how to maintain AC condensation lines

water damage as a result of leaks from air condition condensation lines is probably the most common type of water damage. Condensation line leaks can be very damaging as they usually go unnoticed for a while mostly because they are inside walls and located in low traffic areas. The high humidity and dark space around those lines make them prone to mold growth and as the mold grows it gets distributed through the HVAC system quickly to the rest of the home.

So how do you prevent AC condensation line leaks? the most important thing you can do is inspect it regularly, even a slight sign of water collecting around it is a sign you may have a problem. Here are a few tips on maintaining your AC Condensation line.

1. Inspect regularly, every time you change your filter (+/- 30 days) you should visually inspect the line.

2. Ensure proper pitch and reduce elbows, strait runs are ideal and a drop of 1/8″ every 12″ of length is the minimum pitch. remove 90 degree angles and replace with 45’s when possible

3. Inspect the exit of the AC condensation line make sure when the unit is running you see flow of water, how much will depend on the humidity level in the house.

4. clean it every 3-6 months. i find the easiest way to clean an AC line is using a nylon string and a small piece of cotton rag. Use your shop vac to suck out the nylon string on the exit side then tie the small piece of cotton rag to the other end and just pull through. this will bring out all the debris in the line out the exit side. do not make the rag piece to large or it will get stuck in the line with no way out! it should be small enough to fit loosely in the pipe.

5. Last if you have no room to create the minimum pitch you may have to use a condensation pump to help move the water out, consult your HVAC serviceman for installation and make sure you have an emergency cut-off with it if it fails.

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