Drain line plugged on air handler unit - need advice


  #1  
Old 07-13-11, 05:46 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 367
Received 2 Upvotes on 2 Posts
Drain line plugged on air handler unit - need advice

Hi all,

My a/c unit has been running fine for about 5 years since it was installed - compressor is outside and air handler is in the attic. The drain line is plumbed into the gutter lining the roof on the 2nd floor and the drain pan is plumbed to the same gutter (both not viewable unless you are on a ladder and looking inside the gutter).

Last night I noticed that there was water comming from the ceiling / wall in the middle bedroom. When I went up into the attic I noticed that the overflow pan was full of water. Suspecting it was a clogged drain line I tried to fish a snake to clean it out (there is no clean out plug) but couldn't get to it. I then took my shop vac, attached it to my garden hose, and cleared the clog from where the drain line enters the gutter.

The reason for the leak in the middle bedroom was one of the support rods (the unit is suspended from the ceiling) was overhanging the pan and the backed up water leaked out of the unit onto the support rod and down in the ceiling - see red circle in the pic:



Not wanting to get up on a ladder at 11 PM again I want to know if I can / should install a clean out in the existing drain. If so, where?



The unit is draining fine now however because of the back up the foil covered insulation on the inside of the unit is soaked and I am fearful it may cause the unit to rust.

So specifically, here are my questions:

1) Can I install a clean out plug in the drain line shown in the pic above?
2) Should I cut the support so it does not overhang the drip pan?
3) Is there any way to plumb the over flow drain so I can see it? It goes directly into the gutter so I am thinking of putting a couple elbows or even a tube so I can see if it is dripping - not sure if putting more 90 degree elbows so it goes up and over the gutter edge will cause the water to flow back.
4) What do I do about the insulation in the air handler? Will it dry or should I replace it? If so, where would I even get it that thin and foil covered? How about replacing it with foam board insulation?
5) I read that pouring bleach down the drain tube will prevent alge / mold growth. Good idea? Can I pour it from the inside or will that harm the metal in the unit?
6) I am relgious about changing the filters (primary every month and AprilAire mega filter attached to the air handler once a year). Is there any other maintenance I should do?


Many thanks for your assistance!
 
  #2  
Old 07-13-11, 06:40 PM
airman.1994's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: VA
Posts: 5,491
Upvotes: 0
Received 8 Upvotes on 8 Posts
Yes a clean out should be installed. It should have been installed when the unit was replaced. Isolation pads should have been used hard to tell from pick. Wet switch should have been installed so you would never have to deal with this. Also again hard to see but very nice romex conecter. Was this just a guy working out of his garage.
 
  #3  
Old 07-14-11, 03:08 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 367
Received 2 Upvotes on 2 Posts
Airman - thanks for the reply. Not quite sure why you are so hostile towards me as I did not do this work but selected a company that was established in my area.
 
  #4  
Old 07-14-11, 06:34 PM
R
Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: nj
Posts: 526
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
you can replace the 90 coming out of the unit with a tee fitting and cap to provide a clean out. yes you can pour bleach down (not too much, but they make coil cleaner which is probably a better alternative) you can repipe the end of it so you can see if its draining. the extra fitttings wont hurt as long as you dont go higher than the starting point of the drain. anywhere there is a belly or sag, provides a place for dirt and muck to collect so try to get any sags out. you should also pipe the secondary drain into the pan with a wet switch, this way you will know if there is a problem (wet switch will shut down system if it senses water) other than that keep up on the good maintenance. get some foaming evap coil cleaner and spray that on once a year, and try to hose down your condenser atleast twice a year.
 
  #5  
Old 07-14-11, 07:21 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 367
Received 2 Upvotes on 2 Posts
RDSTREAM - Thanks for the info. I was recommended to get one of these:



That looks like it would be perfect but I am concerned I will not have the room to fit it in.

As far as piping the overflow drain I would have to go over the wall of the gutter so I don't think I could do it without going over the starting point. It isn't much (maybe an inch or two) but it would likely be higher than the drain point for the overflow.

Great idea on the coil cleaner - I will get some tomorrow.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: