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  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Regina in New Jersey has an air conditioning question. What can we do for you today?

    REGINA: Well, my air conditioner is 13 years old and when I went down to the basement it was surrounded by a lot of water.

    TOM: Hmm, OK.

    REGINA: I was checking it out and it looks like there was a – I was looking in the furnace and there were a whole bunch of water droplets inside the unit.

    TOM: OK.

    REGINA: So it looks like the humidity is coming out of the house but not going outside …

    TOM: Mm-hmm, yeah.

    REGINA: … but puddling around the floor of the furnace.

    TOM: Yep, easy fix.

    REGINA: What’s the problem?

    TOM: Your condensate – a couple of things. You’re looking at the – what you’re seeing is the air conditioning condensate. When your air is cooled it releases moisture and so what you’re seeing is that moisture is not draining properly. Now I’m not quite sure how your system is set up to drain but I can give you a couple of options.

    Typically, there’s a condensate tube – usually a white PVC pipe – that is mounted above the furnace that catches that water and drains it down that pipe and into what’s called a condensate pump, which is usually a small box, about the size of a car battery or maybe smaller, on the floor next to the furnace where that water is pumped out. Now it could be – what typically happens is sometimes that condensate line gets blocked. You know, I’ve seen paper labels off of air conditioning equipment block that. I’ve seen other types of debris block that. It doesn’t take a lot because you’re not talking about a lot of water pressure, but I bet you that that condensate line is blocked and, as a result, the water is backing up and spilling over into your furnace area.

    Now you do want to get this fixed because in the long run what can happen is, besides making a big mess, that can rust out the heat exchanger which is right below that and that means you’d need a new furnace. Now that would take a long time but, for right now, you definitely want to get on it. It should be a simple fix. If you can’t figure it out yourself, have your HVAC contractor do it. But it happens all the time and it’s not a big deal.

    REGINA: Well, thank you very much. I really appreciate it.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Regina.

    REGINA: And I enjoy your show every week.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Thank you so much.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Thank you.

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