How To Repair Furnace Water Leaks & Clogged Drain?
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Tips For Furnace Water Leaks & Clogged Drain
Please watch this video to learn:
- What causes water leaks
- How to get into your furnace
- What to look for
- Tips for easy access & maintenance
We supply, repair and service HVAC systems all over North Virginia from our base in Sterling. Please contact us for assistance.
703 406 9446
How To Repair Furnace Water Leaks & Clogged Drain?
Hi, I’m Scott from A/C Doc Heating & Cooling. I’m here to give to you hopefully a couple of helpful tips regarding your air conditioner and some of the common problems that we have in the summer time with the air conditioning.
Water Leaks Everywhere
Common complaint, people call like we have water problem, water is dripping out of the furnace. It’s all over the floor, things of that nature. Normally, what it is is the drain line gets clogged. And why it gets clogged is one of the causes and this is the most common is the drain line get clogged. And why it gets clogged is several factors. You got dust and dirt that rinses off the coil that gets in there. Some of the old coil drain pipes were metal and they rust and you get the rust flakes and particles in here.
And then the other factor is when the air conditioning is running, there’s clean water that’s coming out of there normally. But what happens in the winter time when you’re not running the air conditioning in the fall, that water stagnates in this pipe and all kinds of things grow in it. And over a period of time, it gets clogged up.
Getting Into The Furnace
These pipes are glued together so it’s not very easy – you can’t get into it without chopping the pipe or the other alternative you can do which normally you don’t do in the field because of the time and the cost is keeping them on flue pipe. You can take the front of the furnace to get into this point of where this exits the coil. But you will have flue pipe here. To remove that, you got to be very careful because it is what carries the exhaust gases and the flue gases out of the chimney so it’s critical to put that back properly.
Keep in mind this is all screws and everything are removed from these panels for me to get into this coil. So you have screws. You also have a sheet metal tape all over this that you would have to cut and remove. So this is much more time-consuming than what I would recommend.
The Drain Line
Then you’re looking inside the coil and the drain pan and if you get your hand back and it was some compressed air or something, you stick it into this, blow that out and you’re probably be OK. Now, this drain line is going to go in one or several places. It could possibly be used directly outside the wall and drain outside into your backyard. It could go to the floor drain. It could drain into your sump pump. It could also drain into a little condensate pump that sits on the side of the furnace or in the vicinity and it also pumps the water outside or to the inside drain or something of that nature.
Don’t Forget To Switch Power Off
Now, before you start doing any of this, cutting the pipes and all that with the water, it’s important to turn the power off to the furnace. And you know we have an on/off switch like a normal light switch in the vicinity of the furnace. Normally, it’s not a three-way switch. So in this application, up is normally on, down is off. I recommend turning the power off to the furnace. If not, just go into the breaker and turn it off for safety thing.
Easy Access Tee
Now, what I would do when we come out and I do this on all of our installations, instead of putting this little tee there or the elbow there rather, I install a tee which is very simple when you’re doing it. But after you glue it together, there’s not taking it back apart without cutting the pipe.
So now, I got my little tee on there. And now what I can do, I can easily access that for preventive maintenance and cleaning it. And what you do, once a year in the fall when you’re done running the A/C is you pour a cup of bleach or chloride down inside this pipe and it prevents all that stuff from growing.
And then in the spring when you’re getting ready to turn the air conditioning on, just to make sure that’s clear, get the funnel. Put it here and I pour several cups of water down it. Follow the pipe and you can hear the water draining out or even see it draining out then you know everything is clear. OK?
Other product that I really like and I’m just going to move this out of the way together now, this product is called the Easy Trap. And what I really like this especially that this – some of these furnaces are either on your first level or on a townhouse on the second floor, we got finished levels below it. You got hardwood floors. You got carpet, et cetera. But this has several features. One, it’s clear so you can see it when there’s junk in there.
And the most important thing is it has this little float switch in there. And this is normally wired into the air conditioning circuit. So if the water would back up, before water starts spilling out down inside the furnace and all over the place, this little switch cuts off the air conditioner and therefore the air conditioning refrigeration site will stop and there it is not producing anymore condensation. OK? So you have that.
And then also, when you do see it’s dirty, it even comes with this nice little brush that you can stick down inside here to clean that out. So it gives you that option.
And then also, it also gives you another access point in addition to the back of it or the front. You can get entry into the side of this thing as well. So it’s really flexible. It is a little more expensive but I really like that application. That’s Easy Trap. I put one into the system. OK?
What Clogs & Grows In The Drain
And here, I want to show you a unit that I dissected just the other day. This is the brand new little trap that you put in. But like I said, you put the elbow on so you can’t get injured. But this is what we cut out just the other day, and again, this is no fault of yours that you can’t get into it. This is what grows into these units. This is one of – again, just a couple of days ago, we took it out. And it doesn’t take much to get in here. You can see the junk.
And unfortunately, what most people haven’t seen in there is I just go – I’ve been doing this so long, the most common thing is the trap gets clogged. It could be a hole in the drain pan. It could be along the refrigerant. You could have a dirty coil. There could be all kinds of other things but they’re more time-consuming to get into to pull the blower to look at the coil.
You cut this trap and as soon as you open up, you can see all the junk in there. And you say, OK. So you can’t – obviously, that clogged up that little tiny hole inside there and it doesn’t take much to stop the water from flowing. So you can see what comes out of there.
AC Doc Heating & Cooling
All right. I hope that helps you. And again, I’m Scott from AC Doc Heating & Cooling.
If you need repairs or a service done on your furnace, please contact us on 703 406 9446. We are located in Sterling and regularly work all over Northern Virginia.