What is That Dripping Sound in My Attic?

Posted By Tom's Mechanical || 1-Aug-2013

In Texas it is common for HVAC equipment to be located in the attic. The evaporator coil and air handler or furnace are installed above the ceiling while the condensing unit is located outside the home. This is done to free up floor space within the home.

There is only one drawback to HVAC equipment being located in your attic: condensate leaks can create havoc if not caught and corrected. In the worst case water overflows the drain pan and drips through your ceiling!

Here are some recommendations for avoiding such a disaster. First, be sure your attic system has an emergency drain pan. While this won't eliminate the problem completely, it offers a necessary layer of protection. Second, make sure the drain pan contains a safety switch or “ wet switch.” These switches detect when water levels are too high and shut off you're AC system until the problem is corrected.

Condensate overflow problems originate from clogged condensate drains. Drains especially become clogged during periods of low usage (colder months) when spider webs and other debris accumulate in the pipes. You can guard against this problem by treating the condensate drain with a mixture of diluted bleach two or three times each year. Yes, it takes a few minutes to mix the bleach and climb into the attic, but what are a few minutes compared to a water-damaged ceiling?

During your next AC inspection ask your technician about your drain pan and whether or not it contains a "wet switch." He'll know what you are talking about, especially if he works for Tom's Mechanical. Contact our Arlington office today for assistance with any of you HVAC needs.

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