As part of its function, your air conditioner provides a measure of dehumidification while also cooling your living spaces. The water from this dehumidification process is usually removed through the system’s condensate drain. When this drain develops problems, however, it can result in several different types of moisture-related issues.
Condensate Drain Problems
- Clogs and blockages: The environment inside a condensate drain is consistently moist and moderate in temperature, which creates a perfect place for mold and algae to grow and create partial or total blockages of the drain.
- Leaks and overflows: Blocked drains can cause water to overflow and drip into your walls, onto flooring and carpets, and into areas where it can cause unseen damage. The amount of water involved may not be substantial, but the damage can still be very real and very annoying.
- Odors: Unpleasant odors can sometimes come from the condensate drain, especially if it dries out and loses the layer of water that blocks odors from deeper in the drain line.
Solutions to Condensate Drain Problems
- Pressure cleaning: Pressure can be used to blast away clogs inside a condensate drain. A wet-dry vacuum hose can usually produce enough pressure to remove most blockages.
- Physical cleaning: Physical force from a piece of wire or other object may be needed to literally break apart a drain line clog. Simply inserting the wire inside the drain and moving it around should be sufficient to break up common clogs.
- Professional cleaning: If the clogs are sufficiently extensive, you may need help from your local plumbing professional to clear the drain line. Your plumber will have the right equipment for getting rid of stubborn blockages.
- Algaecide: It may be necessary to apply an algaecide or other inhibitor to your drain line to reduce algae and mold growth. Ask your plumber if this would be a good idea in your situation.
Roth Heating and Cooling has served Portland, Hillsboro, Canby, and the neighboring Oregon communities for nearly 40 years. Contact us today for more information on what to do when you have condensate drain problems in your air conditioning system.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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