My Air Conditioning Is Leaking

I received an email from a client this evening. It read, “My AC is leaking!”

It’s that time of year in Texas. We’ve had temperatures into the low 90’s and people are firing up their air conditioning systems for the first time. Some people never notice the water dripping from a pipe that exits over a window while other people think it is normal. I’ve ever seen one where the owner placed a large potted plant under the drip! Why waste water?

It’s not normal! If you see water dripping, most likely your primary AC drain is plugged.

Basic HVAC Plumbing

The water produced by the AC normally drains into the primary drain that is attached to the home’s plumbing. At the end of last season there was water in the trap that dried out leaving mold, lint, and other residue that clogs the trap. When that happens, the water overflows into the Overflow Pan and runs out through the overflow drain which usually exits the home over a window.

Don’t panic! It’s easy to fix. 

Pour a little chlorine beach into the primary drain (the cap on the top of the drain comes off), let it sit for a few minutes, and then wash it down with plenty of clean water. This usually clears out the trap and everything is fine again.

If this does not clear the clog or you’re not comfortable with this process, you should call an HVAC technician who can repair it for you.

Photo Copyright 2012 Imaged2Sell

There is Water Dripping from a Pipe Over a Window

HVAC Drain

I received a phone call from a past client yesterday. He called asking about water draining from a pipe in the soffit of his home.

I knew immediately what he was talking about. It’s been warm in north Texas and many homeowners are switching on their air conditioning systems for the first time this season. Air conditioning systems produce condensation. Normally this condensation is caught in the primary pan and is drained into the main drain system.

If the primary drain becomes stopped up, the condensation will overflow into another pan located directly under the primary pan. This condensation is routed to the outside of the home and the exit point is usually over a window.

Why a window?  So the homeowner can see the water, realize there’s a problem with the primary drain, and get it fixed.  If you see water dripping from one of these pipes, it’s time to have your air conditioning serviced.

It’s a good idea to have the air conditioning serviced in the beginning of the cooling season so the unit is in top operating condition. Part of that service should include preventive maintenance on the primary air conditioning drain line.

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR