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Most one story single family homes have their condensation plumbing ran to the exterior of the home. It is the most commonly used method of piping for your home HVAC system. It is easiest to install & maintain. When designing your HVAC plumbing design, it is best to use the shortest possible route to the exterior of your home. Shorter plumbing designs will drain faster and clog up less frequently. Checking your outdoor condensation pipes for proper drainage is important. If your outdoor pipes get clogged up, it can cause your emergency float switches to turn off your HVAC equipment. If your PVC pipes are too close to the ground, dirt, weeds, plants, & insects can cause your PVC pipe to clog up. You can use a small shovel to remove all dirt & debris, that may be blocking the outlet flow of condensation.

In your air conditioning system, you have two types of drains. You have a primary and a secondary drain. Your primary drain is the most important drain in your HVAC system. The primary drain operates 24 hours a day and removes all the water from the evaporator coil. The condensation is produced from hot humid air in your home. There are three common locations where you can check if the primary drain is blocked. Inside your evaporator coil, there is an internal drain pan. Lots of slime & sludge build-up develops there. The slime build starts to clog up PVC traps & 90 degree angles closest to the evaporator coil. The slime begins the shrink the interior diameter of all your PVC pipes. Another location that gets clogged up is the black rubber hose connection underneath your bathroom sink. The black rubber hose ties into a narrow barb connection that blocks up very easily. Human hair from combing & shaving & also gets found near & around the black rubber hose area. That human waste also contributes to bathroom sinks draining slowly. That hair build up causes the PVC traps underneath the sink not to drain properly. Finally, the last area you can check for blocked PVC pipes is your outdoor pipes. You need to make sure all your pipes are clear from leaves & dirt. If your pipes are too close to the ground, you’ll need to get a small shovel to remove some of the dirt around your PVC pipes.

Local state HVAC & plumbing codes dictate how your primary drain installation will be in your home. When beautiful Fulshear townhomes are built, the developer doesn’t want to see ugly PVC pipes running down the side of your home. One way to eliminate that eyesore is to run your HVAC condensation pipes in your home to your bathroom sink. The bathroom sink drainage method is not the best method of draining your HVAC system, but it is the most convenient. More maintenance is required to your AC system when it’s piped into your bathroom sink. The bathroom sink clogs up more often, causing your whole ac system to overflow. The good news is that the maintenance is simple. You only need a socket screwdriver, small bucket, & wet vac to perform your maintenance in your bathroom sink. When removing the black hose from the sink, you must have a bucket ready you capture all the water that is about to rush down from the HVAC unit. A good gallon of water could come down from your Fulshear & Sugar Land HVAC unit.

Most people don’t know that cold PVC pipe material condenses if there is a big temperature difference in your attic. The condensation that leaves your evaporator coil can be a cold as 40°F, and your attic can be as hot as 140°F. It is important to have all your PVC pipes in your attic insulated well. It’s easy to forget that you can also leak water in your attic from condensation from your PVC pipes. The condensation from your PVC pipes in your attic can cause stains in your ceiling & produce mold growth. The intense heat in your attic does give your insulation normal wear & tear. It can take a good 18 years before you have to replace the insulation again. When performing routine maintenance, the service technician needs to retape all areas where he flushed out your pipes. Improperly taping of your PVC pipes after service has performed, can also cause leaks around your HVAC system. There are different thickness sizes of pipe insulation. Higher quality insulation is more expensive. The higher quality insulation lasts longer & will protect your attic better.


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1. Check Clogged PVC Trap

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Flooded Secondary / Auxiliary Drain Pan

When your primary drain is not draining correctly or fast enough it will overflow into your secondary or emergency drain. Your secondary drain should be serviced and checked along with your primary drain pan on a yearly basis. If you noticed that your emergency drain is draining, you should have your primary drain repaired immediately. If you use your emergency drain for long periods of time, the galvanized metal will begin to rust. Most internal drain pans are constructed of heavy duty plastic, but some are constructed of metal. The plastic will not rust, and is designed to hold slow moving condensation. For those that have metal drain pans, eventually they will rust out, and leak into your secondary drain. Many people not realizing are using the emergency drain pan for long periods of time. The emergency drain pan can also get clogged up, if that happens you will have water all over your ceiling & home.