Your air conditioner and plumbing system work together to prevent moisture, humidity, and water from escaping. Mold and mildew can be cause by leaks, flooding, and excessive moisture, particularly in humid climates. Additional moisture can do a lot of harm.
Floods, hurricanes, and now ice storms can cause flooding and brake pipes. It’s hard to drain the water from home quickly enough to not damage floors, ceilings, or drywalls. We never imagined that we would have to type “ice storm” in Richmond Texas.
These events can cause water damage. This article will explain how air conditioning and plumbing work together, and how to spot water leaks that might not be apparent at first. This will help you find the right professional to assist you.
How to spot water leaks and minimize damage
Water damage can sometimes be easy to spot because it is flowing through walls or ceilings. First, turn off your water supply to the house. You should know where your water shut-off switch is located and how to turn it off in case of a water leak.
Water leaks might be more obvious many times. Here are some ways to look out for water damage:
- Take a look at your water bill. Is your water bill higher than normal?
- Pay attention to stains on carpets, walls, ceilings, and faucets.
- Is there an odd smell or dank in your home?
- floors laying unevenly or are they warping?
- hearing a dripping sound but can’t pinpoint where it is coming from?
- seeing paint bubble up or is your wallpaper peeling?
- Are your plumbing fixtures showing signs of corrosion or dampness?
- Is water dripping from your condensate drain when your air conditioner turns on?
Maintaining Your HVAC Condensate Drain
To maintain your condensate drain, you must first locate the drain’s exit point. If it is hot along the Gulf Coast, and your air conditioner is on, the drain should be dripping. This indicates that the drain is removing humidity.
The drain should not dribble if the air conditioner is off.
You might have a blocked drain if your air conditioner does not turn on and your drain doesn’t drip.
Your condensate drain may be connected to your plumbing system if you cannot locate a drain from your home. This is covered in more detail later in this article.
How to keep your condensate drain clear
Maintain your HVAC condensate drainage next to your indoor evaporator coil.
The drain’s top is usually located in the attic in many homes. Sometimes, it may be located in a closet or hallway.
It is better to remember it only once or twice per year than not do it.
If you don’t like this type of maintenance, ask your HVAC contractor whether condensate drainage maintenance is includ in their regular maintenance program.
Install a Float Switch
Install a ceiling saver or float switch if you don’t already have one. These switches can turn off your air conditioner if your drain is block or your drain pan gets full.
Your HVAC contractor will show you where your drain is located and how to maintain it.
You may already have one or more float switches depending on your local municipality code.
Make sure you have a drain pan for your air conditioner condensate.
Condensate drain pain often indicates a blocked drain. It is possible to repair it yourself, or you can call an HVAC technician licensed in your area.
It can be worse if your HVAC condensate drainage pan is rusted. This is not something you can fix with a ceiling saver or float switch.
We install rustproof drain pans to prevent humidity from affecting our HVAC systems. This makes drain pans more durable.
How to Stop a Condensate Drain From Leaking
If water is pouring from your ceiling, you may have a blocked condensate drain. The best way to stop the water is to turn off the air conditioning.
What if your condensate drain is attach to your plumbing system?
The HVAC condensate drainage is sometimes independent of your home’s plumbing system. Other homes may have the HVAC condensate drainage plumbed into their plumbing system. A condensate drain is usually connect to an upstairs sink.
This will mean that you won’t have the ability to see the condensate drain leaving the house. However, you will be able to observe drain pain.
A condensate drain clog that is very large and another blockage in your plumbing can cause a backup in your plumbing system. Although it’s unlikely to happen very often, it can happen. This is why it is important to regularly inspect your plumbing system.
We have seen this scenario more times than once: A homeowner has an upstairs bathroom sink that isn’t used very often and has start to drain slowly. Because it isn’t used often, it isn’t a priority. It is possible that the homeowner was not aware that the HVAC condensate drain is connected to this sink. A condensate drain also needs to be maintained.
Clogged sinks and condensate drains can lead to a disaster that requires both a plumber or an HVAC professional to fix. Maintaining your home is important.
Make sure to check your plumbing regularly
Pot-check Plumbing Fixtures & Appliances
It’s a good idea to make it a routine part of your maintenance program to check that your sinks and toilets, tubs and showers, kitchen disposals, dishwasher, washing machine, and ice maker are all working correctly and have no clogs.
Clogs can be avoid by fixing slow drains
You can test the drains by filling the bathroom sink to see how fast it drains. It is often easy to fix a slow-draining sink.
Because my sink was always clogge, I put a handy Drain Strain in it. It makes it much easier to clean.
A strainer should be install in your tub or shower to catch hair and prevent it from clogging the drain. You can find many other strainers at your local home improvement store. You might find more ideas from your plumber!
You can avoid clogging your pipes by being careful. Certain things, including Make sure you schedule regular maintenance for your plumbing services.
Don’t make the error of skipping regular maintenance. Plumbers will often advise that plumbing maintenance should be done every two years for most homes.
Most commonly, condensate drains for air conditioners are plugg into a sink in a bathroom.
A clog can occur in your condensate drainage system if it is not clear up and another clog is hidden in the bathroom. This could cause a backup in your plumbing system. This situation is best dealy with by a professional plumber.
Check appliances that use a lot of water in your home. Their hoses or connectors could be the source of water leakage.
Water lines are also connect to the refrigerator/freezer’s water heater, dishwasher, and water heater.
What causes mold or mildew to form?
It is crucial to quickly clean up water from your home if there is a leak from the condensate drain or the plumbing. In humid, warm climates like ours, mold and mildew can quickly grow.
Mold can also be cause by plumbing and HVAC condensate drainage problems. Moisture can get trapp behind walls and cause expensive problems.
Why Mold and mildew removal is important
Mold and mildew can be easily identify by their distinctive musty odor and dark spots that indicate when they are getting going.
If left untreated, moisture and dampness can pose a health risk. Mold can adversely impact indoor air quality.
The Environmental Protection Agency provides more information on how to safely identify and remove mold from your home after a flood or leak.
Drying a House After a Major Water Leak
It is important to dry your home quickly after they have been wet. This will help preserve the indoor air quality. Call water damage restoration professionals if you have this problem.
You can purify your home with ultraviolet lights installed in your ductwork and/or an installation of a whole-home air purifier, that actively removes any airborne contaminants.
After a major hurricane, we installed a whole-home air purification system. It made a significant improvement in indoor quality within a very short time.