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Old 09-01-2018, 04:51 PM   #1
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Condensate Drain Issue

Had the salon air handler unit start overflowing two days ago. Blew the lines out but still leaking so yesterday I shop vacuumed them to back flush still leaking.
Today I replaced the complete line from salon to bilge, still leaking.
If I go to the bilge and draw on it ever so slightly water comes pouring out but doesnít continue to run. Itís like I need to vent the line to get it to flow. The line is 1/2Ē id and has 4 Ď of fall. I can run a cable all the way through with no obstruction.
Any thoughts?
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Old 09-01-2018, 05:25 PM   #2
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Mine had an ever so slight, barely visible rise out of the pan.

A bubble would form and while I can't say for sure, it seemed like the resistance formed by the bubble was enough to keep it from draining the pan.

I was able to get it flat enough to overcome the bubble...an alternative might have been to put a t in where the tubing formed the bubble...but I don't know if that would work.
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Old 09-01-2018, 05:37 PM   #3
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Air seems to be the issue. I may try to back fill the entire line with water and add a trap on the end.
Itís odd that this issue come after several years of ownership.
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Old 09-01-2018, 10:21 PM   #4
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Turning that unit off for the night Try again tomorrow. Wife not happy.
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Old 09-02-2018, 12:00 AM   #5
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Maybe a dip and then uphill somewhere in the hose? That might stop it from draining. It sounds like you have done reasonable things so far.
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Old 09-02-2018, 02:20 AM   #6
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It might be an air pressure problem. A slight difference in air pressure between the pan and the end of the tubing.
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Old 09-02-2018, 01:59 PM   #7
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Yes hoes need some sort of trap that way the weight of the water will overcome the suction of the blower.
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Old 09-02-2018, 02:37 PM   #8
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1st off, the line is pretty small diameter, it exacerbates any problem you may have with air. A line that small will have trouble draining by gravity unless there's a lot of fall in the line, even then it can become air bound. A larger diameter line allows air and water to cross paths/directions. Run it in 3/4 the problem will probably disappear. Hard pipe is better, it won't sag & create traps. You can clean the line till the cows come home and it won't drain if it's air locking. Of course it flows if you blow through it, you're changing the physics acting on the water column. A tee/vent may or may not help, then you're introducing a point of failure (overflow) if the line backs. Most marine condensate drains are open to the atmosphere, so the blower suction isn't an issue, but if its in a blower compartment you may be getting some negative pressure as others noted. A trap solves that. It may help to drop the line vertically right out of the drain connection then change to horizontal if you have the elevation, so if the line does air lock a bit, it'll build a bit of head in the drop to push the condensate past the air trap.
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Old 09-02-2018, 03:14 PM   #9
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Put a small trap on this morning and it’s been fine all day. I’m not sure why this started happening since we’ve made no changes in that compartment in two years.
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Old 09-02-2018, 05:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maerin View Post
1st off, the line is pretty small diameter, it exacerbates any problem you may have with air. A line that small will have trouble draining by gravity unless there's a lot of fall in the line, even then it can become air bound. A larger diameter line allows air and water to cross paths/directions. Run it in 3/4 the problem will probably disappear. Hard pipe is better, it won't sag & create traps. You can clean the line till the cows come home and it won't drain if it's air locking. Of course it flows if you blow through it, you're changing the physics acting on the water column. A tee/vent may or may not help, then you're introducing a point of failure (overflow) if the line backs. Most marine condensate drains are open to the atmosphere, so the blower suction isn't an issue, but if its in a blower compartment you may be getting some negative pressure as others noted. A trap solves that. It may help to drop the line vertically right out of the drain connection then change to horizontal if you have the elevation, so if the line does air lock a bit, it'll build a bit of head in the drop to push the condensate past the air trap.
To test the possibility that you have reverse airflow combatting the drain flow, put the end of the hose in a cup of water. If that stops the problem, the cup will overflow, if not you don't have enough drop to compete with the vacuum of the blower.
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Old 09-02-2018, 09:38 PM   #11
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How do folks keep their condenser drain line clean? I just had two overflow. After freeing the blockage I pour a half gallon of vinegar into each pan. I am thinking that might not be good enough
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Old 09-03-2018, 04:04 AM   #12
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Peroxide and bleach
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Old 09-03-2018, 06:24 AM   #13
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A friend used bleach in his, and it destroyed the aluminum fins on the condenser.
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Old 09-03-2018, 08:44 AM   #14
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The safest natural solution (currently) is white vinegar. Put a cup of it in each drip pan every month. Clorox bleach can corrode aluminum.
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Old 09-03-2018, 09:33 AM   #15
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Look for Nu-Calgon products. They make condensate pan tabs, pads, that are all easy to apply and won't damage the coils. They also make evap cleaners that are good for cleaning a dirty coil. Don't try to mechanically clean (brush, scraper, etc) a coil, you'll just damage it and make it worse. Use a foaming, self-rinsing spray, the condensate will rinse it off, it will get deep into the coil to give it a thorough cleaning. These products are much better suited than home-grown application of household chemicals. Bleach in particular.
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Old 09-17-2018, 02:43 PM   #16
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I have used bromine tablets to keep both drain and supply lines clear of organic growth. Much less caustic than chlorine or bleach and available from spa supply shops. Drop a few tabs in the strainer and drip try as experience dictates.
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Old 09-17-2018, 10:29 PM   #17
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Living in buzillion percent humidity here, we all learn quickly to use pan tabs both in house and boat. Came home many years ago to a house (on slab) with 1/4 inch of water throughout when the a/c pan over flowed for just a day!
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Old 09-18-2018, 05:38 PM   #18
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time to move to more northerly climes, Rich!
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Old 09-18-2018, 06:35 PM   #19
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I need to become a reverse snowbird!
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Old 09-18-2018, 08:14 PM   #20
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I use that hard clear plastic 1/2" polyethylene tubing It is a straight drop then makes a gradual turn and runs about 10 foot for both being a split system with 2 evaporators you have 2 drain lines. Not had any clogging yet. Simply joined together with short rubber hose sections. The ends dump direct into the shower drain, a square bucket really, which is wide open on top. Simply, it is an old 5 gallon gas can with top cut off and a 300 gpm Rule pump screwed on the bottom.
I wonder if your dumping into a sealed top container, dose that cause a backup? are those things vented?
Before I had the boat, the AC drain water was just dumping into the bilge.
Whatever I had before, it was nasty dirty, and was also broken, the pump did not pump out the shower water. I tossed it all and started over. what I have now is easy to clean and was cheap to make, basically free, I had all those pieces given to me as dumpster finds at the marina. That marina crushed a lot of old boats, and most of it went to a landfill.
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