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  1. #1

    Burst or Split Copper Condensate Line

    I have a copper line running from a small condensate pump in a utility closet, up through the attic and out/down an exterior wall behind siding. The line was installed about 12 years ago, and shows no signs of impact or fatigue near the hole that I just discovered after using the AC only a few times this spring--see attached pictures.

    The hole appeared on the back (unexposed) side of the line about half-way between two spots where it was taped to the insulated refrigerant line. Is it possible that something *inside* the line caused this damage? The copper is flared out around the hole, so it seems unlikely to me that it happened from anything external... but it is in an area we use for storage.

    If this was somehow external damage, should the entire line be replaced, or could I get away with a cut-and-splice repair or even just solder and/or tape repair?

    Thanks,
    David
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,332
    Maybe that is why you have two lines because that one has already been replaced. Just a thought. Does your ac work?
    Trying not to be a Hack.

  3. #3
    No, everything was new 12 years ago. The other uninsulated line runs the entire length with the insulated line from the interior evaporator out to the exterior AC unit. The condensate line just runs straight down the exterior wall to drain on a concrete pad beside the house. The AC has been working well... I noticed the problem when water stains appeared in the ceiling below.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    edmonds wa
    Posts
    180
    This is the Ask Our Pro's forum, and only Pro members that have been vetted by the AOPC may post advise, commentary, or ask questions of the OP here.

    You can find the rules for posting and qualifications here.

    Further infractions may result in loss of posting privileges.
    Last edited by beenthere; 04-27-2013 at 05:44 AM. Reason: Non Pro * Member

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    146
    Since you didn't list where you live, I have to assume that you live in a Nothern Climate. So I would expect that the attic where this condensate drain line is run has gotten below freezing during the winter, allowing the water left in the line to freeze. That would cause the damage that you found.

    You would have to insulate the line once or have the line cleared/ blown out at the end of each cooling season.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
    Posts
    5,046
    Quote Originally Posted by GuinnessX View Post
    I have a copper line running from a small condensate pump in a utility closet, up through the attic and out/down an exterior wall behind siding. The line was installed about 12 years ago, and shows no signs of impact or fatigue near the hole that I just discovered after using the AC only a few times this spring--see attached pictures.

    The hole appeared on the back (unexposed) side of the line about half-way between two spots where it was taped to the insulated refrigerant line. Is it possible that something *inside* the line caused this damage? The copper is flared out around the hole, so it seems unlikely to me that it happened from anything external... but it is in an area we use for storage.

    If this was somehow external damage, should the entire line be replaced, or could I get away with a cut-and-splice repair or even just solder and/or tape repair?

    Thanks,
    David
    When water freezes it will exert a pressure of 2000 lbs.psi

  7. #7
    I live in Arlington, VA. Yeah, freezing makes sense. It would be a big, expensive job to replace the entire line--especially since it has been covered by insulation and siding outside... Would a cut-and-splice repair work well for this line, or could that lead to problems down the road?

    Thanks,
    David

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    3,324
    This line need to slope towards the outside of the house, otherwise it'll simply hold water and freeze just as it did. Does the line slope towards the outside? A short piece of automotive heater hose and two clamps makes a simple fix.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Joplin,Missouri
    Posts
    310
    Definitely freeze damage. You can. It and splice for the repair.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    86
    Freeze damage, like someone said try to get the line to slope out to it's drain so it can't have water in the line next time.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mount Holly, NC
    Posts
    2,731
    Quote Originally Posted by second opinion View Post
    When water freezes it will exert a pressure of 2000 lbs.psi
    actually, it's 9000psi...

    water will split mountains!

    that line needs to be wrapped with heat tape, as it's obviously freezing.
    The TRUE highest cost system is the system not installed properly...
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    66,818
    buford, this is the Ask Our Pro's forum, and only Pro members that have been vetted by the AOPC may post advise, commentary or ask questions of the OP here.

    You can find the rules for posting and qualifications here.

    Your post has been deleted.
    Further infractions may result in loss of posting privileges.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    I don't like copper for the line off a condensate pump. I've found to many that were leaking and brittle from chemical reactions with stuff in the condensate.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

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