Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Seymour, CT
    Posts
    2

    Angry

    I need a second opinion please. I'll try to keep the story brief. I had a 3000SF colonial built in Seymour, CT in Nov 2002. I turnedd the AC on for the first time in June of 2003 and my ceiling got flooded. The HVAC contractor returned and said the INTERNAL collection tray (or whatever it's called exactly) was cracked and caused the leak. He replaced it and repaired the ceiling damage. I had no more leaks, but did notice that the EXTERNAL overflow tray was always full of water when I was in the attic, but I thought that was normal...I obviously have little knowledge about HVAC. The following summer that water spilled out over the side of the overflow tray and again stained my ceilings. I called the contractor and he said the internal tray was again cracked and needed to be replaced, which I paid for. However water still leaked into the overflow tray. He also adjusted the shut-off in the overflow tray so it couldn't spill over. They later came back with the CARRIER rep and tried lowering the depth of the trap, which had no effect, and finally, last October, said they had somehow tilted the condenser coils slightly, and that should relieve the problem, but it was too late in the season at that point to check it because it was already cold in my area. I turned the AC on for the first time this past Saturday night and on Sunday morning went up in the attic to check the overflow tray, which was dry! I was starting to feel good when I noticed water spray on the wooden stand in front of the condenser, and knew something was wrong. I pulled up some insulation around the equipment and sure enough, there was water leakage on the ceiling again, and damaging and staining the sheetrock below. The contractor came yesterday and said that the PVC pipe fitting at the trap was cracked and that it was the result of water sitting in the trap and freezing over the winter, causing the damage to the pipe. Of course, I wasn't there to see what was actually done or went wrong, and this reply gets them off the hook in term of responsibility for the new damage. I just want to know if this expanation seems reasonable. I mean, it's hard for me to believe that my attic, in the center of the house (where the condenser is), and the trap, which is near the attic floor, could get cold enough to freeze the pipe and crack the fitting. By the way, I do keep the heat running in the winter, but my attic is well insulated. Can this 3rd leak in 2 seasons just be a very unlucky coincidence for me, or does this new story seem fishy? If the PVC trap did freeze, what can I do to prevent a recurrence? Thanks for any and all replies. Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    GA
    Posts
    30
    Jim - I'm no expert, but have owned a few houses over the years. And being the inquisitive type, I've always tried to understand how things work. That way I can do a better job of finding the right "expert" to fix my screwups.

    Anyway, the point being that this does not sound kosher to me. We'll see what the Pro's have to say.

    I'm assuming that your Compressor is sitting outside somewhere, and the coils internal to the unit is what you are calling the condenser. If not, you've lost me.

    I've never seen any of my units spray water, but they have leaked when the overflow pipes have clogged up with gunk. These overflow pipes ALWAYS carried water directly to the outside, and the external Overflow pan was for emergencies only. ANY water in there meant call for help NOW.

    As for the pipe, it could happen but I doubt it. Given that the water has room to expand why would it crack the pipe? Well, never bothered my unit anyway, but I'm in the South so not quite as cold here.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    9,548
    first off, you'll only see water in that secondary drain pan if the primary drain pan is blocked(problem). They make a switch you can have installed(float switch) which will save you the ceiling damage. If your attic does get cold enough to freeze, and being originally from Ct. I don't doubt it, it could crack the drain pan if water is left in it, although it sounds suspicious to me that this a recuring problem, beings there should be enough time for the water to evaporate out of the pan before the winter season. If not take a wet-vac and find your drainline outside(by the condenser) and vacuumm water out of the line before cold weather hits. Good luck.
    If everything was always done "by the book"....the book would never change.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Seymour, CT
    Posts
    2
    What I'm calling the "condenser" is the unit in the attic where the coils are. The pvc trap that they said cracked (which runs from the internal pan of the condenser and ultimately to the outside of my house)sits on the floor of the attic below the unit, just an inch above the insulation in the ceiling. I never actually saw any water spraying anywhere, but it was pooling below the condenser on the sheetrock, as well as on the wooden platform that was built to stand on in front of the unit. And that platform is a few inches higher, and about a foot away, from the trap, so I don't know how else water could get from the trap to there without somehow spraying. Is the water in that pvc pipe under pressure? I can't help but think something else was wrong and this is a way to divert the problem...but I could be unjustly suspicious.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Poughkeepsie, Ny
    Posts
    631
    Originally posted by jimjik
    What I'm calling the "condenser" is the unit in the attic where the coils are. The pvc trap that they said cracked (which runs from the internal pan of the condenser and ultimately to the outside of my house)sits on the floor of the attic below the unit, just an inch above the insulation in the ceiling. I never actually saw any water spraying anywhere, but it was pooling below the condenser on the sheetrock, as well as on the wooden platform that was built to stand on in front of the unit. And that platform is a few inches higher, and about a foot away, from the trap, so I don't know how else water could get from the trap to there without somehow spraying. Is the water in that pvc pipe under pressure? I can't help but think something else was wrong and this is a way to divert the problem...but I could be unjustly suspicious.
    The part of which you refer to condenser is actually the Evaporator. The condensor is the outside one.

    Yes, PVC drain traps can and do crack. 1st time, ok, 2nd time, maybe, 3rd time, I'd be suspicious.

    The pan under the unit should only have water in it if there is a problem. There is a pan built into the evaporator unit, if there is a problem with the inside pan, then that should be looked at. The evaporator should be level along the long axis and a slight pitch across the short to allow the water to drain away quickly.
    Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so.
    -Robert Green Ingersoll

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Gold Coast of Connecticut
    Posts
    4,578
    I also reside in seymour over in Greenwood Circle.

    It does seem unfortunate that you had so many water leaks, but trapps do freeze up and split. If the carrier rep was out the contractor did the right thing and corrected the leak. If the guy was there for 30 mins or so i am sure thats all he did was fix the trapp. They make a better trapp you can have installed thats made of clear plastic and can be taken apart and cleaned. I have not personally had this problem, but i have only a running trapp.

    I would just suck the water out of the trapp in the fall.
    Aire Serv of SW Connecticut- Gas heat, dual fuel and central a/c systems installed and serviced

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event