Did you know your A/C can remove from the humid air around 5 gallons of water per HOUR during the summer season? Where does that water go? Hopefully down the intended main drain. What happens when there is a clog or severe constriction in the a/c drain?
It was not always code that an A/C system has a system shut off or “kill switch” to indicate when the A/C is not draining. These shut off switches are called “Ceiling Savers” in the HVAC industry. If your system is more than 5 years old, you may not have one at all. If your A/C is in the attic, it’s worth a maintenance call to verify and have it tested.
A/C systems have a primary drain that flows into your home’s plumbing system. Most A/Cs also have a backup or overflow pan installed underneath the unit with a 2nd drain. This overflow drain routes through a PVC pipe to the outside of your home. When the main drain gets clogged, water will run into the overflow pan and then drain. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for the same algae and fungus to be clogging the 2nd drain pipe as well.
If both drains are clogged, water flows OVER the “overflow” pan and onto the attic floor or in your HVAC closet. Because A/Cs can produce gallons of water they can cause significant water damage. Clogged drains can lead to mildew, mold and other health and cosmetic issues like sheetrock replacement, painting, mold remediation etc.
At TemperaturePro San Antonio, we get several calls weekly that turn out to be clogged drains. When drains are not maintained, over the years the constriction and clog can become so severe that the hvac vacumes will not unclog them. The old PVC must be cut out and completely replaced. This can become costlier than the maintenance itself would have been.
Stay cool and dry. Get your A/C systems tuned-up and drain lines blown clear bi-annually to prevent system shutdowns and drainage issues.
Look around your home’s outside drains. If your backup drains are dripping, your inside pans may be filling. You need to call for preventative maintenance before water or system damage is done.