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Leaking condensate line


Ben H
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Just got back from the house and writing the report. Noticed a good amount of rust and corrorsion around the PVC condensate line. The unit was sealed up and I could not see anything other than what I took a pic of. What could cause this?

I couldn't find ANY info on the furnace other than it's a LP unit. I guess when they finished the basement, the data tag was on the side of the finished wall and they covered it up. I also caught a VERY light hint of propane a couple of times when the unit was not running.

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Well, but look at the anhydrous salts beneath the liquid line and the verdigris around the condensate drain. My bet is that there's missing insulation on the suction line above the liquid line, and that's where the water's coming from. Three minutes and two bits . . . if you don't have to buy a whole roll of Armaflex.

I write this up on about 80% of the systems I see.

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Well, but look at the anhydrous salts beneath the liquid line and the verdigris around the condensate drain. My bet is that there's missing insulation on the suction line above the liquid line, and that's where the water's coming from. Three minutes and two bits . . . if you don't have to buy a whole roll of Armaflex.

I write this up on about 80% of the systems I see.

True, it has staining on top of the 3/4" female.

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John, why would a Patini form on PVC pipe and where do you see the anhydrous salts? Just curious.

Marc

The green patina originates--typically--from the copper suction line, the same way it forms on a leaking plumbing pipe. As for the salts, look on the front of the evaporator coil. The white trails were caused by dripping water.

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The green patina originates--typically--from the copper suction line, the same way it forms on a leaking plumbing pipe. As for the salts, look on the front of the evaporator coil. The white trails were caused by dripping water.

Dang! You're good with pictures.

Marc

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A few things from your picture:

The additional hole should be plugged/capped. Just a waste of a/c.

The liquid line is tight up against the sheet metal plenum which will be a sure leaker down the road. Also, it looks like the water leak is coming from around where this liquid line enters/in addition to where the cap is missing (dripping down to the liquid line).

Also - when you're checking these systems out make sure the condensate line is trapped on a blow through system (positive pressure in the evaporator section which that system is). The condensate will still drain OK with out a trap however with out a liquid seal the system will just keep blowing conditioned air down the drain = waste of money.

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Also, it looks like the water leak was coming from around where this liquid line enters - perhaps low on charge?

If I understand you correctly Terry, you're suggesting that the liquid refrigerant within the liquid line is expanding into a gas prior to arrival at the system's expansion device and is making the liquid line cold enough to form condensation. Is this correct?

Marc

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Also, it looks like the water leak was coming from around where this liquid line enters - perhaps low on charge?

If I understand you correctly Terry, you're suggesting that the liquid refrigerant within the liquid line is expanding into a gas prior to arrival at the system's expansion device and is making the liquid line cold enough to form condensation. Is this correct?

Marc

I had that originally, as it looks like water is also coming out from where the liquid line enters, however after looking at the picture some more it would appear to be coming mostly from the knockout.

To answer your question though Marc yes, that is what I was driving at. When a unit is low on charge the liquid line will sweat, or frost, and that is the place where it will show up first (end of the line sort of thing).

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