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Old 11-29-2011, 11:07 AM   #1
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condensate line cleaning


Hi,
I am finding some rust in my condensate pan so I'm going to start with cleaning the condensate lines. The primary condensate line is completely separate from the secondary line, but as you can see here there is a second "primary" condensate line tied to the secondary. (I'm not sure if I should be concerned about that or not.) What is the best way to clean these lines?

Here is a pic for illustration. The house is 13 years old.

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Old 11-29-2011, 11:15 AM   #2
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condensate line cleaning


Can you post a wider angle shot, or a couple of others that shows where that mish-mash of goober plumbing goes.

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Old 11-29-2011, 12:13 PM   #3
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condensate line cleaning


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Can you post a wider angle shot, or a couple of others that shows where that mish-mash of goober plumbing goes.
The top pipe (the one with the cleanout and the tiny p-trap) extends approx 12 feet, presumeably down the inside wall and daylights outside the home about 8" off the ground with a 90 degree elbow pointing down.

The secondary condensate pipe in the foreground extends approx 12 feet and daylights up high in the eave of the roof, also with a 90 degree elbow pointing down.


Last edited by asimba2; 11-29-2011 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:58 PM   #4
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condensate line cleaning


The real concern is why is there condensate in the secondary to begin with.Possibly a dirty primary drain pan or main drain, or even a dirty evaporator coil, or all 3 combined.Any way there are stromg chemicals made specifically for the cleaning of the coils and that same cleansing followed by a hot water rinse will normally clean the drains as well. Bleach and water is a good combination as well.
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Old 11-29-2011, 01:09 PM   #5
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condensate line cleaning


Right, I can safely assume no maintenance has been done and I am the new home owner, so I'm doing everything I can to make this last as long as possible. So far I have cleaned the debris out of the outside AC unit and cleaned the cooling fins. I had the freon checked. On to the attic...I already know the blower wheel is dirty, so that is on the list. The rust you describe worries me too, so I figured I would start by cleaning the condensate lines. I can see how the furnace and air handler come apart, however it's not clear how to get to the evaporator and primary pan. Perhaps I can post a pic later for some advice.

Should I start with attempting to shop vac the primary and secondary condensate lines or go straight to the evap/primary cleaning?

Last edited by asimba2; 11-29-2011 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:49 PM   #6
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condensate line cleaning


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Right, I can safely assume no maintenance has been done and I am the new home owner, so I'm doing everything I can to make this last as long as possible. So far I have cleaned the debris out of the outside AC unit and cleaned the cooling fins. I had the freon checked. On to the attic...I already know the blower wheel is dirty, so that is on the list. The rust you describe worries me too, so I figured I would start by cleaning the condensate lines. I can see how the furnace and air handler come apart, however it's not clear how to get to the evaporator and primary pan. Perhaps I can post a pic later for some advice.

Should I start with attempting to shop vac the primary and secondary condensate lines or go straight to the evap/primary cleaning?

Great idea! yes ! using a shop vac, pull away from the coil, so in other words, attach the shop vac at the termination point out side.I suspect that the evaporator will be dirty, if the blower wheel is dirty.
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:54 PM   #7
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condensate line cleaning


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Great idea! yes ! using a shop vac, pull away from the coil, so in other words, attach the shop vac at the termination point out side.I suspect that the evaporator will be dirty, if the blower wheel is dirty.
Great, I just wanted to make sure the suction wasn't going to damage anything inside the evaporator area.

You can barely see it in the pic above but it looks like the evaporator area is in a sealed sheetmetal box with the seams taped. How do you clean the evaporator on something like this? I suspect more pics will be needed.

Thanks so much for the advice!
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:33 PM   #8
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condensate line cleaning


The front cover should come off......
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:35 AM   #9
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condensate line cleaning


Here are a couple of pictures of the evaporator section.

Side:


From the top:


I see the bottom section is separate from the rest, presumably that's where the primary drain pan and the copper connections are made. Can I just cut the mastic at the corners and remove the upper panel to gain access to clean the evaporator coils?
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:39 AM   #10
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condensate line cleaning


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Originally Posted by asimba2 View Post
Here are a couple of pictures of the evaporator section.

Side:


From the top:
them

I see the bottom section is separate from the rest, presumably that's where the primary drain pan and the copper connections are made. Can I just cut the mastic at the corners and remove the upper panel to gain access to clean the evaporator coils?
Were the "carrier emblem is there are screws to the left of the emblem .....they are covered with mastic, so yes you have to cut the mastic. Once you are inside then you will have a A shaped panel to remove to see the bottom of the coil. I hope that black line (the suction line for the A/C, will move enough so you can get the cover off once you have the screws out.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:04 PM   #11
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condensate line cleaning


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Were the "carrier emblem is there are screws to the left of the emblem .....they are covered with mastic, so yes you have to cut the mastic. Once you are inside then you will have a A shaped panel to remove to see the bottom of the coil. I hope that black line (the suction line for the A/C, will move enough so you can get the cover off once you have the screws out.
I have the same concern--I hope there's room to clear the suction line. Any tips on removing the A-panel? And if it were you, would you also attempt to remove the top of the enclosure, or just stick to the side with the Carrier emblem?

Thank you so much for the help! The plan for this weekend is to clean the blower, the condenser and condensate lines and treat the rust on the secondary pan, so I will report back.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:34 PM   #12
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condensate line cleaning


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I have the same concern--I hope there's room to clear the suction line. Any tips on removing the A-panel? And if it were you, would you also attempt to remove the top of the enclosure, or just stick to the side with the Carrier emblem?

Thank you so much for the help! The plan for this weekend is to clean the blower, the condenser and condensate lines and treat the rust on the secondary pan, so I will report back.

or just stick to the side with the Carrier emblem? <-----YES
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:52 AM   #13
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condensate line cleaning


How long has that Carrier N coil been attached to that Goodman furnace?
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:52 AM   #14
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How long has that Carrier N coil been attached to that Goodman furnace?
It was done that way by the builder when the home was constructed in 1998. It's my first home and I had to choose between some builder short cuts here and there and older homes that seemed to have bigger issues.

Basically I am looking for everything I can do to make this work as good as possible. The house is only a little over 1500 sqft., 1 story, and it seems to take longer than expected to heat and cool. Probably 25 minutes per degree to heat and 30-35 minutes per degree to cool. A local HVAC company came out and said my ducting is good, freon levels good, I had recently cleaned the outside condenser unit, that my blower was dirty (and they assumed the evaporator would be too), and they measured the volume of intake air at the cold air return and said it was something like 800 cfm when it should be closer to 1200 cfm and recommended I buy a new $10k system. So any suggestions you have to improve on what I have is encouraged. And feel free to bash what the builder has done, I would rather know.

Here are a few more pics of the system.

Ducting in foreground coming from the cold air return to the furnace/blower:






Evaporator/air handler:


Inside the furnace:


blower:
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:26 AM   #15
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condensate line cleaning


wow........Looks like hack n wack heating and air put it in.....i dont even know were to begin......were is your filter?

just a few things right off the bat.....flexable gas line.....looks like a heavy duty extension cord for the power comming in, single wall vent that is crooked as hell and a 45,000 btu furnace......wow

You need the next size up furnace, dont know what size air you have but i bet it struggles to keep up as well.....


Last edited by harleyrider; 12-01-2011 at 10:32 AM.
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