It’s Raining Inside! Is Your A/C To Blame?
- On January 16, 2017
Nearly 80 percent of all restoration water damage calls in the summer are related to Air conditioning line leaks. Although these leaks tend to be relatively small, if left unchecked they can cause a tremendous amount of damage to a home or office, especially if the air handler is installed above a ceiling and can drip downward. This type of leak causes drywall from the ceiling to fall off, leaving your ceiling wide open with structures saturated with water, often causing the properties insulation to come crashing down. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that Restoration professionals must be called out to remove the water and to dry out the structures of your property ASAP as mold can begin to grow within 24-48 hours of a water leak.
Now with your priorities in order, we stumbled upon a few A/C condensate line leak tips that may help you to make the leak repair yourself, without having to call out an air conditioning company.
In order to fully understand the reason why an A/C system would leak, we must review three of the main culprits of this disaster.
1. Crack or hole in overflow drain pan
2. Clogged air filter.
3. Plugged up condensate line
The first cause—the overflow pan—is easily detectable by simply using a flashlight. The pan is a piece of equipment that catches any condensation from the A/C unit; if you’re noticing a leak, carefully inspect the overflow pan for damage. Check each corner, along the outside edges, and, of course, directly above the wettest spot. Small holes and cracks can be patched with epoxy glue, but it’s usually best to replace a damaged overflow pan.
The second culprit—a clogged filter— can be avoided by changing the A/C unit’s air filter on a regular basis. Most filters are designed to be used for one or two months, but you should inspect the filter every month during the cooling season. If the filter appears dirty, replace it immediately. A dirty filter will cause ice to form on the unit’s evaporator coils, and when that ice melts, it drips water.
The third reason—a stopped-up condensate line—is the most common cause of A/C leaks. The condensate line drains condensation from the overflow pan to the outside or directly into a drainpipe. When the line is clogged, water backs up and floods the overflow pan. Another reason to keep the condensate line clear is that most modern A/C units are equipped with a water-overflow cutoff switch, which automatically shuts down the A/C system if it detects a clogged condensate line. The switch helps prevent water damage, which is good, but most homeowners don’t know why their air-conditioning system suddenly shuts down and they call a service technician.
There are a couple different ways to clear a clogged condensate line, including using a wet/dry vacuum to suck out the clog. Still, don’t wait for the condensate line to become clogged. You can avoid costly damage and expensive service calls by regularly clearing it out. And once the line is clear, you can help prevent the accumulation of slime, algae, mildew, and bacteria by pouring a little chlorine bleach down the line once every four to six months.
Once the leak is controlled, you must act fast to get a restoration company such as EHS Restoration to clean up the water and to dry out the structures of your home! EHS Restoration knows that fast action for this type of damage is crucial and for this reason will be to your home or office in 60 minutes or less!