How to resolve a leaking A/C issue in my home
May 26, 2008 3:53 AM   Subscribe

hi all, this is a first question for me, so here goes; I have spent this Memorial Day weekend without A/C at home (in Dallas, TX) because I have water "streaming" from somewhere at the top of the condenser unit (inside the house). to be more specific, the water is blowing out of an opening through which a cold (to the touch) copper pipe enters the "box" above the condenser unit... needless to say, the floor has been saturated and will be a second issue to resolve later. any info that would help me resolve would be appreciated. thanks in advance.
posted by rxbert to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
Sounds like you need to call a pro. The water is probably the result of icing, (unless this is a water-cooled AC unit, in which case it could be just a leaky pipe). If it's icing, there's a number of possible reasons explained here.
posted by beagle at 6:12 AM on May 26, 2008

When this has happened to me it turned out to be a blocked drainage tube, compounded by extra humidity. A little $60 water-slurping shopvac sucked out the obstruction--some hybrid algae + dust bunny--and helped clean up the mess. The same rig helped a friend who had a similar problem that same week, though in her case the floor drain itself had a block which needed a coat hanger to clear. Check for any pipe, probably white Poly Vinyl Chloride, that would go to a floor drain. If you don't have one, you may have to pop the sheet metal case to find threaded openings from which water drips, and install one. Check with a friend to see how their A/C drain is set up. More advice here, here, here and wherever you could google: "air conditioner" drain
posted by gregoreo at 6:13 AM on May 26, 2008

Approximate age of unit and location (attic, hallway at floor level, hallway raised above floor level) may help people point you to the right drain/pipe to be interested in. It is most likely a clog, probably algae and gunk, and the humidity we've had this week would mean you're cranking out a fair amount of condensation right now.

If you can't clear it from inside and don't know where your outlet is (in my last house it was in the floor of the hallway riser the unit sat on, in this neighborhood they are in the attic and vent outside), you may need a professional if your clog isn't in the immediate vicinity of the indoor unit.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:44 AM on May 26, 2008

Seconding blocked drainage tube - had the same thing happen. Fixing it was pretty simple - my homeowner's insurance covered it - and then I got someone to come out and do a full maintenance of the unit, because it was gunky all over. (apparently when the unit gets gunky, gunk tends to flow down the drainage tube and block it. Who knew?)
posted by restless_nomad at 12:53 PM on May 26, 2008

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