Is Your AC Flooding Your House?

An air conditioner is a lifesaver in the Richmond, Virginia summer. When something goes wrong, it’s important to find out what, where and fix it quickly.

Air conditioning cools the air as well as removes the humidity from your home. The humidity drains out in the form of excess condensed water. But if you have a clogged drain line or pump, the water can back up into your home. That water is more than just a nuisance. Left unchecked, it can cause property damage and introduce mold and mildew into your home.

Backed Up Water

Your AC system has a drain line and a drip pan to catch and remove the condensation. If you’re seeing water around your AC unit, condensation isn’t properly draining. This can also happen if the drain pipe system wasn’t properly installed. Over time, the pipes may become loose and disconnect, draining water into your house. A cracked condensate drip pan can also allow water to leak.

A malfunctioning condensate pump can cause drain water to stay inside. Because it constantly pumps water, mold and mildew can form on the inside and clog the pump, backing up water in your house.

If you haven’t checked your air conditioner’s filter in a while, do it now. A clogged filter can cause all kinds of problems, including excess water. It can also cause an HVAC unit to run harder and longer, raising your electric bill.

Low refrigerant can also cause leaking, so it’s important to have your AC unit checked. Both low refrigerant and a clogged filter can also cause your evaporator coil to freeze, adding to the leaking water and high utility bills.

You can also find water because of condensate buildup in un-insulated ductwork, and the absence of a p-trap and air vent in the drain line to prevent water backup.

Re-Starting The Drain Flow

If your drain line is clogged, it’s easy to clear. Turn off your unit, and mix cup of half bleach and half water, then pour it into the drain line. This kills and removes mold, mildew or other matter clogging the line. (Always dilute bleach.) The condensate pump may also need some bleach/water solution to clear any clogs.Check the manufacturer’s documentation for your system and review the guidelines before using bleach or other chemicals.

If you still have clogs, or if the water is slow to drain, a wet-dry vacuum can pull clogs up and out of the line. Vacuum out the drip pan system at the same time.

How Can You Prevent Your AC From Flooding Your House?

There are several ways to reduce the chances of flooding in your house by an overflowing AC drain system:

  • Change (or clean) your HVAC’s air filter regularly.
  • Put an extra safety pan under your AC unit to catch any overflow.
  • Install a float-tripped drain pan overflow shutoff switch.
  • Install a secondary drain line for your central AC system has a secondary drain line. This is particularly important if the air handler is in the attic.
  • Check and make sure your ductwork is insulated correctly.
  • Clear your condensate pump by flushing it yearly with a 50% bleach/water solution to dislodge and remove any mold, mildew or algae that develops
  • Make sure each drain line has an air vent and a “P-trap,” a pipe with a downward curve that allows water to flow out of the area but holds debris in one place so that it doesn’t cause a much deeper drain line clog.
  • Schedule annual HVAC maintenance to maximize performance and minimize furnace and AC repairs, and ensure that your AC refrigerant levels are checked, too.

Call For An Appointment

Is your air conditioner is ready for summer? If not, let us take care of it.  WG Speeks is Richmond, VA’s heating and cooling experts since 1943. Call us today at 804-276-2800 (or request a quote on our contact page) to schedule your air conditioner for a checkup and maintenance appointment.