All air conditioner systems will create a significant amount of condensation. We are talking about a several gallons per day. This water exits the air handler through the PVC plastic pipe or a drain tube. That drain tube goes directly outside your home. In most cases, the only way the water can have enough force to go through the PVC plastic pipe or drain tube is by using a condensation pump usually located by the air handler.

If water is dripping or pooling at the base of the air handler, it may be leaking from one of the plastic PVC pipes or drain tubes that carry it. Something could be blocking the water’s flow or the condensation pump itself may not be working. If the condensation pump stops working, it will overflow.

  1. If your system includes an electric condensation pump, make sure it is connected to a working electrical outlet. Try plugging a lamp into the outlet to make sure it is good. Then look to see if the drainage tubing that carries away the flowing water has come loose from the pump. But more likely it is the possibility that the drainage tube or the condensation pump is clogged with algae or minerals. The drainage tubing is usually a see through type of tube. Look at the tube for floating substances inside it. If this is the case, try using a wet dry type of vacuum to suck all of the water and particles out of the tube. Also, some new central air conditioning systems comes with a brush that looks like a bottle brush. There also should be a PVC cap on the PVC pipe that is removable. Push the brush through the PVC pipe to try to push or pull the algae out of the system. The condensation pump has a float switch inside designed to shut off the A/C unit if the drain becomes clogged.
  2. To test the pump pour water into its collector or the tub at the bottom of the unit. The pump is turned on by a ball float inside that rises with the water level. Once the water reached a certain level the pump should turn on. If it doesn’t it is either stuck or broken. If it’s stuck, you should be able to unplug it from the outlet and from the inbound tubes, snap off the top, and clean it out thoroughly. If it is old or broken, you are better off buying a new pump.
  3. To kill the algae, pour a dilute solution of one part bleach to 16 parts of water into the pump’s trough or bottom tub portion and pump it out through the drainage tube. If the mixture of bleach and water drain onto your grass lawn or plants it will kill your grass.
  4. If the condensation pump runs but doesn’t empty the trough filled with water, the ball like check valve just before the discharge tube is probably stuck. Unscrew the check valve loosen the ball inside and look for the blockage of algae or mineral deposits. If the condensation drain tube is clogged with algae either blow it out or replace it.
  5. If ice is blocking the tube, clean or change your A/C filters. If the air filter appears to be okay, the air conditioner’s refrigerant (Freon) supply is probably low. An air conditioning technician will have to recharge the unit.

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Richard Marton Electrical Contractor LLC is a full service electrical contractor serving homeowners and businesses in Bergen, Passaic, Essex and Morris County New Jersey with electrical installations and repairs. We are also a Generac Generator installer.

Richard Marton Electrical Contractor LLC works with general contractors, residential architects, interior decorators, interior designers, painters, property management and property maintenance professionals, and professional organizers. We work with these professionals to give clients top of the line electrical installations within such projects as residential remodeling, residential renovations, plus build outs of new kitchens, bathrooms, home offices, add-a-level residential project and more.

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