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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008

    HVAC Error Detected

    I broke down and turned on the AC for the first time today. I noticed just now that the air handler (lennox CBX32MV) is making a gurgling sound and that the drain pan is filling with water. The thermostat says that an HVAC error has been detected.

    The system is 2.5 years old. The installer we used has recently had a serious health set back and I am not comfortable calling him for advice (it's a small, family owned company), so it looks as if I will have to find a new professional to fix the problem. I'd like to be "informed" while I am looking for a new hvac pro...does anyone have a suggestion as to what the problem might be?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Not unusual for the drain to gurgle first time you turn on the system for the year as the trap fills up with water. After that, it should be quiet and water come out the drain. Not sure what control you have that is diagnosing an error.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Greenville, IL
    I agree with BaldLoonie. There should not be a gurgling noise if the trap is full of water. The pan would not be filling up if the drain is working also. The Error code on the thermostat could be a drain pan fault sensor sending an error message that the drain pan is full and the unit has locked out. Some systems have these to prevent water from overflowing from the drain pan and into the unit or onto the customers floor. I have seen clogged drain hoses or traps that have just enough to let a trickle of drain water out that will also make a gurgling noise. You might have a bug or a mouse or even air born microorganisms, potentially cultivating bacteria clogging up your drain hose, trap, or drain hole. Last year we saw a lot of biological growth blocking up drains. Using a biocide tablet or pad in your drain pan can prevent the growth of these microorganisms that block up drains and is available from your HVAC dealer or HVAC supply house. This can happen as often as 2-3 times a year or not at all. If you have access to your drain pan, and you are comfortable you can use a mixture of warm water and vinegar to help clean out your drain pan and drain hoses. And fill your drain traps with water. An empty trap will not allow water to drain until the blower turns off. Never use chemicals like bleach, ammonia, or other harsh abrasives because the are corrosive and will eat your coil. If you are not comfortable cleaning your own unit you can set up a yearly service agreement with your HVAC dealer / service tech. They will be happy to clean your coils for you once or twice a year usually for really reasonable rates considering what can be involved in a cleaning. And they will often offer you a discount and preferred service if you have a service contract as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Long Beach CA
    I would call the small, family owned company. You are not complaining or expect the owner to service your unit from his sick bed. However, you do need to have the unit serviced. The company either has other techs they can send out, or have a suggestion
    of who you can call because their one and only is unavailable right now. In fact, a recovering small time tech may in fact need just the easy kind of work you have for him right now. This is a service call, not a warranty claim. You will have to pay.

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