Damper Dilemma?

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Old 07-16-15, 09:10 AM
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Damper Dilemma?

Thanks in advance for your help!

I have a 2-story 2-zone system with a single ac unit and a damper to control which zone receives cooling. Unit was installed in 2005, and air filters are changed regularly. As far as I can tell the ac unit is functioning properly, and I measure 55 Ė 60 F coming from the vents. The vents downstairs blow hard, however, I have noticed that the upstairs vents donít have as much air pressure as I remember. They are pretty weak. Furthermore, when upstairs (zone 2) is calling for cold I can still feel air coming out the vents downstairs (zone 1). Is it possible the damper is stuck or not shunting air properly? But, when downstairs (zone 1) calls for cold nothing comes out of the vents upstairs? How do I check this, and what sort of service can be done to the damper?

Another thing I noticed while I was poking around was a good deal of cold air coming from the condensate tubes (see blue arrows in picture). Both the primary line (which is usually capped, I removed it for the photo), and the secondary line have noticeable airflow. Donít want to pay to cool my attic when the unit can barely keep the upstairs cold!

Again, thanks for your time. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 
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Old 07-16-15, 01:20 PM
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The two plastic pipes with the blue arrows should be capped. The vent is the pipe without the blue arrow. You shouldn't feel any air coming out of the vent pipe since there is a P trap present. The vertical pipe with the blue arrow was probably put in to make it easy to pour bleach into the system to keep the drain lines clean. I would cap it without gluing the cap on. Then you can easily remove it to put bleach in.

As for the dampers, it sounds like the dampers may not be opening or closing fully. However, without knowing what it looks like or how easy it is to access the internals, we probably can't be of much help. If you can open up the damper assembly, hopefully you'll find "lint" is preventing things from working properly and a simple cleaning will restore proper operation.
 
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Old 07-16-15, 01:32 PM
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Hi Bob,

Thanks for the feedback. I will look at the damper tonight and will post some more pictures. Regarding the pipes, I'll leave the vent open and cap the vertical pipe like you suggest. But, should I feel cool air through the drain pipe in the overflow pan (horizontal blue arrow)? Thanks!
 
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Old 07-16-15, 01:40 PM
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The reason you're feeling air coming out of the horizontal pipe is because there's no P trap in it. The air being blown through the evaporator coil is partially escaping through the open pipe. I would either cap it, or put a P trap in. However, since it is the secondary drain line, it shouldn't normally have any water in it (unless the primary drain line is plugged), so I'm not sure how effective a P trap would be there. I would suggest just capping that line.
 
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