Evaporator condensation dripping on filter

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Old 07-15-07, 08:53 PM
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Evaporator condensation dripping on filter

Hi all,
I first wanted to say that I stumbled upon this site through a search and I'm glad I did. I'm very impressed with the activity in all the different areas of the site and also the quality of the responses to users questions. I will be trying to contribute as much as I can.

Over the past few weeks our evaporator coils condensation has not been running into the drain trough to the drain tube. I came home from a business trip and found that water had soaked my office carpet in our basement.
I'm not sure if it is the original unit, but I think it is and our home is about 20 yrs old. I would like to avoid any costly repairs at this time because we plan to sell the house in a few months.

At first I had thought that the drain tube was clogged. I verified that water will flow out the trough through the fitting into the drain tube. I verified that the drain tube and trap are clear and water will flow outside. Through a bit more trial and error I have found that the condensation of the coils is not running down the fins into the trough the way it should, it is dripping directly down onto the air filter and filling the bottom of the unit/return duct.

I noticed that the upper third of the coil was dirty on the surface so I cleaned the dirt off w/ a wet toothbrush and then used a pressurized water tank (one like you normally could use insect spray and weed killer) to try and get any dirt that was deeper in the fins.

Here are links to two pictures of the setup.
This pic shows the orientation of the coil and how it looked before I cleaned it. Notice how the top 1/3 is dirty, middle is clean, and lower 1/3 has most of the condensation on it. It makes sense that the top is dirtier than the bottom but I wouldn't think the rest would be so clean (and such a clear line between the clean/dirty area.). Does this indicate that there could be a clog in part of the evaporator? There appear to be 3 main refrigerant inlets to the evaporator.
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1212/824204482_03bae2b859.jpg

This pic shows where the bulk of the condensation is dripping onto the filter. I was thinking of using a some wire and running it down the face of the coil at an angle to the drain trough so the water would be helped out a bit down to the drain. It wouldn't catch all the water but would help.
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1121/824204434_6a72b69412.jpg

I guess I am mainly looking for a little help diagnosing what could be causing this and suggestions on how to fix it.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Jeff
 
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Old 07-16-07, 10:02 AM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
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Wink

Looks like new filter. If the coil was that bad check the blower wheel. Is it clean? Sure the inside of the coil is clean ? Can you see a light through it? Charge ok no frost or ice on it when running? Can you clean it from the other side of the coil ? With that pressurized water tank ?
 
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Old 07-16-07, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Ed Imeduc View Post
Looks like new filter. If the coil was that bad check the blower wheel. Is it clean? Sure the inside of the coil is clean ? Can you see a light through it? Charge ok no frost or ice on it when running? Can you clean it from the other side of the coil ? With that pressurized water tank ?
Yes, that is a new filter. The other one was soaked and the paper/cardboard frame became wet and collapsed.

I'm not positive that the inside of the coil is clean, I'll check again with the light tonight. From what I remember the top part of the coil let the same amount of light through as the bottom (so I guess the whole thing could still be dirty).

I haven't noticed frost/ice on it, every time I took the panel off it was only dripping water.

I actually was spraying the water from the other side, I was spraying from the clean side through to the dirty side since that would be the easiest.

I think I might have to use a larger stream of water, I was trying to avoid a garden hose because it would be pretty messy. I have seen a few posts about a company that makes a foaming/no rinse cleaner for evap coils but it looks like it's only sold by places at least 2 hrs away. Is there anything that is sold at a home depot type store, or anything over the counter that I can use to help break up some of the dirt.

Do you think that if the inside of the coil was dirty, that this could be the result?
 
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Old 07-18-07, 06:56 AM
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Update:
I took out the trusty garden hose and cleaned that coil as good as it's going to get. I'm fairly certain that the dripping isn't related to a dirty coil.

Could it be that the upper 2/3 of the coil is clogged?
 
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