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Matthew, HVAC Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 2014
Experience:  14 years experience in the HVAC field of service, installation, Manual J & D calculations
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We have an armstrong air ultra V tech 91 - it is cooling fine,

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We have an armstrong air ultra V tech 91 - it is cooling fine, changed the filter, vacuumed the stuff off the outside unit - but the "drain pump"(?) - the little motor that pumps the water for drainoff into the slop sink - that usually only runs about a minute or two and dumps a good amount of water into the sink. Now the water is trickling, and the pump is running for 15 to 20 minutes at a time - takes a break for about a minute then starts again. BTW, it is sticky humid outside with 85-90 degree weather. Have a call into the AC tech, but he's backed up and I'm just afraid the motor is going to burn up before he can get out here. Anything I can do?
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Matthew : It should not run for that long it should only take about 15-20 secs to empty enough water to make the motor shut off
Matthew : Chances are the drain is plugged a bit and it is having a hard time pushing the water through or the pumps motor is getting weak and it doesn't have the lift it once did
Matthew : If you have an air compressor you can try to blow this 3/8" vinyl tubbing out to see if you can help free up the flow. If the pump motor is weak then it's time for a new one I am afraid.

If it keeps running like this until we can get someone out here, can the motor burn up? If so, will we need to turn the AC off?

Matthew : If the pump doesn't have a safety cut off on it then yes you should turn it off. If the motor doesn't keep up with the amount of water the A/C is producing the pump will overflow and flood the area it is in
Matthew : The safety cut off is 2 little low voltage wires hanging off the pump. If it has these they split the connection of either the yellow wire (compressor power) or the red wire (24v power) so that if the float on the pump stays up after a set amount of time without dumping water then it will cut the power so the system stops producing water
Matthew : If you want to have cooling until the morning when you get someone there to change the pump and clean the line out you could use a 5 gallon bucket or something large like that to put the pump in so if it does over flow at least the water is still being caught until morning.

Okay there is a sticker that says it is equipped with a secondary safety switch - I can't really get in far enough to see the wires you are talking about. It says there is an alarm on it.

Matthew : Just because it has the safety cut off doesn't mean the installer hooked it up I would hope they did but .....
Matthew : If the pump is full and runs like you are saying for this extended amount of time and the safety cut off is hooked up then it should be cutting power to the outdoor unit and you wouldn't be getting cooling.
Matthew : Does your pump look like this?

Yes, except it's white on the bottom

Matthew : humm not sure which brand has a white bottom, but doesn't really matter the fact is the pump shouldn't run for that long of time, the water should come out in quick burst not trickling, and if the safety float isn't wired in make sure the new one is.

Okay, its the Little Giant Pump Co. - HAH! Anyway, thanks for your help - we'll throw a bucket under it and try to get our guy over here tomorrow - sure appreciate it!

Matthew : No problem. Little giant condensate pumps are the number one seller never seen one with a white bottom though they are normally black botXXXXX XXXXX top. You just have a lot more ware on yours because of the 90% furnace it is working year round where most are used only in cooling season.

You're right about the color - had it backwards. Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX! Take care!

Matthew : not a problem good luck with it.
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