Condensation Dripping From Bottom Of A-coil Compartment. - HVAC - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
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Old 06-12-2015, 12:36 PM   #1
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Condensation dripping from bottom of A-coil compartment.


This home had a soaked carpet on the other side of a nearby wall to this air handler. Found the air filter completely covered with I'm not sure what (should have taken a pic of that too). Whistling noise at filter stopped after new one installed.

Ran unit for a while (was shut off overnight prior to me arriving) and dripping started from arrow marked location in attached pic.

The dripping was directly on top of the pump at bottom of furnace cabinet (would have been going into the vents on motor housing) . Pump tank was about half full and not running. Haven't checked anything yet. Wanted your advice first.

Won't be easy to remove a panel to inspect the A-coil, but hoping that won't be necessary.

Clogged filter causing excessive condensation... then dripping on and killing pump motor, resulting in much water dripping from coil compartment and soaking the carpet ?
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Condensation dripping from bottom of A-coil compartment.-714-alllen-jovita-hernandez-high-effieciency-furnace-splilt-system-cooling.jpg2.jpg  

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Last edited by justplumducky; 06-12-2015 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 06-12-2015, 01:15 PM   #2
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Condensation dripping from bottom of A-coil compartment.


Looks like it's installed in a drywall factory.

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Old 06-12-2015, 01:24 PM   #3
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Condensation dripping from bottom of A-coil compartment.


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Looks like it's installed in a drywall factory.
Never noticed that until now, lol. I used flash on those pics - not nearly as bad as it looks. Concrete floor is actually pretty clean. That condensate pump is a little dusty though :O)

Last edited by justplumducky; 06-12-2015 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 06-12-2015, 01:42 PM   #4
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Condensation dripping from bottom of A-coil compartment.


Could be any number of problems. The procedure I would us is as follows:

1) Get a 3/4" uni-bit ( see below ) and drill a hole carefully on that sloped piece. Then enlarge the hole with sheet metal snips and check the coil for dirt or use a snake camera if you have one. If it is very dirty it needs cleaning AND if the fan is dirty then the condensing coil above it may be dirty and need cleaning.

2) Check the drain line from the coil for debris or schmutz/mold/gunk. Glued PVC sukks so I chop it and use clear hose and hose clamps and adapt it. HDepot has large clear hose sold by the foot off a roll.

3) Pour more water into the pump and see if it works. If not remove and drain it and check for mold and crud in the bottom causing the float 2 stick. Check the fan to see if water got in it. When they freeze and unthaw ice chunks can fall in or water gets in.

4) Check freon pressures and fan to see if it is clean and ducts/vents open and unobstructed.

5) Go to Western Union and wire Yuri some dough for his advice/retirement fund.
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Last edited by yuri; 06-12-2015 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 06-12-2015, 03:53 PM   #5
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Condensation dripping from bottom of A-coil compartment.


Before I did anything else, I would make sure it is not a simple blockage in the drain pipe.

That tee right under the word thumbnails should be open at the top. Run a small snake down the pipe to clear a blockage and if you can make the turn a few inches into the air handler. A properly wired condensate pump should shut down the unit if it is not working.
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Old 06-12-2015, 04:00 PM   #6
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Condensation dripping from bottom of A-coil compartment.


Quote:
Originally Posted by yuri View Post
Could be any number of problems. The procedure I would us is as follows:

1) Get a 3/4" uni-bit ( see below ) and drill a hole carefully on that sloped piece. Then enlarge the hole with sheet metal snips and check the coil for dirt or use a snake camera if you have one. If it is very dirty it needs cleaning AND if the fan is dirty then the condensing coil above it may be dirty and need cleaning.

2) Check the drain line from the coil for debris or schmutz/mold/gunk. Glued PVC sukks so I chop it and use clear hose and hose clamps and adapt it. HDepot has large clear hose sold by the foot off a roll.

3) Pour more water into the pump and see if it works. If not remove and drain it and check for mold and crud in the bottom causing the float 2 stick. Check the fan to see if water got in it. When they freeze and unthaw ice chunks can fall in or water gets in.

