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Douglas
Douglas, HVAC Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 2927
Experience:  Manufacture Rep for Major Brand, Technical Trainer, NATE
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Why is my heat pump/air conditioner leaking water onto my basement

Customer Question

Why is my heat pump/air conditioner leaking water onto my basement floor? I assume it is condensate since the puddle is not that large. My unit is many years old, installed when the house was built in 1993. I changed filters but am not sure I have the right size. I took out 25 x21 x1's but can only find 25 x 20's in local hardware//bigbox stores. Help.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  Douglas replied 3 years ago.
Hi, I'm Douglas and I am here to help you resolve problems with your heating and cooling equipment.

Most likely, it is indeed condensate as you suspect.

It may be one of several things.

  • Over time a coil may get dirt on it and water does not "sheet" as well as it once did. It can form a drop if it his a hunk of dirt or a dry spot on the coil. Especially if your filter doesnt fit correctly.
  • If it's that old, it may have a metal drain pan which may be rusted through and can leak. Even a plastic pan can have a crack in it.
  • If your unit has frozen up, when it thaws, it can drop hunks of ice into the lower end and that melts.
  • The drain could be slow and just need blown out.
  • The refrigerant line (the large insulated one) may just need the insulation repaired, it could be sweating and dripping
  • The condensate drain can also sweat if the water inside is cold enough.
Is there an auxilliary drain pipe?

You may have to open the air handler door and inspect the drain. There should not be much water in the pan (a little). If it is deep your drain is either restricted or not properly trapped. If it's metal, look for rust, if it's rusty, it may just need a new drain pan. You really cant see the part of the coil that would get dirty, it would be on the incoming aire inlet side of the coil.
Douglas, HVAC Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 2927
Experience: Manufacture Rep for Major Brand, Technical Trainer, NATE
Douglas and 8 other HVAC Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
It sounds like it could be the drain. The water seems to collect around the base of the unit and does not apear to be dripping from the refrigerant line. Have no idea if there's an auxilliary drain - I view this thing as a magical metal box that heats & cools the house without much interference from mortals! But it has been quite a while since any service was done on the unit so it may be time to call in a local technician. At least I now have some idea of what problems I am having and can ask intelligently for repairs. I thank you for that.
Expert:  Douglas replied 3 years ago.
If you can see the end of the drain (maybe it goes to a floor drain) you can try to attach a shop vac to it and see if it pulls a bunch of goop along with the water. Sometimes that does tha trick.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
no floor drain visible - house is built on a floating slab. No shop vac. You're dealing with a technically inept grandmother. But another thought to have in mind for a repair person.
Expert:  Douglas replied 3 years ago.
a tech uses a device called a gallow gun. Think of one of those CO2 cartriges used for whipping cream or in some pellet guns. They use this to blow the drain out.

I would probably suggest getting it serviced while it's only a small problem. Use a reputable HVAC service company and if you dont know any ask your friends and family. The yellow pages are full of "hacks" and "cheats".

If I have been helpful, please click accept and I wish you the best. Nevermind, I saw you already did

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