The A/C Condensate Drain: 3 Common Problems to Watch For

The A/C Condensate Drain: 3 Common Problems to Watch For

Jul 7, 2015

While the warm, sunny climate of Orlando draws residents and visitors alike, it’s air conditioning that keeps them there. In addition to cool air, your A/C also generates a lot of water while removing excess humidity from your indoor environment. An air conditioner is designed to channel the water away, but A/C condensate drain problems can wreak havoc on the process. Here are three common issues to watch for, all of which can have dire consequences to your health and home. 

Mold Growth

Mold is a fungus that–when left unchecked–can spread rapidly and cause respiratory issues or trigger allergy symptoms in susceptible individuals. Mold is a common byproduct of a clogged condensate drain, growing when airborne spores combine with moisture trapped in the drain pipe. Once there it can make its way in to supply ducts, where it is then distributed throughout your indoor air supply. Signs include:

  • A musty odor
  • Unexplained allergy symptoms
  • A malfunctioning A/C

Avoid this issue with annual preventive maintenance, including a check and cleaning of the condensate drain line.

The Drain Trap

Much like the U-shaped trap below your kitchen sink, the drain trap of your A/C contains standing water that prevents sewer gases from entering the air handler. Should the trap become dry due to a long period of dormancy or an improperly angled drain line, sewer gases can make their way through the system. If you detect an unexplained, foul odor coming from your supply vents, call for service.

Leakage or Flooding

A/C condensate drain problems, such as a blockage, can result in extensive and costly property damage. Blockages may be caused by algae growth, thanks to the warm, wet conditions present in the condensate collector. Sufficient growth in the drain line or trap can cause flooding, as can a missing or damaged overflow pan. To clear a blockage, try pouring bleach down the pipe to breakup the sludge, using a wet/dry vacuum, or calling your contractor for service.

If you encounter A/C condensate drain problems, call the experts at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions. We proudly serve homeowners in Orlando and the surrounding areas.

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

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