Problems with running attic condensate line drain out the soffit on the side of the house (3 floors up)? Condensate line is leaking and I'm trying to avoid destroying walls to find the leak.

  • Is there a question here? I'm not even sure what you're asking for help with.
    – longneck
    Oct 16, 2018 at 20:19
  • Typically attic air conditioner 1) drain to an inside drain 2) have a secondary overflow drain out the soffit 3) have a drain plan overflow switch. The first drain will overtime plug up due to debris and algae growth, which makes secondary overflow the drain point, it’s intended to make the homeowner realize somethings not right. When ignored eventually that also plugs up, resulting in the overflow switch shutting the system down before water leaks inside and destroys something.
    – Tyson
    Oct 17, 2018 at 11:33
  • I find the units being drained inside only if close to an existing line and most units draining outside.
    – Ed Beal
    Nov 3, 2018 at 15:56

2 Answers 2


An A/C system in an attic usually has two condensate lines. One is the Primary line. The other is a Secondary line. The primary is usually ran to a main plumbing drain. The secondary line is ran to a Conspicuous spot. A spot that is EASILY seen. If the Main line plugs up, then the "overflow" secondary line will start to drip. this is to let the homeowner know there might be an issue with the the condensate or with the coil itself. If this is the case I would have a Tech come take a look at the system.

The secondary line is a safety device to help keep condensate liquid from leaking into the structure of the home.

Hope this helps.


Your best bet is to find the closest interior drain and tie into it. I had a similar problem (not a leak--but rather freezing condensate line). I ran a new condensate line through an HVAC cold-air return chase through 2 stories and into my basement floor drain. The job was surprisingly simple and easy to do. (If you don't have a cold-air return chase, it may be impossible for you.) It will never freeze again. I put one of these in-line to avoid HVAC issues and provide for easy maintenance:


Good luck.

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