water leaking through A/C air handler after rain


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Old 10-26-06, 10:41 PM
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water leaking through A/C air handler after rain

Last weekend when it rained heavily I noticed a spot on the ceiling downstairs. I went upstairs and opened the panel to my A/C air intake (you know, where you put the air filter in) and there was water dripping down from the blower motor! I put a bucket in there to catch the water so it doesn’t ruin the ceiling downstairs but does anyone know where it might be coming from? It only happens during heavy rains so I don't think its a condensate/refrigerant problem or a result of frost buildup in the air handler. I thought there might be some sort of opening on the roof related to the duct system that may not be sealed completely? My roof is only 4 years old. Note that this only happens when there is extreme rain.

-Evan
 
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Old 10-27-06, 02:44 AM
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Check for trapped condensate line or a plugged condensate pan. Inspect drain pan to see if has developed a leak. During heavy rain, water can build up beneath drain pan. Inspect for mold. Check airflow across the cooling coil. If moving too fast it can carry condensation of coils and into duct system. Inspect attic. Check duct beneath air handler for leaks. Inspect roof. Moisture inside the house can cause mold and mildew problems as well as structural damage.
 
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Old 10-27-06, 05:47 AM
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Do you have a pan under your air handler? Sounds like you don't have one if you are getting water on your ceiling.

Where is the drain line going to from the air handler?
 
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Old 10-30-06, 07:52 AM
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Wink

there was water dripping down from the blower motor! I put a bucket in there to catch the water
Id say dont turn the unit on till you find out where the water came from. You can burn out the motor.
Does the unit have a outside air intake on it?? Do the freon lines go out of the roof??. Id say need more info on the unit.
 
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Old 10-30-06, 10:44 AM
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Unit model & configuration, drain pipe

Thanks for the help guys! The air handler unit is RUUD UBHC series:
http://www.ruudac.com/products/ProductInfo.aspx?XSL_File=ruudac_product_profile.xsl&Market=Residential&SectionVar=Cooling&Category=Air%20Handlers&SpecificModel=UBHC

It is installed on the second floor above the washer & dryer. There is some PVC connected to the drain connection that routes the drain though the floor into the same drain for the washer that is below it on the 1st floor.

The water is dripping through the built-in air filter covering the coils on the bottom of the unit. I disconnected the PVC from drain spout to find that is was partially obstructed with particle build up. My suspicion is during heavy rain, the drain did not have the capacity to drain all the water so it overflowed, leaking out the bottom of the unit. The build up occured because at one section, the drain pipe is angled in a way that gravity doesn't suck all the water down (water/gunk gets stuck in an elbow connection). I am going to attach a new PVC drain pipe and see if my problem re-occurs.

But, I'm still curious how water gets in there when it rains? 'Twelvepole' said "During heavy rain, water can build up beneath drain pan."
How? Does this conclusion make sense?
-evan
 
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Old 10-30-06, 03:14 PM
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Wink

The build up occured because at one section, the drain pipe is angled in a way that gravity doesn't suck all the water down (water/gunk gets stuck in an elbow connection). I am going to attach a new PVC drain pipe and see if my problem re-occurs.

Now we need a 3/4" pvc pipe there all the way to the drain. You also need a P Trap there by the unit . If the motor is wet dont turn it on till it dries out.
When the unit ran was the big copper line cold and wet the small copper line warm to hot???? at the out door unit.
Is this unit blowing up with the blower on the bottom????. What does it do in heat mode on this heat pump??????

ED
 
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Old 10-30-06, 09:02 PM
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Some pictures sure could be helpful.
 
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Old 10-31-06, 10:55 AM
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The link given is for an electric heat unit so there would be no reason for any part of this unit to exit the roof. Is it possible that at some point in the past you had gas heat and a vent throught the roof is leaking onto the unit, then on below?

If not then the answer is likely....

Rain = higher humidity = higher drain capacity requirements > existing drain capacity due to partial clog.

What you have already done may eleviate the problem. You should also consider a whole unit emergency drain pan spanning the entire footprint of the unit. It will save your sheetrock.
 
 

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