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3 Common A/C Condensate Drain Problems to Avoid

3 Common A/C Condensate Drain Problems to AvoidThe condensate drainage system is an essential component of an A/C unit. As warm airflow is pulled through the cold evaporator coil, water vapor condenses on the coil, producing a lot of water. The water drips into a condensate pan, flows through a drain tube and trap, and exits the cooling system via a floor drain. Without regular air conditioner maintenance, A/C condensate drain problems are a common occurrence. 

Condensate spillage can result in disastrous water damage to your home and property, and the A/C may simply shut down. Preventing such a scenario is a matter of regularly scheduled maintenance and recognizing the telltale signs leading up to water spillage, such as musty, moldy or sewage odors. Use this guide to prevent A/C condensate clogs, foul odors and water spillage in your Calgary home this season.

Dry Drain Trap Problems

Similar to the drain trap beneath kitchen and bathroom sinks, the A/C drain trap blocks sewer gases from entering the system and your home. If you notice foul sewer odors from the vents, the drain trap has likely dried out from A/C inactivity. 

Mold and Algae Growth

On the flip side of a dry drain trap, clogged traps are more common. Mold, algae and debris can completely block condensate drainage, which may result in water spillage inside your home. If your A/C has an overflow pan with a float switch, the air conditioner will automatically shut down to prevent flooding. If your cooling system doesn’t have an overflow pan, or if either condensate pan is cracked or rusted, water spillage occurs inside your home.

Eliminate Odors and Clear Blocked Drainage

The solution to dry and clogged traps is the same. Slowly pour two liters of a 50/50 bleach/water solution into the condensate pan. (You’ll need to remove the air handler and evaporator panels.) The bleach/water solution kills and removes mold and algae clogs. Part of the bleach/water solution remains in the trap to block sewer odors. If the blockage is debris-laden and won’t budge, call your HVAC contractor.

For more information about A/C condensate drain problems in your Calgary home, contact Arpi’s Industries Ltd.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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