Leaking Central AC Unit

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Old 05-12-14, 03:16 PM
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Leaking Central AC Unit

So I have googled enough to know that this is a relatively common problem, but google hasn't helped me find a solution. The Condenser (?) of my central AC unit starting leaking at the end of the 2012 season. Over the course of last summer it got progressively worse.

The unit is in my garage and there is a run of tubing (~30') that goes across the ceiling and out to a drain next to my driveway. Most of the suggestions on the internet dealt with clearing a clogged drain tube. I tried blowing air through the tube and using a shop fact suck out anything in the tube, but I just fired up my AC for this first time this year, and the leak is as strong as ever.

There is water trickling out of the drain tube into the drain outside, but it seems like more of it is running down the unit that out to the drain.

I took pictures of the leak and the pump. Anyone have any ideas?

Leaking AC - Imgur

It seems to be leaking right out of that red plug, I but I haven't tried removing the plug.
 
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Old 05-12-14, 04:42 PM
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I can't tell anything from the second picture but it is quite likely that the red plug is the source of the current leak. Remove that plug, cleanout any crud and then wrap the threads of the plug with Teflon tape or use a Teflon paste that is labeled safe for plastic and replace the plug. Tighten it moderately but not extremely tight.
 
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Old 05-12-14, 04:56 PM
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In the picture below.... cut the pipe where the red line is. Unscrew the fitting off the plenum. That right angle or just inside the plenum is going to be clogged. If water leaks out of the red plug it means it's not draining out of the primary drain.

You can use a 3/4" PVC coupling to repair the drain pipe. Try it without gluing it. This way it's easier to clean next time.

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Old 05-12-14, 05:05 PM
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Heck, if you are going to start cutting the drain piping cut it all out and replace the elbows with threaded crosses. Use brass plugs (with Teflon) in the extra holes and then you can simply remove the plugs and run a bottle brush through the pipes to thoroughly clean them. That's the way it should have been piped from the beginning.
 
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Old 05-12-14, 05:16 PM
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Last edited by clocert; 05-12-14 at 05:26 PM. Reason: already mentioned by others.
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Old 05-12-14, 05:50 PM
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I have been known to bubba the job and use a 6" - 12 " piece of heater hose , large enough to slip over the PVC , in place of a coupling . Two screw clamps and it is tight . But can be easily removed .

The idea of the cross with 2 plugs is a good idea , too .

God bless
Wyr
 
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Old 05-12-14, 07:00 PM
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Like your idea Wyr. Seems simpler, and effective.
 
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Old 05-12-14, 07:05 PM
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Thanks fellas. I appreciate the suggestions. I tried to retape the red plug, but that didn't work. I don't have any extra PVC on hand, so I'll run out to the store tomorrow and grab some and then trying taking it apart. I'll let you know what happens one way or the other.
 
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Old 05-17-14, 01:51 PM
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I can't thank you guys enough. I made the cut that PJmax suggested. I was immediately disheartened when the bend to the right of the cut was clear, but when I checked the other side, it was completely blocked. It was odd, because I think the blockage was actually in the down tube, if not it was right at that bend. It almost looked like a piece of plastic had closed off the tube. In any event, now that the blockage is cleared the leak stopped and the AC is working fine. I also took your advice and didn't glue the coupling so I won't need to cut it next time it clogs.

Thanks again!
 
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Old 05-17-14, 02:03 PM
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That is unusual. The clog is usually at the unit. There may may have been a burr in that pipe catching lint/crap.

Anyway.... all is well again. Thanks for stopping back.
 
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