Condo A/C Unit Leaking Water

Reply

  #1  
Old 08-27-12, 10:09 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Condo A/C Unit Leaking Water

I have an A/C unit built into my condo which is leaking water. I opened the access panel in the ceiling and was not able to identify any leaks from the pipes or joints. However, if I reach up and dip my hand into this rectangular box (drip pan??), there is some water in it. Links to pictures are provided below.

Based upon my limited Internet research (and no HVAC experience), I am thinking the drip pain is not draining. I'm not even certain of how to try cleaning it. It's not easy to access.

Any thoughts on the problem and how to fix it?

Edit: In the 4th picture, there is a fitting on the pipe that looks like I can access the copper drain tube. Should I try removing the top and running a snake through it? There are some strange bends in the pipe that may be difficult for a snake.

Thanks!

Pictures:
http://img855.imageshack.us/img855/3889/dsc02786mc.jpg
http://img641.imageshack.us/img641/8793/dsc02787k.jpg
http://img543.imageshack.us/img543/3488/dsc02788ai.jpg
http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/2234/dsc02789mj.jpg
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 08-27-12, 03:42 PM
hvactechfw's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 6,245
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
yep, it looks like the trap is likely plugged. You will need to clear out the drain line somehow. If you cant figure out how you will need to call a pro.
 
  #3  
Old 08-28-12, 07:07 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Long post...please bear with me as I try to explain what I'm facing and really want advice before I call a pro and potentially get ripped off....

Pictures
http://img809.imageshack.us/img809/4...0828182329.jpg
http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/909...0828182307.jpg
http://img821.imageshack.us/img821/6...0828182258.jpg

Quick background
This is a condo built ~10 years ago. No known AC problems in the past several years. It used to be rented out, so I'm guessing the tenants would have told me. It sat empty for about a year, and then I moved into it last year.

Description of the pan and pipes
(Please reference the pictures provided in the original post and new picture links above.)

The water pan is about 1.5 inch in height, 40 inches in width, and 5 inches in depth. It sits level with 2 screws mounting it to the wall and two copper pipes attached to it. One pipe has a fitting that is welded high up on the pan. So, the water level would have to fill up at least 1/2 inch of the pan before it started draining. The other pipe has a fitting that is welded lower in the pan but would still need the pan to fill up about 1/4 inch before reaching the drain. This pipe attached lower on the pan is the one with the "Use this drain" written on the pan (reference pictures).

The pipes attached to the "Use this drain" fitting angle upwards from the wall and then downwards toward the pan. The pan actually sits at a lower level than the drain pipe when it goes into the wall. In addition, the pipe has multiple bends.

The "use this drain" piping has two short vertical pipes welded to it, which I believe are intended for overflow or cleaning. The vertical pipe closer to the pan (and before all the bends) is welded shut. The vertical pipe closer to the wall is not covered. It is not filled with water but there is some moisture if I push a little towel into it.

What I have tried...
I ran a drain snake through the pipes with minimal success. I can't get it to go all the way through due to the tight bends in the pipe. The drain pipe has a FIVE 90degree bends close together. The pipe seems relatively clear up to the bends.

My Questions
Before I call a pro to help, I'd like to get some additional opinions.... More specifically, I'd like some thoughts on whether its even installed correctly.

1. Is it normal for water to just sit in the pan? Shouldn't the pan be tilted to allow draining of all water? Because it is level, at least 1/4 inch of water would always be in the pan until it evaporates. The angles of the drain pipe seem to make the situation worse...

2. The pipes go upward from the wall, and then downwards towards the pan. The pan still sits at a lower level than the pipe. There are also 5 tight bends in the pipe. This doesn't seem like it would allow it to drain easily. Any expert thoughts on this?

3. What should I try next????? I almost feel like I should get a pro to redo the piping and remount the pan. However, it seemed to have worked without dripping for so many years...

Help!
 
  #4  
Old 08-28-12, 07:14 PM
hvactechfw's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 6,245
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
First I don't appreciate you insinuating that pro's will rip you off. I'm probably taking what you said the wrong way, but I still will give my opinion of your situation.

1. you probably will have some water sit in the pan.

2. It drained for years before and it will drain now. Part of your drain is a trap. The trap is likely clogged.

3. You should try devising something that will BLOW the line out.
 
  #5  
Old 08-28-12, 07:45 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thank you for the very fast response. I didn't mean to insinuate that a pro would rip people off. Poor choice of wording on my part + frustration with no AC on a 100 degree day.

The overall installation of it just seems odd to my untrained eye. And, you're right...it worked before and probably just isn't draining fast enough now. With the tight bends for the trap and overall lack of space, I'll leave it to a pro.

I will not have time for someone to come out to see it for a couple days. I'll update the thread then in case the info is helpful to someone in the future.

Thanks again.
 
  #6  
Old 09-20-12, 06:44 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Here's an update for those that may find it useful in the future....

They could not blow the drain pipe from the drip pan because of the lack of space. However, the drain pipe met up with the drain pipe for a bathroom sink. So, they tried blowing air from the bathroom drain. It didn't seem like anything was blocking the trap. (And this was later confirmed when the trap was cut-off).

They determined that because the drain pipe was at an upward angle, there's no way it could drain properly. The drip pan sat lower than the drain pipe. So, they recommended installing a condensation pump. The pump sits lower than the pan so the water can drain down into it and then be pumped upwards to the drain pipe. A low profile unit had to be used and just barely fits.

This fix, while very expensive, made sense to me. Now the pan is completely empty all of the time.

For those in a similar situation, you can buy a pump on Amazon for fairly cheap and the install doesn't seem hard. It took two pro's about 1.5 hrs to install, test, and clean up. Just make sure you have the right tools and figure out what wires to splice into to power the pump.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


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