Gurgling in the Water Drain


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Old 12-14-04, 06:21 PM
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Gurgling in the Water Drain

I am a new person to this web site and I sure good use an answer to a irritation we are having with our Carrier Heat Pump (Electric air/heat). During the winter months in the heat mode we hear a gurgling sound in the downstairs half bathroom sick. Yes, this is where the primary condensor tray drains for the air conditioning. Everytime the heat unit comes on the sink starts to gurgle and doesn't stop until the unit upstairs shuts off. Originally I was told it was air related and to drill a hole in the flush pipe cap. This resolved the issue all last winter. Well, this winter it is not helping. What I do find helpful to stop the noise is to run bleach and water through the flush pipe. This stops the noise for about 2-3 weeks and then it comes back. Does anyone have an idea as to what is causing this and how to stop it???

Thanks
 
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Old 12-14-04, 06:36 PM
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It may be caused by algae buildup in the condensate drain line, if bleach helps solve it for 2-3 weeks and then it comes back. Sounds like the unit may be pulling air back up the condensate line somehow, and gurgling through algae.
We have a Carrier heatpump (outside) and I have to flush out the outsidde condensate line on the unit once or twice a year due to algae buildup. I couldn't hear if it gurgled or not because of the operating noise of the unit.
Can you borrow a portable air tank or compressor to blow the line clear of any thick algae gunk buildup, and then pour bleach down it and then flush it with water?
Try that.
Good Luck!
Mike
 
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Old 12-15-04, 05:43 AM
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It just sounds like the condensate trap is drying out. They do sell trap primers but if it's not to much hassle just add the water every couple weeks to keep the a/c trap full.
 
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Old 12-15-04, 04:32 PM
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Hey, now that makes a lot of sense. What you are saying is to put maybe a cup or two of water in the condensation drain pan every two weeks or so it won't dry out?
 
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Old 12-16-04, 05:34 AM
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Yes, exactly.
 
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Old 12-18-04, 08:13 PM
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Wink

in the heat mode we hear a gurgling sound in the downstairs half bathroom sick. Yes, this is where the primary condensor tray drains for the air conditioning. Everytime the heat unit comes on the sink starts to gurgle and doesn't stop until the unit upstairs shuts off.
Like has been said here . Yes the trap will dry out for sure.What gets me here is that gurgle you say you hear in the sink. To me that can mean the drain line from the AC is fixed to the sewer line there, And that is not to code at all . When teh trap is dry you can get the sewer gas methane in to the home and that is not good . So check out this dran line for sure

ED
 
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Old 12-23-04, 06:29 AM
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Apparently it is code in Texas since our primary drain line is connected to the drain pipe in the downstairs bathroom sink. It is not your normaly PVC connection to the drain, but a very elaborate hook-up. Would imagine the contraption prevents gas flow from the sewer up the pipe. I tried the recommendation above concerning putting water in the drain pan, but however, the drain pipe for the pan does not go through the primary drain line, it goes out the backup pipe that comes out of a drain in the ceiling in the back porch. I have a feeling the recommendation aluded to putting water in the pan where the primary line drains. Except that pan is inside the unit and that means pulling off the cover. Any more ideas??
 
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Old 12-25-04, 11:41 PM
coldmechanic
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Optionally, you can put a Tee in the piping at the unit downstream of the
trap. sink drain ----- T --- trap --- Unit.
This way instead of it pulling air in from the sink drain, it will pull air in from the open end of the Tee instead. Of course, this should all agree with your local building codes.
 
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Old 12-27-04, 11:16 AM
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Very common and to code in Texas. The A/C drain actually comes into the sink drain above the sink drain trap, thus the gurgle sound. Unless the trap dries out, sewer gas can't back into the condensation drain. In theory, this is hooked to a sink drain where water will be run periodically to keep trap full. There should be a bend in the condensate pipe as it comes out of the furnace drain pan and a tee with an open top just before the bend. The bend holds water and the tee releives air pressure. In the winter sometimes the water in the bend can dry out and allow air to flow through the pipe. Adding water every few days can releive the problem, but the real solution is to put in a bigger bend that holds more water. I've even seen a series of 90 degree fittings used to make a bigger trap. This year is testing all the systems around here. Hate to see my gas bill this month...

Doug M.
 
 

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