Clock Heating & Air Conditioning.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Los Angeles, North Hollywood and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about condensate drains and other HVAC topics,download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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