So why should I be concerned with the A/C condensate line? What do we need to know?
1.In Florida [a very high humidity state] after some time without a maintenance program algae will start to grow in the air handler’s condensate drain pan and if left too long, mold will start to grow. This growth begins to clog the drain pan, clogging the entrance to the drain line causing the drain pan to overflow. More often than not, this algae flows into the drain line and the drain line clogs up first and than the drain pan overflows. There are times you may notice water on the floor next to the air handler or worse dripping from the ceiling if your air handler is located in the attic and worse yet your ceiling caves in because of the water overflow.
2.To keep the growth of algae mold from growing algaecide tablets or packets are used for slow release in the drain pan when you have a maintenance performed on your A/C system. This condensate water in the drain pan which is now treated, will flow down the drain line and keep the drain line clear. Homeowners who are do-it-yourselfers can mix a pint of bleach with a gallon of water and poor it into the drain pan to help keep algae from growing. Other drain related problems that occur but are not as common are;
1. Absence of a p-trap. This p-trap is needed to prevent air from being drawn through the drain line and holding too much water in the drain pan causing pan overflow or the blower pulling condensate water from the drain pan and spraying it on the inside of the air handler causing the air handler to prematurely rust out and/or grow mold.
2. Double trap of the drain line. If you have a p-trap on the drain line and because the drain line is run wrong it can cause another trap in the line. Air could get caught between the traps and cause an air block at which time water stops flowing and the drain pan overflows. Sometimes the drain line is hung horizontally for some distance and over the years starts sagging causing a second p-trap. Sometimes these problems are difficult to diagnose but a good service company should find the problem.
NOTES: Mold spores sometimes cause eyes watering, asthma symptoms, allergies and headaches. When your drain line goes to the outside of your house it should be a minimum of 12” from the foundation per code. We hope these explanations help you out and keep you dry.
‘Till next time keep cool from your friends at Air Masters of Tampa Bay.