Monday, July 20, 2009


Yesterday, as JJ & Joy were pulling out of the driveway to head back to SC, I heard a "liquid"-ish noise. I turned my head to discover that my A/C air-handling unit was leaking water all over the garage floor.

I heard about such A/C perils and was quick to resolve to the fact that it was my time. I was just bothered by thoughts of impending hassle.

Fischer was there and helped me sop up the water. Then he went with me to pick up a shop vac at WM -- $30, it was on sale (score!). Outside saw an incredible storm, so fixing the A/C that evening was an impossible.

So today after work, I came home and attended to it...

(the fix and pictures can be found after the jump)
I had turned off the A/C since discovering the issue, and after work today, I quickly changed clothes then headed to the back of the house with the shop vac to where the A/C compressor unit was.

I hooked up the shop vac and took its hose to the end drain line pipe.

And it sucked up a lot of horrible liquid.

Since the shop vac was already out, I went to see if my neighbor, Kevin, wanted me to do the same to his A/C fan unit. He said that he actually had the same issue a few months ago, and per the advice of one of his plumber friends, he said that he cut into the pipe of the unit inside the garage, shot pressurized air through to clear out any clogs, then he poured some bleach though to fight any of the mildew, etc. He then came over to my garage and showed me step-by-step what he had done.

First, he remove the panel from the side of the A/C air handler unit. We poured some water on the evaporator coils to see if my using the shop vac helped clear the way for the drip pan. It seemed like there was more of a blockage on this end of the pipe.

So, he cut the drain pipe using jig saw and applied some compressed air through the pipes. After that, he used some duct tape to reconnect the pipes -- this was perfectly acceptable because I can use this break in the pipes if I have to troubleshoot a leak in the future.

We poured some more water in on the evaporator coils / drip pan and heard the liquid flowing quite nicely. We then poured some bleach in there to help fight and prevent mildew.

And that was it. It was a very quick and cheap fix (and yay, I now have a shop vac!). My neighbor was really awesome, plus I learned a lot from this experience.


[MOM, I think that I can fix the A/C at your house too now. I'll bring the shop vac on my next trip up there. Just remind me :)]

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