I would like to educate other members of the population who did not take plumbing and air-conditioning classes.  If your outdoor air-conditioning unit has a condensation drain, check it yearly. Make sure it is not clogged by roots, leaves and dirt. Failure to do so can cost you a heart-stopping chunk of change.


This is what my condensation drain looked like on the air-conditioning tech’s first visit. The drain pipe was almost buried but he didn’t seem to notice.


After the tech’s second visit, where he got down to the business of fixing what was actually wrong, my brother installed a 1-1/2 inch PVC pipe under the AC drain. He cut a hole in the PVC pipe where it meets up with the condensation drain and placed a piece of screen over that hole. A PVC end cap closed up the PVC pipe at that end.

This next photo is the other end. It was cut at an angle and left exposed for drainage purposes:


I learned about condensation drains the hard way. As is often the case, my 5-year-old Bryant air-conditioner (a Carrier product) stopped cooling in 93 degree weather. I am always so excited when it does that. Well, maybe not. On the first trip, the tech replaced the capacitor because some kind of measurement was at 43.5 and needed to be 45. Better to replace it than pay for another service call. The unit then kept me in cool comfort for 8 days. It chose to stop cooling on a day that I was not home. I couldn’t get it serviced until the next day.

On the second trip, the tech decided that my fan blower broke because roots had grown over the condensation drain. Huh? Yeah, that was my reaction, too.

Without proper drainage, condensation remained inside the unit to splash up on the blower each time the unit came on. In other words, it was my fault. It had just gone out of warranty, anyway.  I was most unhappy that my AC company, who installed the $3700 unit five years ago, never mentioned that I should monitor the condensation drain to insure it remained clutter free. When I mentioned this aggravation to my brother, he said they assume you know this. Well, gee, it is kind of obvious in hindsight now that I know what that small PVC pipe was supposed to do. However, never once in high school or college was I offered air-conditioning or plumbing classes. Thus, I didn’t realize the white PVC pipe was a drain. As a result of my ignorance, these two trips from the AC tech cost me $1600. Now, run outside and check your condensation drain, okay?