What Do I Do about Excessive Condensation Issues with my Air Handler? - Ask the Expert Episode 223

Today's question is from Dino. "Hi. I bought a 3.5 ton Goodman heat pump from you a year or so ago for a 1,300 Square foot house we remodeled. In the attic is where the air handler is located. The system cools great but I am having excessive condensation problems and I am reaching out to you for some advice into this and I would appreciate any help. Thanks."

When you have an air handler, a heat pump, or an air conditioner, and you've got excessive condensation problems with the air handler, that usually means the condensate drain pan or tube is not getting the water out. If the water isn't draining properly from the air handler, there are usually one of two issues.

  • The drain hose or the pan could be clogged somewhere. Just check and see if there is a bunch of stuff gunking up the drain hose.
  • It could be because your drainage isn't angled downward properly. Most condensate drains are gravity drains, which means that the gravity is just pulling the water down. This could happen if it's installed incorrectly. In that case it could be that the drain pan is overflowing.

You can try to fix this problem yourself. But if everything seems normal and you can't find a clog then you will probably need a professional to come out to take a look at it.

For other questions, be sure to leave a comment below.

8 comments (view/add)
  • Steve H
    Steve H
    Posted on 8/25/2020

    Reading through this condensation issue. While it appears that the horizontal system sizing (tonnage) was adequate in generating condensate lets step back.
    Like others noted: Your Physical location was not noted however its humid. A typical 2.5 ton system operating with an indoor air temp setting of 78 degrees could generate a quart of condensate every 30 minutes Starting with an indoor humidity of 75%. With the statement of “Condensate is blowing around the inside of the coil enclosure” This condition can occur for a number of reasons. 1) Coil is not Securely mounted level or slightly pitched to the factory drain plugs. 2) Did you consider running Two separate Drain lines of 3/4” so that the primary and secondary drain ports relieve condensate development. 3) Did the manufacturer provide any internal air deflector necessary for horizontal application? Confirm Refrigerant coil and blower Installation per the manufacturers instructions. 4) If the refrigerant coil is a multiposition Type, was the Internal upflow position drain pan removed for unconditional airflow without obstruction? 5) What is the downstream ductwork or plenum configuration downstream of the full size outlet of the coil? Any abrupt Directional change or fitting takeoff on the plenum can generate airflow Obstructions contributing to the disturbing condensate water turbidity within the drain pan. 5) Make sure the coil connections and ductwork are well insulatec with foul taped joints ensuring that the condensate leakage is truly internal vs external sweating.

  • Tony
    Posted on 8/24/2020

    The condensate line into the ac condenser unit is clear, the p-trap and the line out is clear but the pan keeps filling with water.
    I drain the pan of all the water and it runs for a few days and than the pan fills up again with water shutting the unit down.
    What else do I need to check?

  • Kyle
    Kyle from Ingrams
    Posted on 8/26/2020

    Speaking generally, there are circumstances where the type and depth of the trap is not great enough to prevent the blower from pulling water back from the trap. The drain should be ¾ PVC, and the water level in the trap must be at least 2 inches below the bottom of the drain fitting. In addition the depth of the trap should be at least 1 inch below the water level, and there must be no vent between the trap and the drain fitting. If the drain configuration meets those dimensions then there must be some other drain problem such as a rise in the drain line leaving the trap. In some cases of high static applications, the trap must be even deeper that the 2 inches mentioned above.

  • Emma Taylor
    Emma Taylor
    Posted on 8/14/2020

    Where can I buy new batteries fo my MrCool 250 Btu air conditioner remote control?

  • Kyle
    Kyle from Ingrams
    Posted on 8/14/2020

    The MrCool mini-split remote uses standard batteries. You should be able to get extras at any hardware store, grocery, or pharmacy.

  • Dino Canale
    Dino Canale
    Posted on 8/11/2020

    Hi I am the person who posted this question initially and have had multiple “pros” come to look at my problem they all have tunnel vision and go straight to the drain line and add a vent or take one out or add a larger “p” trap which seems to be a common problem. Not mine. I am producing more condensation than can be drains out and is blowing around inside the air handler which is going to shorten the life and cause many other problems down the road. Please any help would be appreciated. Sincerely Dino Canale

  • Kyle
    Kyle from Ingrams
    Posted on 8/12/2020

    I'm sorry to hear that. I'm sure it's frustrating. Have you thought about or tried running a dehumidifier in the house?

  • Susan Benincasa
    Susan Benincasa
    Posted on 8/3/2020

    I have the same problem, same size equipment and house. My installer re-used the old drain pipe, I finally ran drano through it to make the problem stop. The copper pipe was also reused and has a pinhole so I also have the problem of replacing the pipe and coolant to deal with.

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