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Old 06-13-2008, 08:23 PM   #1
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Water in (and around) return duct


I live in the DC area (read, hot and humid), and the furnace/AC system in my basement has started to collect water on, under, and perhaps in the return duct. I say "in" because I can hear water gurgling in the return duct as the A/C runs. I have no idea how much water is in play because some of it is draining into the nearby sump.

I have a power humidifier on the outbound duct, but that is turned off for the summer.

I see no obvious leaks anywhere in the area that could be causing this. Any ideas? Could it be condensation? Or something more sinister?

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Old 06-13-2008, 10:37 PM   #2
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Water in (and around) return duct


I would imagine that your pan underneath your A-coil (above the furnace) has a clogged drain, or has degraded and is leaking. Dust and other nastiness will occasionally collect in the condensate drain and plug it shut. Check that first.

Next, take the cover off the furnace and see if there is water in the bottom of it. That would be an easy path to the return air boot.

If the pan is corroded, you'll need to get an HVAC contractor to disconnect the A-coil and get you a new plenum/drain.

Another thing to check would be to see if there's a leaky connection with the humidifier. It could easily get the return boot wet since it is mounted above it.

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Old 06-14-2008, 07:18 PM   #3
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Water in (and around) return duct


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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
I would imagine that your pan underneath your A-coil (above the furnace) has a clogged drain, or has degraded and is leaking. Dust and other nastiness will occasionally collect in the condensate drain and plug it shut. Check that first.
Correct. The PVC drain that comes off this pan was clogged. There was a fair amount of water pooled up in the pan under the A-coil. My snake was too big to work through this small PVC, so I ended up cutting the PVC drain with a hacksaw and rigging it up to drain into a bucket. I presume I need either a smaller snake, or air pressure of some kind to blow it out. Recommendations?

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Next, take the cover off the furnace and see if there is water in the bottom of it. That would be an easy path to the return air boot.
There is a small amount of water pooled up here, and no apparent means of escape. No drain that I can see. I assume this will just evaporate and fix itself?

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Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
If the pan is corroded, you'll need to get an HVAC contractor to disconnect the A-coil and get you a new plenum/drain.

Another thing to check would be to see if there's a leaky connection with the humidifier. It could easily get the return boot wet since it is mounted above it.

The pan is OK, I hope. And the humidifier is not the issue.

Thanks for the excellent advice.

Larry

Last edited by kennelm; 06-14-2008 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 06-14-2008, 07:40 PM   #4
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Water in (and around) return duct


at work we use a small wet vac to draw on the clogged drain lines when this problem happens, I also like to use the vac to get that water out of there, yes it will evaporate over time but why give it a chance to rust out. We also have a tool, hooked up to a co2 charge to blow out the lines, sorry, not sure of the technical terms used.
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Old 06-14-2008, 07:42 PM   #5
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Water in (and around) return duct


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at work we use a small wet vac to draw on the clogged drain lines when this problem happens, I also like to use the vac to get that water out of there, yes it will evaporate over time but why give it a chance to rust out. We also have a tool, hooked up to a co2 charge to blow out the lines, sorry, not sure of the technical terms used.
Well, I don't have a wet vac, but I can mop up the water.

As for the CO2 charge, I don't have one of those. Are these affordable?
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Old 06-15-2008, 07:48 AM   #6
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Water in (and around) return duct


http://www.azpartsmaster.com/Product...n__A66800.aspx not sure if they have a price on this page, but this is the tool I was referring to. and by no means am I suggesting this site to buy, I only googled to get a picture of what the tool looked like. good luck
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Old 06-18-2008, 06:13 AM   #7
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Water in (and around) return duct


I used water pressure to clear the clog. I hooked a water hose up to my hot water heater (no other spigots in my furnace room. go figure). Used duct tape to attach the hose to the PVC drain. Forced the clog right out.

Thanks to everyone!

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