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gnostic19 03-20-2011 11:48 AM

drain pipe from HVAC in attic dripping on to sheetrock
We had a new HV AC installed like 5 years ago in the attic. Had been running w/o issue. About 2 months ago we had the sheetrock in ceiling ripped out and replaced.

Now, after having AC running for last week as weather has warmed, i noticed something. I heard a dripping sound this AM and looked up in kitchen and say water dripping from the corner of the room, just at the edge of ceiling. Crawled up in attic to check out and noticed that a 1" diameter PVC pipe connencted to AC unit in attic was dripping water onto ceiling. I've never had this problem in 5 years, so don't know if sheetrock guys accidentally ripped off connecting piece that ran to outside of house or if this drain pipe has been laying there all this time w/o any drainage coming out. There are actually two PVC drain pipes, one shooting off in direction of cooling pipe(thick, black wrapped pipe running from AC unit outside to system in attic) and this one. The former actually runs to outside of house. The one dripping inside attic is not, though there is some silicon on outside of pipe, indicating that maybe another piece was connected to it at some point.

Anyway, the pipe in question is running in the direction of a framed overhang that shades my front porch. I looked outside to see if there was a drain hole outside house where pipe would have drained to, and see nothing, though where it is aimed at there is a structured overhang that shades front porch, meaning the exterior frame of house on that side actually doesn't see outside of house, as there is the framed porch overhang. So even if there were PVC pipe that got separated that led outside it would have no where to go that i can see, so maybe it has been laying there in attic all along.

Anyways, i guess i need to call HVAC people and ask them to check it out? Is there anyway i could fix this myslef, assuming HVAC people will want funds to look at it? Is this normal in HVAC installation, to have a drain pipe just laying in middle of house?

Kinda pissed cause new ceiling got wet, about a 4"x12" area, right at corner of room. It will dry and be ok, right, though will have to Kilz and paint it? It's 5/8" variety. I had a left over piece from construction sitting outside in rain for 2 weeks and it's dry as a bone now, with integrity seemingly in tact.

Appreciate any help, and congratulations on reaching end of this diatribe.

52Caddy 03-20-2011 12:21 PM

That's the condensate drain from the evaporator coil in the furnace. That either needs to get run outside or to a drain. If it didn't leak on your ceiling before, it was running someplace. I would assume the guys working on the sheet rock disturbed it.
I'd look around and see if I could find where it's supposed to go. Like I said, it had to go somewhere before.

Hubcap626 03-20-2011 04:20 PM

I don't understand why there would be caulk around the pipe. Check that to see if it's leaking there. Seems like it's piped ok just check it's not clogged.

gnostic19 03-20-2011 10:18 PM

Hub, seems like silicone was there to connect it to another piece, cause it's smoothed out at end and gets bigger as you go back toward HVAC. Only like 2" of it.

The pipes run like 12 ft from HVAC before coming to an end over kitchen. No real give in moving from left to right, and it's sitting on those crossbeams above sheetrock, so don't get why or how they could disturb it that much. There's nothing around there that looks like a pipe going down to crawl space under house that this drain pipe would drain to. Weird, right.

So this pipe would always be draining, no chance that it just started draining after two weeks of running it? Didn't think so.

Doc Holliday 03-20-2011 10:23 PM


unicursalhex 03-21-2011 12:26 AM

Maybe the AC installers didn't glue the pvc drain and the sheetrockers breathed on it and it came apart? I see this non-sense all the time, some guys just don't like gluing their pipe, unreal.

Hubcap626 03-21-2011 12:59 PM

It just seems odd that you are now seeing anproblem 5 years later. Wait for a hot day, turn down that ac and let it run for some time to see if you can jump up there and see where it's leaking from. If the Sheetrock guys didn't touch anything then it could just be clogged and having the pipes sit over winter they clogged up.

If you can find where the pipes drain to and place a cup there and see if they fill up with water.

jdar1954 03-22-2011 03:05 PM

it actually sounds like it is the auxiliary drain that is leaking. Most all a/c units come with 2 drain from the air handler. The lower drain lets all the condensation drain outside the house,the second drain is put into a more obvious place to see it drain like through the front wall of the house(this would explain the silicone) to a place were you will see it. when the higher or auxiliary drain leaks it means there is a clog in the lower or main drain. You might be able to put a shop vac on the lower line that leads outside with the copper tubing and suck out the problem. The auxiliary line may have been moved years ago and forgotten and then system just has not clogged up.

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