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Old 06-27-2011, 10:51 PM   #1
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A/C Unit Draining Lots of Water


We have a split level A/C unit with the fan in our attic. The unit is about 15 years old. I've noticed that this season we're seeing a lot more condensation draining outside than in years past. I placed a bucket underneath the drain pipe and it looks like about .5 gallons of water in a day. Is that a sign that the unit could be too hot?

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Old 06-27-2011, 11:26 PM   #2
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A/C Unit Draining Lots of Water


thats really not that much water in one day!

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Old 06-28-2011, 05:37 AM   #3
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A/C Unit Draining Lots of Water


1/2 gallon a day, would indicate that it hasn't been working right for years. And now the air filter or coil is dirty enough that it removing more moisture.

Or you live in a very dry area.
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:53 AM   #4
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A/C Unit Draining Lots of Water


Or that's a secondary drain getting some overflow. We had to use a tall kitchen garbage can to catch condensate at home while waiting for a pump. The 12 gallon can would fill to the brim twice a day so 1/2 gallon in a day is a sign something is wrong.
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:00 PM   #5
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A/C Unit Draining Lots of Water


I was going to say half a gallon a day is nothing, if you humidity is high outside you probably have a lot in your house also, and one of the things air conditioners do is act as a dehumidifier in a sense, its part of how they cool
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:05 PM   #6
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A/C Unit Draining Lots of Water


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Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
1/2 gallon a day, would indicate that it hasn't been working right for years. And now the air filter or coil is dirty enough that it removing more moisture.

Or you live in a very dry area.

maybe their coil is a block of ice right now too?
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:58 PM   #7
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A/C Unit Draining Lots of Water


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maybe their coil is a block of ice right now too?
usually, a frozen coil has the drain blocked by the ice and over flows. So marty's suggestion of it being a secondary drain is possible.
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:16 PM   #8
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A/C Unit Draining Lots of Water


Is there a way to test to see if there's a secondary drain? Do I just need to climb in the attic and observe it running to see where the water is coming from?

It's been in the 90's until today and now it's raining and 60 deg, so I'll have to wait until it warms back up to check the operation.
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:06 AM   #9
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A/C Unit Draining Lots of Water


You'll see the pan and piping if there is a secondary drain.
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:17 PM   #10
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A/C Unit Draining Lots of Water


Sorry - I think that I misunderstood the suggestion that was made.

Is there a primary drain for the condensation and then the secondary drain is what I see dripping outside? I assume that the suggestion is that the primary drain is clogged, so the secondary drain has more volume.

Is that correct?
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:50 PM   #11
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A/C Unit Draining Lots of Water


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Sorry - I think that I misunderstood the suggestion that was made.

Is there a primary drain for the condensation and then the secondary drain is what I see dripping outside? I assume that the suggestion is that the primary drain is clogged, so the secondary drain has more volume.

Is that correct?
A secondary drain is not suppose to have any water coming from its drain line unless the primary is clogged or restricted. Code requires the secondary drain's drain line to piped so that if it discharges water, it is easily seen.

More then one install has been done in a manor that the primary can't drain correctly, and over flows into the secondary pan and then runs out the secondaries drain from day one. And the customer has no idea that he has had a problem from day one.

I'd go up in the attic and look, and trace out the drain line.
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Old 07-04-2011, 03:44 PM   #12
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A/C Unit Draining Lots of Water


I finally went up into the attic to check out what was going on. There are two drains coming out of the condensor unit. One is plumbed with PVC piping and it looks like a straight run to the house drain. The second drain is open (no connection) and it just drips directly into the drain pan which then drains to the outside. It has a steady drip going into the pan.

Is it safe to assume that they primary drain is clogged? I have connectors from my sprinkler system that I can use to remove it, unclog it, and then reattach it to the drain. Is there a special glue used?
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Old 07-04-2011, 05:25 PM   #13
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A/C Unit Draining Lots of Water


PVC glue. Yep, clogged/restricted primary drain.
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Old 07-07-2011, 05:24 PM   #14
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A/C Unit Draining Lots of Water


I replaced part of the PVC on the outlet for the primary drain. I was surprised to see that it wasn't clogged much at all, but it may not take much to have the secondary drain the lower of the two drains. The A/C ran for a full day and there was no condensation dripping out of the secondary drain.

My new problem is that I noticed that the bottom of the drain pan is discolored (hopefully not corroded) from having water sitting in it. Is it hard to replace the drain pan? I can only see that it's connected at the secondary drain outlet, but I can't see if it's connected to the A/C unit.

Our A/C is 15 years old, so I would rather just replace the pan now instead of waiting to see if it will last longer than the A/C unit.
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Old 07-07-2011, 05:54 PM   #15
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A/C Unit Draining Lots of Water


Depends if the unit is set on pads/blocks in the pan, or if the unit is suspended from the rafters.

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