4) Check freon pressures and fan to see if it is clean and ducts/vents open and unobstructed.

5) Go to Western Union and wire Yuri some dough for his advice/retirement fund.
In this pump there are two float actuators. a long one and a short one. The long one turns the pump on Ok, but not sure the short does anything yet. What's the short one supposed to be for? Shut the pump down in case water level gets too high?

I'm on the way to Western Union as we speak... No, really I am! :O


Last edited by justplumducky; 06-12-2015 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 06-12-2015, 04:06 PM   #7
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Condensation dripping from bottom of A-coil compartment.


Normally the short one is the high limit/overflow level and some people wire them into the wires to the condensor.

Good to hear about the dough as I am sick of workin. Should have been born rich instead of handsome.
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Old 06-12-2015, 04:25 PM   #8
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Condensation dripping from bottom of A-coil compartment.


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Normally the short one is the high limit/overflow level and some people wire them into the wires to the condensor.

Good to hear about the dough as I am sick of workin. Should have been born rich instead of handsome.
One more question Handsome, please! (for now anyway ). If I remove the pump from the tank and actuate the pump with the long one, then immediately trip the short one (high limit/overflow) (won't leave it on very long), pump should shut down, yes? If not, could that be the reason for her soaked carpet?

Of course, the same test would be, I suppose, to trip both floats at the same time, and pump should not come on, yepper? (no risk of overheating the pump).
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Old 06-12-2015, 04:38 PM   #9
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Condensation dripping from bottom of A-coil compartment.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Colbyt View Post
Before I did anything else, I would make sure it is not a simple blockage in the drain pipe.

That tee right under the word thumbnails should be open at the top. Run a small snake down the pipe to clear a blockage and if you can make the turn a few inches into the air handler. A properly wired condensate pump should shut down the unit if it is not working.
Just saw your post. The tee right at the air handler (just below the word "thumbnails") is not open, but has a removable short piece of pvc with cap. Just leave it open?

There are two wires coming off the pump, not hooked up to anything.. have been cut short and just hanging there ( no bare wire ends however). Where should they be connected?

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Old 06-12-2015, 04:54 PM   #10
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Condensation dripping from bottom of A-coil compartment.


There are 6 or more reasons the carpet can be wet

1) Dirty filter and the coil froze up and when it defrosted it leaked as the drain was frozen.

2) Drain is partly plugged from the coil. I like to remove it and check it to see if it is blocked. If I don't and we have a callback then I am in trouble. I have seen them 1/2 blocked. Tech fishes a wire thru and a week later there is a callback because he did not clean it. I have seen little kids toys dropped in the plenum and pieces of wood chips from house construction and all kinds of debris fall into a plenum and land in the coil drain pan and block it.

3) The condensate pump did not start and overflowed.

4) The coil is not sloped properly to the drain.

5) Freon level is low and it froze up or the coil is dirty and the airflow poor and it froze up.

6) Got cold at night and they left it running with a low load and it froze up.

7) Those pumps get dirty and slimy in the bottom and need to be taken apart and cleaned occasionally. The float can stick in the slime.

8) Fan motor is seizing or running too slow or the board did not start it.

9) Poor airflow in the ducts or vents shut or blocked upstairs.

I am giving you all this info for future reference not just this one job.

All you can do is check the obvious and see if it happens again.

Not sure how you are doing your biz but if you are not charging huge $$ and they allow you to have the time then I would check it out properly not just unplug it and leave.
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Old 06-12-2015, 05:11 PM   #11
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Condensation dripping from bottom of A-coil compartment.


Printing 8 ea. pages of these posts now for my notebook, thx much. Heading back to the job again now. Get back tomorrow, hopefully.
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Old 06-13-2015, 01:40 PM   #12
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Condensation dripping from bottom of A-coil compartment.


