How to determine if AC drain pipe is clogged


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Old 06-15-10, 07:37 PM
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Unhappy How to determine if AC drain pipe is clogged

A couple of days ago, my husband noticed water around our central AC unit that sits on the floor of our basement. He also noticed water stain on the floor around the unit. He thinks the drain pipe might be clogged. So, he put an empty paint can right below the drain pipe (click here for picture 1 and here for picture 2). There is now water in the can.

We don't think this is related, but he recently replaced the AC filter with a Merv8 filter. Unfortunately, the filter is the wrong size and he had to make adjustments to the filter. This shouldn't cause the unit to leak, right? We don't think so, but, figure we should disclose everything.

So, our questions are:
1. Is the drain pipe clogged? If it is, how can we unclog it? The pipe looks sealed.
2. The unit is 11 years old and has been serviced only once several years ago. How often should it be serviced?

Thanks for your help.
 
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Old 06-15-10, 08:27 PM
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duct tape a wet vac hose to the end of the drain line to pull anything out that may be clogging the line. You might want to take off the units coil access panel to look at the coil to make sure it is not freezing up. Check this out: You should have 200 square inches of filter face area for each ton of cooling capacity if you use a MERV 5 or less filter media. For instance on a 5 ton unit you would want 2 - 20 x 25 filter grilles minimum. If you go up to MERV 8 type filter you will have to have a lot more filter face area to keep the airflow high enough to prevent coil freeze up. The coils should be cleaned on a annual basis.
 
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Old 06-15-10, 08:33 PM
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First check the pipe itself, make sure the pipe is not leaking. If not, then you may have to open the AC panel to find out what is going on inside.
 
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Old 06-19-10, 10:08 AM
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i think i figured out the problem but want to check that i am doing the right thing. At the point where the drain pipe connects to the a/c there are two outlets. you can see this on the first picture. there are other places on the panel that have similar two outlet points but all of these are plugged and not used. The one next to the white drain pipe is open. I ran the a/c for about 20 minutes this morning and then when I shut it off, water poured from this second open outlet. I put in a plug which stopped the water. Possibly the original plug popped out but I don't see anything around on the floor. I just want to make sure that this unused outlet is intended to be blocked.

thanks
 
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Old 06-19-10, 08:40 PM
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as stated above-if you can locate the other end of the 'white 'pipe- use a wet vac to 'un clog' it!

or-cut the short horizontal pipe in the middle/ install a'T' fitting with an up pipe & cap.
will need a source of compressed air -to 'blow' the pipe clear.

hope this helps!
 
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Old 06-20-10, 10:02 AM
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that outlet is the secondary drain, its only leaking water because your original line is plugged up. could be at the coil itself or in the pvc. just cut the pvc after the pea trap if you have one and blow until u clear it or use one of these other ideas already stated.
 
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Old 06-20-10, 07:43 PM
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Thank you.

I cut the white pipe and cleared it out and cleared out the elbow back into the A/C. I was able to pour a gallon of water down the pipe without it backing up so I think I am OK there. After I put everything back together I still got a little dripping out of the second drain hole but no where near as much as previously. I took the panel off and it appears that some water does sit in the drip pan even though I cleared out the pipe. is this normal? The sitting water is probably why the pipes gunked up.

Also, is it ok that the condensate from the A/C would be drained basically into the ground under the basement floor? Would it make sense to replace this set up with a condensate pump?
 
 

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