you're in the
home improvement zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!
and Ventilation Systems Category:
Central air conditioner is creating a water puddle
around its unit base.
/ Materials (See Below
Screwdriver (or other fastening device as determined by the
manufacturer's use of fasteners)
Circuit breaker fuse replacement
AC flexible tube replacement
AC rigid tube coupling
Condensate pump replacement
Solution of bleach and water (1:16 mixture of bleach and water,
Air conditioners and even combustion furnaces of
a high efficiency, as a consequential result of their normal
operation, create a lot of condensation (i.e., the formation of
water), water of which should be properly carried out in tubes to a
floor drain or further removed away through the operation of a
condensate pump. So, having this understanding of the tube-
and pump-system that properly withdraws the condensation, whenever
you notice water puddles around your air conditioner, the most
probable cause of such puddles is either the failure of your air
conditioner tubing, the condensate pump or both. (Of course,
being low on refrigerant may be a contributing factor to your
problem as well.)
If your central air conditioner creates water
puddles, do the following:
foremost, make sure that the air conditioner tubes are not
leaking, and if one is, replace it with another tube.
If the tubes are
fine, take a look at your condensate pump: To make sure
the condensate pump is properly working, pour water into the pan
of the pump to see if it starts working. If it doesn't
start, two causes of this failure are possible: 1) It is
is not receiving electrical power; or 2) It is bad and no longer
operational. As to the former cause of not receiving
electrical power, make sure that the cord of the condensate pump
is properly plugged into an outlet and that the circuit breaker
has not tripped. In fact, make sure that your circuit breaker is turned to "on,"
and if need be, replace any burned out circuit breaker fuse.(See the electrical section.)
If the circuit breaker is in order, the latter cause--the
condensate pump is bad and no longer working--is the applicable
cause of your water puddles, requiring you to replace the
condensate pump with another one, which can be purchased from a
home improvement store, appliance store or online.
If, on the other
hand, the condensate pump starts when you pour the water into
its pan, but it does not remove all of the water from the pan,
this is a sign that your air conditioner is experiencing some
blockage, most probably due to the existence of algae or ice.
More specifically, the pump's incapability to drain out all the
water in the pan is likely because, as a result of the blockage,
the check valve located near the discharge tube, is stuck.
Caution: When dealing with any device that
requires electrical power, make sure you take precautions before
you work on it, including disconnecting the power.
disconnecting the power to the air conditioner, unscrew the
check valve and work loose the ball-like object therein so as to
look for your exact obstruction (again, probably algae or rarely
ice) in the drain tube that follows.
conditioner drain tube is most probably made out of flexible
plastic, which makes it easier to work with. However, some
air conditioners may come with rigid, stiff tubes that are a bit
harder to check and clean. If you have the flexible
plastic drain tube, pull it off the drainage port of your air
conditioner and clean out the clogging algae by poking through
it with a pipe cleaner (or simple wire) so as to clear the tube;
otherwise, you can easily just buy replacement tubing if you
want to spend a few bucks more. If you have the rigid tube, cut
part of it off with a hacksaw (to be repaired with a coupling
later or entirely replaced with a flexible tube), clear it out
with a pipe cleaner (or wire) as you would do with the flexible
precautions for your eyes and hands, then pour a solution of
bleach and water (1:16 solution: 1 part bleach and 16 parts
water) into the tubing (flexible or rigid) so as to really make
it clean of any algae growth.
reconnecting the tubing back to the drainage port of the air
conditioner unit, take the pipe cleaner (or wire) and gently
clean out any debris that may be lingering in the beginning part
of the drainage port pipe that is attached to the air
If ice is
blocking your tubes, this is a sign that your filter is dirty or
that your refrigerant is low. Call a licensed technician to
recharge your air conditioner with refrigerant. If it is
the filter, it must either be cleaned (see step 9 of the
"Central air conditioner does not cool" section) or replaced
with another filter.
the blockage from your tube and cleaned out any debris from the
drainage port, reconnect your flexible tube back onto the
drainage port, and for those of you have worked with the rigid,
stiff tube from the beginning, and chosen not to replace it
entirely with a flexible tube, purchase a coupling to replace
the earlier cut part of your rigid, stiff tube.
reconnected your tube, reconnect the power to your air
conditioner and it should be working fine without the
accumulation of water puddles.
Handyman Zone Team
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