I dont even know if drain pipe is the right word. We have this little pipe jutting out of the wall in our back yard.

enter image description here

It keeps dripping water. Its a new unit/apartment in Australia and the builder is now no where - so we are on our own.

First we thought it was the water heaters outlet, because the builder said so. But the water dripping out is cold. Then we noticed it will only drip when our washing machine is draining its water into the trough. Clothes washed with cold water. Doesn't look like all of the water is getting out either, but only a glassfull.

1) Should we be worried about it ? 2) How do I fix it.

  • 4
    It's a bit troubling to me that the water is running away from the drain (grate to the left).
    – Tester101
    Jun 11 '15 at 11:22
  • It might help if you told us what type of equipment you have in the home (e.g. furnace, A/C unit, dehumidifier, water softener, water filtration, etc.).
    – Tester101
    Jun 11 '15 at 12:00
  • @Tester101 The only equipment connected 'to' the house are Split Aircons and water heater. The fridge required no plumbing. And an electric stove. Jun 12 '15 at 0:27
  • @Tester101 Its the dry season here in the tropics and we haven't run our aircons for a while. You reckon there will be condensation dripping out even when the air cons aren't running ? The air cons have their respective drains on the other side of the house though. Jun 12 '15 at 0:34
  • No I wouldn't expect condensate if you're not running the A/C. How am I to know that you're not running A/C, and that the A/C drains are somewhere else? I can't see your house, and you haven't told us much about it.
    – Tester101
    Jun 12 '15 at 0:47

If you only notice it draining when the air conditioning cooling unit is on, my guess would be it is the condensate drain for the evaporator coil.

  • 1
    We have split aircons which have their drains on the other side of the house. And the water drips only when the washing machine drains its water. Jun 12 '15 at 0:28

Typical of a condensate drain, I'd be surprised if you can't trace the thing back inside and see where it connects (run something stiff-but-flexible up the pipe and listen inside if not otherwise obvious.) Might be from an A/C unit, a condensing furnace or hot water heater, etc. In freezing climates safety overflows are normally prohibited from a placement like this (due to potential ice plugs), but that is probably not a concern for your area so it could be that, as well.

Placement right next to a drain grate suggests that there should not be too much concern with a small amount of water coming out of it.

You might set an empty can under it when you are done with the washing and check it before the next washing, just to see if it is in fact running at other times.

Does your washing machine set in a tray? (An arrangement to minimize the effect of a leak in the machine, essentially a very localized floor drain.)

  • The machine is not set in a tray. Its a new Samsung washing machine, whose drain pipe I had pushed into the little drain hole on the corner of a laundry trough. Good idea about the empty can, I ama gonna do that today. Jun 12 '15 at 0:34

A pipe like this is often a safety overflow from a central heating boiler.

I had the same problem, dripping cold water from a pipe like that in a new built house. It was eventually traced to a wrongly fitted safety valve on the expansion tank beside the gas boiler. I was told by the plumber that, if left, the heating pump would eventually fail.

After some haggling, the builder did pay for both the valve and the pump to be replaced and the dripping stopped.

Incidentally, if it is a new build property, ask around your neighbours. There were half a dozen similar faults in houses built at the same time by the same builder. Collective bargaining helps in getting your money back.

  • Right. The water heater/boiler is up in the roof, and am too big to get into the roof :( We have turned off the water heater for a few days from the mains switches and it still continued to drip. Do you still think its the heater at fault ? Jun 12 '15 at 0:36
  • 1
    Mine continued to drip while turned off too. I can't say if your valve is wrongly fitted without seeing it but your symptoms are just like those that I had.
    – Chenmunka
    Jun 12 '15 at 7:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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