Did you know that your central A/C unit can extract up to 25 gallons of moisture a day from your home? All that water is usually deposited into a condensate pan where it flows outside your home or into the household drain system. If there are condensate drain problems, it could spell trouble for your air conditioning system.
Common Problems Caused by Malfunctioning Condensate Drains
- Condensate tray iced over. This is more likely a problem with the airflow over the evaporator coils. If system air does not flow fast enough over the coils, ice can start to build up. Eventually that icing is going to reach the condensate tray and drain. The solution may be as simple as changing the A/C air filter.
- Drain pan overflows. An overflowing or leaking drain pan can cause puddling around the condensate pan and damage to your ceilings . This can happen if the drain is clogged and the water overflows. It can also occur if the pan itself springs a leak.
- Power to the A/C is cut off. Many condensate pans have an overflow safety sensor. If the water in the pan comes close to the top, the sensor will shut the entire system down. This prevents overflows.
- Noxious odors are coming out of your A/C system. This can be a sign of two things. If your condensate drains into your home’s sewage system, you may be smelling sewer gases. That can happen if the condensate drain trap is dry. Another cause of a smelly A/C may be a buildup of mold, mildew and algae in the condensate tray. This happens if the tray does not drain properly.
If you are experiencing condensate drain problems, you should call in an HVAC professional. While you may be able to fix the problem temporarily, many of these drain problems can reoccur without the proper attention.
Contact us at Wolff Mechanical if your condensate pan or drain is not working properly or you have any other troubles with your central air conditioning.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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