Condensate drainage issue, drain has been cleared

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Old 06-21-15, 07:25 PM
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Condensate drainage issue, drain has been cleared

Greetings,

I recently bought an older house, the central AC on it is almost 20 years old. I recognize that it will need a new one soon but I am trying to keep it limping along until my raise next year. After running the AC for about two weeks, I noticed that condensate from the condenser (located in the attic) has begun leaking water through on to my bed (it was a heck of an alarm clock). The previous owner had this issue last year and told me it was because the condensate pan was not level. He said it was re-leveled and continued to drain properly. I checked the pan and it's not perfectly level but when I put water through it, it all drains rather quickly. That said, there is not really any way to level it since he basically wedged it in there and filled everything with foam (this guy was a DIY'er with no respect for code/industry standards). After checking the pan in the condenser I discovered that the AC does not leak if the access panel is off. I have opened the panel right after leaks begin and there is no ice so the off-level parts are not freezing up as far as I can tell. When I put the panel back on it starts leaking almost within minutes. Is it possible the pressure within the unit is preventing the gravity-fed drain from working properly? It's not done correctly according to local code (no P-trap, no secondary drain in place either) but there is no way to put a P-trap in to see if this is the issue since all the ducting is immediately under the drain/condenser unit and there is no space. If I disconnect the drain and watch it, I can see as soon as I put the access panel back on the condenser, the drip slows down (almost in half). Would installing a pump to drain this help or would I need to decrease the pressure inside to allow it to drain better-or- is it just condensing too cold and this issue is really just the beginnings of a leak or the condenser coming to the end of it's life? Any advice would be appreciated!
 
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Old 06-21-15, 07:57 PM
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They have running traps that don't take up much space.Also a tee cut in with a short piece of pipe going above the pan and open at the top might help. Good luck with it.
 
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Old 06-21-15, 09:14 PM
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Is this an air handler with electric heat or a gas furnace?

Gas furnaces rarely require a trap and air handler almost always require a trap to drain properly.

I suspect that you are calling an evaporator coil or an air handler a condenser.

This a condenser...
Name:  condenser.jpeg
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Old 06-22-15, 06:32 PM
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I don't have a furnace,I have a radiator system. I do have an AC unit like the picture outside the house, but I also have a box with coils/fins inside the house directly under the fan inside. I guess I assumed the condenser was the one inside since it's where the water is leaking from and where the air is exchanged. I'm going off half-guesses so I may have my terminology off... evaporator makes much more sense.

I have re-leveled the pan best I can, tried installing a vent in the line and it still leaks when I put the panel on. I am wondering if it won't leak when the panel is off simply because it's not getting cold enough to condense water and that it might not be pressure inside the unit at all?


If we run the AC the water drips on my husband when he is asleep... At this point I am second guessing myself and wondering if water can condense inside the duct to drip this much because the duct is right under the pan and I am thinking now I don't even know what might be dripping.

When I look in the evaporator I can't see ice forming in the pan, but it is possible since It's rather difficult to visualize-that side of the pan is against the wall and the guy that put this in really wedged it in tight. Would installing a pump be a waste of time? Would it move the water out any faster than the gravity fed drain? I recognize that if its condensing in the duct this wont help but I am trying to go to the next logical step to rule stuff out. I am so grateful for the advice. I can't thank you enough.
 
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Old 06-22-15, 08:40 PM
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If you cut in a vent test it by putting a small flame to the top opening. If it sucks in you need a trap. My guess is a running trap will only be two or three inches deep. Maybe you need to redo a good section to get a good slope if what you got there does not drain well. You sure it's not slow because of build up ?
 
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Old 07-16-15, 05:10 PM
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Okay So I put in a new AC... and it still leaks!

Okay friends I need some serious help. I had the whole unit replaced and I still am having condensation dripping from one spot in the ductwork. It is the same place it was leaking before although not nearly as bad. I called the tech back and all he did was open the access panel to decrease the pressure (which was what I was doing before I even replaced the unit) so I am a little unhappy. Before I call them back, I would like to have an idea of what could be causing this. I have been told it could be related to the set up-The blower fan is on top of the evaporator blowing the air downward into the duct. I have been told that ideally the ductwork should be on top with the fan blowing upwards through the coil or on it's side. The condensation is about six inches from where ducting leaves under the evaporator. I have also noticed the house is rather humid (50% on avg even when the AC runs). Is it possible that the air coming out is too humid due to the setup? This was the technicians next guess. I am losing trust with this guy and am already out 4g but the dumping buckets of water is killing me! Oh and yes they installed a vent so that wasn't the issue.
 
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