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Bluish Liquid Dripping from Air Conditioning Vent

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Alan in New York called The Money Pit because he’s got a bluish liquid dripping out of the ceiling, but I think he meant Ghostbusters.

    TOM: (chuckling) Alan, what’s going on? How can we help you?

    ALAN: I have a central air system and I saw a bluish liquid dripping out of one of the ceiling vents.

    TOM: Wow.

    ALAN: It’s not the vent where the cold air comes out of; it’s the vent where the stale air returns to the system.

    TOM: Hmm.

    ALAN: When I touched the liquid, it didn’t have a greasy feel and it didn’t have a smell like oil or anything. It seemed clear to the touch.

    TOM: Right.

    ALAN: It did seem to discolor some black linoleum tile that it fell on, but later that changed back. So I don’t know what that bluish liquid is. It wasn’t like water; it was a little thicker than – it was thicker.

    TOM: And it only happens when the air conditioning is running?

    ALAN: Just happened this one time …

    TOM: Yeah?

    ALAN: … but I mean I had the system on and, since then and afterwards, the system was not working well. I know I was getting warm air coming out.

    TOM: Well, I really can’t imagine what that is. I’m wondering if there’s some sort of a lubricant in the air handler that …

    LESLIE: Antifreeze? (chuckles)

    TOM: Well, no – that you could be seeing. But I will say that in the very hot, humid days, you tend to get more condensation and that collects on the outside of the ducts; that forms water. Sometimes the water will drip through the ceiling. It could be picking up something along the way that changed the color of it to make it appear blue. But if it only happened one time and it hasn’t happened again, then I probably wouldn’t worry about it unless it started happening again. In that case, I’d try to get up in the attic space and look above the area and try to figure out what it is.

    ALAN: OK. Fair enough. I thank you for that.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Alan. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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