Cleaning Your Condensate Drain

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Have you ever seen a movie where the attic ceiling falls down? The only one that pops into my mind is in Chevy Chase’s “Christmas Vacation.”  However, it seems like the type of thing that happens a lot in the movies.  Unfortunately, I have news for you and that is that it doesn’t just happen in the movies.  Having a ceiling fall in could actually be due to a clogged condensate drain.

The condensate drain is a part of your air conditioner that is located near the air handler. As its name suggests, it takes all of the condensation that the air conditioner produces and leads it to either another drain or to a condensate pump.  Basically, it gets all of that excess water out of there.

In order for the condensate drain to keep doing its job effectively, it is imperative that the condensate drain is cleaned out on an annual basis. This task is part of our annual air conditioner inspection. If the drain is allowed to get all clogged up, water will leak all over the place. This is particularly a problem if your air handler and condensate pump are located in the attic.  The water can leak through the ceiling, which could cause the whole ceiling to fall down. Though clogged drains in the attic pose the greatest threat, don’t think you are completely out of danger if your condensate drain is in the basement, you will still have a mess of a soaking wet floor and carpet (if your basement is finished) if the drain is clogged.

Another way to prevent this catastrophe is to have a back up safety switch installed in the drain. If the condensate drain begins to overflow, the air conditioner will automatically turn off, therefore stopping the flow of water before its gets too drastic.