Air Handler Drain Leaking Water Down Ext Wall Causing Damage


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Old 12-02-20, 05:27 PM
K
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Unhappy Air Handler Drain Leaking Water Down Ext Wall Causing Damage

Thank you for taking the time to review my question. I have two 5 ton Airquest air handlers (FEM4X6000BL(2) in my attic to handle 2 ground mounted heat pumps outside my home (1 for upstairs/1 for down). The unit I am having issues with handles the downstairs. It has two drains, one primary and one secondary (see photos). One drain line runs a short distance and then drops down through a wall (where it ties in to a drain presumably), and has a trap built in the PVC (as seen in pic). The second line spans across my attic and out of the soffit underneath my eave outside the house, and has no trap in the line (about 18' in the air above a window). I recently had the home stucco'd and noticed saturation of the stucco below this particular drain line (See photos). There is also a window directly beneath it, and water is leaking in and between the panes of glass.

The second unit (the one for the upstairs) also has two lines routed in a similar way, yet I NEVER see any moisture coming out of the drain line that exits my soffit for the second unit. Is it possible that the lines were not hooked up in the correct position (maybe secondary which drains to soffit hooked up in position for main accidentaly), or maybe the main line is clogged? Is it normal to see that much moisture coming out any of the drain lines? We live in the high desert area of Southern CA, very dry here. I tried to take a few pictures to show what I am looking at and appreciate ANY advice you may give! I'm relatively good at most DIY projects, but know ZERO about hvac. Thank you again!!





 
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Old 12-02-20, 06:43 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

We don't need to see where the water is coming out outside. You do though. The outside drain lines are the secondary drains. If you see water coming out of a secondary drain it means the primary is plugged. If allowed to continue.... the secondary could clog and then you'll have a waterfall inside the house.

I see insulation under your units. That means they're upstairs and if they leak they'll cause damage. Both not installed correctly. Both should have overflow pans under them. (unless they're there and I can't see them). The overflow pans should be plumbed to outside and the secondary drains should be dumping into the overflow pan.

One major reason for this is so you can clean the drain lines. Your drain lines are all glued and will have to be cut to be cleaned. Traps can get clogged and sometimes need to be cleaned but typically the clogs form at the air handler. I labeled the primary and secondary drain lines. The circle represents where most clogs are. Inside the unit at the fittings. I usually pour bleach and hot water in the secondary side to clean both fittings.


This trap is particularly effective. It has caps you can open for cleaning. It's clear so a clog is easy to see. Comes with a cleaning brush. Has a float switch. This float switch can be connected to your system to shut down when the line is full of water. (clogged) Rectorseal EZ trap w/switch
 
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Old 12-02-20, 07:52 PM
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Thanks so much for the thorough reply Pete! I did see a pan laying up there, tossed to the side and not connected to anything.... I think what I will do is order two of these Rectorseal traps you referenced (one for each air handler) and just have the technician install them when he comes to clear any clogs (and apparently install the overflow pans). Are the overflow pans still necessary with the float switch in place?
 
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Old 12-02-20, 08:10 PM
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Personally..... I like to see overflow pans in the attic. Can be tough to put in later.
A float switch on the primary line is a good thing.
 
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