Do HVAC Plumbing Issues Increase in the Summer?

June 01, 2021

Most of the time, your HVAC plumbing functions without notice. However, in certain circumstances, both the furnace and the central air conditioner produce enough condensation to cause a problem in the event that HVAC plumbing issues do arise.

Condensate water generated by either source must be safely removed from the house, either into a connection with the home’s indoor drain system or outdoors. If anything goes wrong in this process, indoor water damage may occur or the AC or furnace may automatically shut down.

AC Drainage

Condensate produced by the evaporator coil drips into a wide shallow pan beneath the indoor air handler, then through a drain pipe connected to the household drain system. Issues that may interfere with this process include:

  • A cracked drip pan.
  • A drain pipe clogged by algae or mold originating in the drain pan.
  • A defective condensate pump (if installed).

Coil Icing

A frozen evaporator coil may form layers of ice that eventually extend outside the coil. When the system shuts down and this ice melts, water damage may occur in the area around the indoor air handler — another HVAC plumbing problem.

High-Efficiency Furnace Plumbing Problems

Condensate produced by the second stage heat exchanger flows into a trap, then through a drain line, which typically extends outdoors or is connected to the sewer pipe. Two problems may affect proper drainage:

  • Clogged condensate trap or drain line that may trigger automatic furnace shutdown.
  • Defective condensate pump (if installed).

Resolving Plumbing Problems

Plumbing issues are generally not DIY-friendly and usually require qualified HVAC service to prevent or repair it. Prevent plumbing malfunctions by scheduling annual professional preventive maintenance for both the AC and the furnace at the outset of the cooling and heating seasons. Typical repairs may involve:

  • Clearing clogs such as algae and mold from the AC condensate drip pan and drain line.
  • Resolving evaporator-coil icing issues such as low refrigerant charge.
  • Cleaning high-efficiency furnace condensate trap and drain line.

For more about experienced service to prevent or resolve HVAC plumbing problems, contact the professionals at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors.