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Anyone here ever had a AC unit flood your attic?


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#1 The Predaking

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 10:31 PM

So yeah, after about 4.5 years of living in the house, the ac's drain lines became clogged. This cause the coil's containment box to rust and leak, this leak went into the Auxilary drain pan below it, that also had a clogged drain. So after time, the Auxilary drain rust through, and water soaks through the plywood beneath it and into the drywall underneath. This creates a nice big water spot in my ktichen.

I called a AC guy out, and he wanted to replace the entire coil, pan, and clean out the lines, for $1500. So after getting some serious seconde opinions, and some info from high places, I ended up getting both drain lines snaked out, which cost me just $70. Not much wet insulation up there, as it looks like it soaked straight through the plywood. So I guess that I need to disconnect the drainage pipe and cut out the wood, and replace it with a new wood and auxilary pan.


Anyone else have this problem before?

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#2 JRSBill

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 10:55 PM

I find it strange the AC unit is in the attic. Mines attached to the furnace in the basement and drains to the sump pit with the compressor mounted on the outside of the house on a concrete slab. Been all over the country on vacation and never saw a in attic unit.

Edited by JRSBill, 16 March 2012 - 10:56 PM.


#3 Evil Zoe

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 10:56 PM

QUOTE(JRSBill @ Mar 16 2012, 08:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I find it strange the AC unit is in the attic. Mines attached to the furnace in the basement and drains to the sump pit with the compressor mounted on the side of the house. Been all over the country on vacation and never saw a in attic unit.



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#4 The Predaking

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 12:30 AM

Well, I don't have a basement, sadly as I would love to utilize one for a Home Theater area. Most of the units here are built into the house's attic, as it makes running the central air condition a lot easier.

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#5 Axaday

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 01:01 AM

QUOTE(JRSBill @ Mar 16 2012, 09:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I find it strange the AC unit is in the attic. Mines attached to the furnace in the basement and drains to the sump pit with the compressor mounted on the outside of the house on a concrete slab. Been all over the country on vacation and never saw a in attic unit.


Some parts of the country have basements. A lot don't. I'm sure Pred's compressor is outside too. Abut his coils are in the attic. Mine are too. Used to be in a closet, but when my vents built into the slab foundation collapsed, I had to move all the air handling to the attic and that required the HVAC unit to go up there too.

Pred, my coils haven't flooded, but I have a humidifier attached to my return air and it did. Bad day.

#6 Automan2000

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 02:06 AM

I have the air handler in the attic as well. Most attempts to build basements around here would result in below ground swimming pools.

I have had the same problem but a somewhat different cause. The house had been originally built in the 1920's and the central AC had been added sometime in the early 70's. Apparently the drainage wasn't sufficient so over the course of many hot and muggy summers the insulation around the unit had become saturated with water and it started draining from a point the was outside of the drain pan.

The fix wasn't too difficult:
  1. Removed old insulation and rewrapped the the air handler.
  2. Installed a secondary drain pipe on the pan.
  3. Installed a couple of pieces of sheet metal to extend the are covered by the drain pan.

So, even if the insulation became saturated again it wouldn't start leaking out on to the ceiling.

The ceiling itself wasn't too bad either. There isn't a typical sheet rock ceiling instead there are ceiling tiles. I just had to remove and replace about a dozen tiles.

#7 Dake

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 12:07 PM

Sadly this is a somewhat common occurrence. The blockage is typically due to a build up of algea in the lines. There should be a tee somewhere in the line with the opening pointing up and you can poor a little bleach down there once a year or so just to kill off and clean any of that out.

Once of the things I miss most about living in the northern part of the country is basements. That being said, having the ac stuff in the attic works really well because they have all the room they need for distribution and return lines making it fairly efficient.

The real trick is make sure your water heater is not in the attic too - they built them that way here in Texas and that's a far bigger source of major flooding (though mostly due to freezing). Newer construction usually puts the water heater in the garage. If it is upstairs, inspect it regularly to make sure it's not corroding on the bottom.

Edited by Dake, 17 March 2012 - 12:07 PM.

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#8 skankerzero

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 01:57 PM

Yup yup. Happened to me before.

Caused the roof in my master bedroom to collapse in the corner.

Thank goodness we were renting. I just called the landlord and he had to foot the bill.
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#9 Fortress Ironhold

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 02:21 PM

QUOTE(Dake @ Mar 17 2012, 12:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The real trick is make sure your water heater is not in the attic too - they built them that way here in Texas and that's a far bigger source of major flooding (though mostly due to freezing). Newer construction usually puts the water heater in the garage. If it is upstairs, inspect it regularly to make sure it's not corroding on the bottom.


How new is new? And what part of Texas are you in?

Where I live now is 1980s at the oldest, but the heater is in the garage and the AC is by the side of the house.

In fact, I think all the houses on the block are like that.
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#10 Automan2000

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:22 PM

The AC compressor is by the side of the house but the air handler will be inside somewhere. Usually in the attic or basement.

#11 Dake

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 08:43 AM

QUOTE(Fortress Ironhold @ Mar 17 2012, 02:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Dake @ Mar 17 2012, 12:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The real trick is make sure your water heater is not in the attic too - they built them that way here in Texas and that's a far bigger source of major flooding (though mostly due to freezing). Newer construction usually puts the water heater in the garage. If it is upstairs, inspect it regularly to make sure it's not corroding on the bottom.


How new is new? And what part of Texas are you in?

Where I live now is 1980s at the oldest, but the heater is in the garage and the AC is by the side of the house.

In fact, I think all the houses on the block are like that.

"New-ish" might have been better - according to my father-in-law at any rate, the eighties seems to be when the change over occurred. We live in Houston and while our neighborhood is new (our house being one of the youngest at 8 years) we're surrounded by neighborhoods built mostly in the seventies and they have water heaters in their attics.
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