plumbing problemsPotential plumbing problems in your house aren’t limited to leaky fixtures or a clogged kitchen sink. In many homes, heating and cooling systems may also be liable to issues related to plumbing. Condensate generated by air conditioners and certain furnaces must be properly drained away from the unit. Anything that interferes with that process is a plumbing problem that could affect cooling or heating functions, as well as cause water damage to your home. Here are two common HVAC plumbing problems that affect home units:

Air Conditioner Issues

A central AC produces many gallons of water on a humid summer day as the evaporator coil inside the indoor air handler extracts condensation from the air. Water collected in a condensate drip pan under the indoor air handler is diverted into a drain pipe that’s connected to the household plumbing system.

A frequent culprit is algae growth in the warm water inside the drip pan, which then clogs the drain line. The drip pan overflows each time the AC cycles on, potentially causing substantial water damage in the area around the air handler.

A qualified HVAC service technician can unclog the condensate drain line, then clean and disinfect the drip pan to remove algae or other debris. Algae prevention tablets may also be placed in the pan to prevent future fungal growth that triggers clogs.

High-Efficiency Furnaces

Two-stage, high-efficiency furnaces (with Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratings over 90%) produce cooler exhaust gases than standard furnaces and generate more condensation. Condensate flows through a special trap and is discharged outside the house or into the household drain system. Two problems may occur:

  • A clog anywhere in the system may cause condensate to back up into the furnace, triggering a sensor that automatically shuts down the unit.
  • A leaky condensate pump may result in water pooling on the floor around the furnace.

Professional HVAC service is required to locate the clog or leak and restore proper drain function so the furnace can be operated again.

For qualified service to resolve HVAC plumbing problems, call the professionals at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.