My question is about AC Condensate Line Not Draining.

Please help. We have had two separate service technicians and after 8 service trips, water is still leaking at our condo.

I have First Co Air Handler (30HX5-240). It started leaking water so we had it serviced.

The AC technician blew nitrogen to the drain line, I guess assuming a clogged drain line.It didn't work. He did it again and this time, he changed the drain pipe to a clear plastic tubing so he can see water draining. Still didnt work. We had him look at the drain pan and it was rusted. He put a new drip pan in and it still leaked. At the 4th service call, he blew nitrogen again, had his son who is also an AC technician, pump the drain forward and backward. We saw some rust debri come out but now water is clear. We also had plumber come to snake it. He put in a T to vent it out. Not visible in picture. Inside ceiling.

We called another big AC company. They said the drip pan wasn't wasnt installed properly. He corrected it and vacuumed the drain and tested it to make sure it was draining. Still leaked. On his return visit, he said it was spitting water and recommended a new unit and said there wasn't anything he could do.

We weren't convinced a new unit was required as the AC is working. Had first service technician come back out and readjusted drain and had drip pan replaced again as it looked like it had a leak. Well, that didn't do the magic trick. We changed the air filter again and tested it. We can see water draining from our test when we pour about 6 bottles in but water was always pooling at the plastic tubing. After unit runs for about 6-8 hours, it then leaks again. I began researching and reading quite a bit and came to the conclusion that we needed to do two things. Put a condensate running trap and cap off the T air vent. I bought the running trap at Home Depot and gave it to AC guy to install. I was confident that this will work. Well, it's still leaking.

Our next step is to open up the drain on the opposite site of the drip pan and connect to the T that we had left on the drain as shown in the picture. The air vent is not visible and a few inches to the left of the the T. I think the unit is drawing air back and it's not able to drain out when unit is running. When unit is off, it drains fine as we can see it from the end of the drain under the vanity.

I also am going to ask the technician to check on refrigerant.

Your expert suggestions is much appreciated. This is keeping me up at night. :-)

enter image description here

1 Answer 1


Your condensate line may not have the proper pitch to allow the water to drain. Another option is a condensate pump. These are little water pumps that pump the condensation water from the drip pan out through the tube. This can be wired to run while the A/C unit runs, or when water is detected.

Out of curiosity, where does your drain line end? At some point I think it is up to high and not allowing the water to fully drain or sagging once it fills with water, then stops the drain from draining.

  • 1
    Thanks Jeff. The drain line is connected to a pvc pipe that is in the ceiling (condo so hard to get to, but we can see it..no crawl space) that go down to a wall and drains into the vanity plumbing in the bathroom. It was straight line before the AC technician changed it into a running trap. Water drains fine when unit is not running, but when it runs the coil drips water continuously and the blower air hits it and splashes water. That is now the leak we are getting. We had now a 3rd AC company that came out and they don't even want to touch it. A new AC is my option that is left.
    – Mimicfo
    Sep 24, 2017 at 18:20
  • Sounds like a shroud is not in place to prevent the fan from "sucking" condensate from the pan. See if you can find a parts diagram and see if there is a piece of shroud missing.
    – Jeff Cates
    Sep 24, 2017 at 21:42
  • @Mimicfo - Third AC company knows what they're doing. The whole thing needs a pan under it that drains. Have fun with that, where there's no room for a pump.
    – Mazura
    Oct 23, 2017 at 22:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.