Cleaned out the drain line thoroughly, its tee at air-handler and opening into air-handler, which wasn't blocked at all. I could actually see into (behind) the opening, because there was another port (with threaded plug) immediately next to the one with the tee connected to it (both were side by side and draining the same area inside - could put my pinky in there and wrap it around to feel the primary port, but you could actually see into that space anyway. Why a second port? Even put a small wire brush (bendable stem) into the primary port too make sure the bottom of the tee stub going into port and port itself was clear on the bottom (make sure the path of small water stream on bottom of that channel didn't have crud laying there. Maybe important, maybe not, but since I don't know for sure, better done than not.

I had removed drain pipe just below tee so I could clean it with cleaner and garden hose, and also because I wanted to see (after reinstalling it) how water would drain from the tee without the pipe connected, then compare how it comes out of the bottom of the drain pipe. I don't charge big bucks and have plenty of time, at least in this case (and most others, with occasional exceptions). Always have a very good relationship with my customers. Of of course it helps when your rates are below pro-type rates.

Pump high water limit float didn't shut off pump. Get new pump Monday morning. I now see that the those two pigtail wires on the pump are for 'connecting to the low voltage control wires.' (per instructions on pump label). Will figure that out Monday morning.

Did not yet inspect the coil to see if it needs cleaning. Thinking about buy an inspection camera. Which one do you all use? Blower compartment, blower housing and wheel very clean.

No water was dripping onto the blower housing or wheel, nor onto anything else in blower compartment. small pool of water was on the bottom of the blower compartment, with water marks (thru the dust) on sidewalls of compartment.

Turn unit on and watched a continuous, solid stream of water (1/16" thickness or less) run from drain tee at air handler. No more dripping (nada, not even wet) from arrow-marked corner in pic attached. Hung around for about 30 minutes while it ran and inspected blower compartments for dripping. Nothing.

More than 20's difference between return vent and nearest-to-air-handler floor register/vent (79 Return/57 Supply). Hot/humid day, late morning, forecasted for low 90's at least. Was hoping that's a reasonable indicator of indicator of refrigerant/R-22 (actually, do I know it's R-22? No I don't. Suction line/basement is cold and sweating. Will check pressures and coil when I go back.

Current owner's first time use of the A/C system. Prior owner ignored the air filter, so curious to inspect the a-coil. Shouldn't admit it, but didn't even think to check outdoor condenser unit until now. Maybe original owner ignored that too (system is cooling well though -- of course T-stat is set at only 75). However, 57 supply is pretty good, yes? Air flow seems very good to me (ranch home, no upstairs).

Pump model is RC151S. "Direct Result"

Just leave top of tee at air handler open? No vent-type cap is necessary?
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Condensation dripping from bottom of A-coil compartment.-714-allen-condensate-pump-floats.jpg   Condensation dripping from bottom of A-coil compartment.-001.jpg  

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Old 06-13-2015, 01:50 PM   #13
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Condensation dripping from bottom of A-coil compartment.


Nice job....is the pump turning on and off OK with the deeper float? The shorter float doesn't turn off the pump. That only controls the pigtail low voltage wires.
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Old 06-13-2015, 02:07 PM   #14
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Condensation dripping from bottom of A-coil compartment.


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Nice job....is the pump turning on and off OK with the deeper float? The shorter float doesn't turn off the pump. That only controls the snipped off low voltage wires.
Thanks - Yes, the long float turns it on (rising water level) and off consistently. I didn't reinstall pump, thinking that the short float should have shut it off (thx for correcting me), so didn't want to take a chance on it. If I check to make sure those wires have continuity (until the float rises and breaks the continuity), no need for replacement I reckon.

Left customer with their two 5-gallon buckets to catch the drainage (reinstall the drain pipe when I return), and watch frequently for dripping off the unit again. Actually recommended not to run it all until I returned, so it was their decision to do so. Only a very small amount of air was coming thru the tee at air-handler. Drain pipe was cutoff about 2 inches below tee.

I just checked the short float. Opens that circuit (those two pigtails) when pushed up, thx again!

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Old 06-13-2015, 02:19 PM   #15
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Condensation dripping from bottom of A-coil compartment.


Maybe I missed it but what ended up being the leak fix?

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