Rusty water in condensate line
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  1. #1

    Rusty water in condensate line

    I am posting this question for a coworker who appreciates my ability to do internet research. Please bear with me as I know just enough about HVAC to make me dangerous.

    In a typical install does the condensate line drain directly from the tray that the exchanger sits on or does it drain from within the unit?

    She has a 5 year old system with the exchanger in the attic. She has rusty water coming from the condensate line. She caught some water in a jar and there is sentiment in the water. She says that the tray in the attic has no signs of discoloration and was dry.

    Should she be concerned?

    Thanks.
    Bruce

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Naples, Fl
    Posts
    889
    Enough to have the system serviced twice a year by a qualified technician. Not some come on low priced marketing sales company that does air conditioning.

    Good Luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    The Twilight Zone
    Posts
    2,964
    There is a drain pan directly under the evaporator (indoor) coil in the air handler. For attic installations, there may be a secondary drain pan under the air handler in case the primary drain pan clog ups. There also may be a second drain line in the primary pan about an inch higher than the primary drain line to allow for draining in case the primary line is clogged.

    Usually, the clog is algae or mold.

    Have it checked before water stains the ceilings.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    34
    Yes She should be concerned. Some drain pans are metal and rust up. The rust and flakes can cause the drain to plug up and overflowand spill onto the ceiling.

    A safety float switch can be installed to shut the system down if the drain does back up.

    A secondary pan--Under the current system is also recomended(mentioned above).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    21
    Hard to answer any question such as this without further info. Best bet is to have a qualified tech take a look and make the determination of what is causing the rust.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Shelby Twp MI
    Posts
    820
    From the sounds of it, it can from the condensate drain line and not the drain pan under the unit (since you said it was dry). Five year old unit, I'm guessing it's an FRP drain pan. Reddish, rust color with sediment, I'm going for algae. It builds up in the drain pan. You can buy tablets to put into the pan that will prevent that, but it needs to get cleaned out before it clogs and overflows (and it will). If she has a condensate pump, then the pump needs regular cleaning or she'll be replacing that in time. But, without seeing it first hand, it's just a guess.
    Jim

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Shelby Twp MI
    Posts
    820
    Quote Originally Posted by tlrutko312 View Post
    Hard to answer any question such as this without further info. Best bet is to have a qualified tech take a look and make the determination of what is causing the rust.

    Ted?????????
    Jim

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by tinmarine View Post
    Ted?????????
    Yours truly!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    il
    Posts
    19
    sounds like she may have a metal pan for the evap coil. most coils now have plastic pans. there are a few companys that will sell you a higher efficency coil but never put it in. a company by me just got busted for it. supply house cut them off. call a pro and have them check it out

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