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I have a GE portable Air Conditioner (APH10AA). It's about 10 years old (I guess; we got it used).

It works good (blows cold air), but in the last year or two it's regularly been getting water built-up in the blower fan area, so it sounds like a small waterfall and spits water (into the room).

We assumed it was because of plugged up drip lines between the intake coil and the blower fan area, where the condensation from the coil is supposed to collect/drip down (and drop across the exhaust coil for evaporation).

So we disassembled it, cleaned the 10+ years of dirt out of it (surprisingly not too bad). Ensured the water pump worked, and that the drip lines were clear (ran air through it, ran a wire down them, plus some bleach to kill any mildew).

As far as I can tell those lines are clear, and water runs though them fine. I can pour a cup or so of water into the collector cup, and it goes out the drip lines down the coil and into the bottom container in seconds, as fast as I would expect.

OK, so the problem: it still manages to suck water into the blower fan area. It's like it just pulls the water off the coil, past the collection area, and right into the blower area. I emptied the area yesterday (took it apart a 2nd time to check/do it) and less than 24 hours later it's got a couple table spoons of water already.

I can't find any path for the water to leave this area and it seems to take hours for it to evaporate (if the AC is off), so it just doesn't seem "right". Also, since it's not part of the regular drainage path emptying the water (via bottom spigot) doesn't drain any water from that area.

As far as I can tell by the design/openings in the area, unless those lines are blocked (which mine are not), it should not be able to get enough water built up for it to ever get into the blower's axle/bearings/motor; So I'm not really worried about blowing a circuit, but the water is spitting onto the electronic controls, so that can't be good. ;)

Got any ideas on how to prevent it? Am I missing a drainage path someplace perhaps (can't see any traces of one; the area is mostly full of the blower cage and shaped Styrofoam). Are we just leaving the blower on "High" too much (ie: most of the time) perhaps?

Some experienced opinions/idea would be greatly appreciated. :)

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Could it be condensation from moisture in the room? Would you be able to install a drain line from the area near the fan, to the drip pan (may require taking the unit apart)? –  Tester101 Jul 2 '12 at 16:07
Oh, it's definitely condensation. No more than should be able to be handled by the unit though; it's like it's jumping OVER the part that it's supposed to collect in. –  techie007 Jul 2 '12 at 16:34
The square chamber the blower cage is located in has an insert under the blower cage, which is made of shaped Styrofoam to make a rounded shroud (for lack of better word) under the cage. It's a tight, riveted area, so adding a drain line down through the foam, and then through sheet metal wall to the collection chamber would be a HUGE PITA (even if I got the blower out), an almost complete tear-down to the chassis, and possibly (re)bending sheet metal. So I'm hoping I'm missing something before I have to resort to that. :) –  techie007 Jul 2 '12 at 16:37
What I'm saying is, it might be condensation forming in or around the cold air outlet instead of the warm air inlet. In this case, there may not be an easy way to prevent it (aside from lowering the humidity level in the room). Draining the condensate may be your best, and/or only option. –  Tester101 Jul 2 '12 at 16:41
So you're suggesting condensation is being formed as the cold air hits the room right at the exit, and then falling back into the unit, vs. forming at the coil inside and being pulled into the blower? –  techie007 Jul 2 '12 at 16:46
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1 Answer

1 verify that there is a slight slope downwards in the drain pan. the manufacturer usually specifies how much. 1-2 degrese i believe so that the water naturally drains away from the house and out the back of the ac unit or gets hit by the rear fan and spashes on the external radiator for extra evaperative cooling. they may have left some corner or such open just enough to let the water drain under the foam from the front section in the house to the rear one outside.

2 if it has an eco/auto mode where it will activly evaperate the water use it if possible. running the unit at full blast for long stretches will build ice on the inside and outside coils, usually outside first. keeping the temprature in the room constant instead of large swings every few hours should help some to.

3 verify in house humidity is not high you will get more condensation and possibly mold problems from it. you will have to verify but i think 40% or so is about as high as you want it.

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