Mysterious Leak - Ideas?

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Old 08-19-13, 07:08 AM
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Mysterious Leak - Ideas?

Good Morning All,

So, it appears something relating to the AC condenser within my central AC is leaking. I can't figure out how / where.

Any feedback appreciated. Thanks!

========= What I Can See =========

The floor in the basement has substantial amounts of water on it during hot humid days. Turn the AC off, and no more water.

There's evidence of water below the AC condensor on the furnace, see images below:





========= What I've tried already =========

- I've done a tray test (poured water into the tray, it drains just fine, no leaks).

- I've tried cleaning the condenser coils.


========= More Images ==========

So, I don't know what other information is useful, but I've taken a number of other images in case they may shed light. See below.















 
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Old 08-19-13, 07:23 AM
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FYI, the condenser coil is in the outside (compressor) unit. The evaporator coil is inside above the furnace (in your installation).

Can you tell how the water is getting to the floor? Is it running down the side of the furnace? If possible, you need to try to identify the source of the water. It's almost certainly condensate, however if the drain pan is draining correctly, the condensate should be piped out and not end up on the floor. Have you always had this problem, or is this something that's relatively new? If you've always had it, then it's likely a design/installation problem. However, if it's just started, then most likely one of the drain pipes is clogged. If possible, take a shop vac and try to vacuum out the drain line.
 
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Old 08-19-13, 07:30 AM
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Re: Bob14525

Thanks Bob,

I appreciate the education .

Answers to your questions:

1. The issue just began after 15 years of working fine.

2. We don't know where the water originates from, the only evidence of source is the water shown in the first image sitting on top of the furnace (just below the yellow sticker, between the two holes). Our best guess is that it's coming from somewhere inside the unit, and trickling down onto the top of that large brown "York" box.

You mention "One of your drain pipes" is clogged" - I understood there was only one drain pipe. Am I missing one? We did try pouring water into the tray and it seemed to drain.

Thanks,
Keith
 
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Old 08-19-13, 07:32 AM
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Last set of pictures looks like an abandon humidifier still plumbed into the system. If that's the case, it should be removed and the duct work sealed back up. Also the insides of the ducts look to be extremely dirty, might want to look into having them cleaned out.

Does the water appear to be coming from the ducts sweating or leaking out of the evaporator housing, just above the furnace? Pictures seem to show lots of rust on the outsides of the duct work. Do you have a dehumidifier in the basement?
 
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Old 08-19-13, 07:44 AM
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Re: Tom

1. Yep, that's an abandoned humidifier. Sorry for the red herring. It's not involved.

2. We do try to dehumidify the basement. When the AC's on and working that's not a problem. Otherwise dehumidify when it gets damp. In general the basement's pretty dry, but with the current leak issue it's much moister .

=== Ducts Sweating VS Evaporator Housing Leak ===

Great question... I'm not sure how I would test either?

I looked through youtube for videos, found lots relating to broken trays / drains, but couldn't find any that dealt with "other" issues.

Thanks for all the great feedback!
 
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Old 08-19-13, 09:17 AM
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Keith, sorry, I shouldn't have said "pipes" (plural) as it appears that you only have a single drain pipe. In looking at your setup as pictured, is the water on top of the furnace along the entire top or more on the right or left side? It appears that your drain is on the left side (as pictured), and that should be the lowest corner of the pan, so that the water runs towards the drain pipe. If there appears to be more water on the right side, then perhaps there is a leak in the pan or it's not tilted properly.

BTW, I used to occasionally have condensate leak out of my pan. It appeared to be coming from around where the drain pipe went into the condensate tray. I took some silicone sealant and put a liberal bead all around the pipe where it attached to the tray. I haven't had a problem since. I'm not saying that's your problem, but it could be something similar.
 
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Old 08-19-13, 09:26 AM
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You might be able to see what's going on if you remove the humid. hose from the supply side and use a mirror and flashlight to peek in there. Looks like a slab coil designed for horizontal installs. Never seen one installed like that, but if it worked fine before..etc.
 
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Old 08-19-13, 05:44 PM
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How much of the drain pan can you see? I bet you have a crack somewhere in the pan. Are you able to raise the plenum above the coil? Do you feel comfortable enough to raise the coil off the drain pain and check the pan for cracks?
 
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Old 08-19-13, 08:50 PM
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I have basically the same furnace.

That does look like a horizontal type evaporator coil. Typically that furnace would use an A coil.



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Could use an insulated terminal on there.
 
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