Living in Mexico

Ask Allan: A/C Issues

Learn how to manage moisture overflow from your air-conditioning unit

Hi Allan, I have an ongoing problem that I would like to either solve, or at least understand.  I have three mini-split air conditioners in my condo. Every one to two years, I have a problem with moisture running down the wall under the inside units of my mini-splits. Can you enlighten me as to what the problem might be? I do call an A/C technician and they do resolve the problem, but are not too forthcoming with reference to what the problem is. Thanks, Sophia

Hi Sophia, thanks for your question. If I understand your question correctly, there should be a very simple solution. In most, if not all, mini-splits, there is a drip tray that collects the moisture as the warm air passes over and through the refrigerant coils. In the process of cooling the air, the air conditioner also dehydrates the air by removing moisture. This moisture must go somewhere. It should fall into a drip tray located at the bottom of your mini split. These trays have a drain to a pipe somewhere in your unit that drains the water from your sinks and/or bathrooms. As long as these drains stay clear, the water will drain and you will not have a problem. Because these trays are usually in a moist, dark location it will probably grow some algae and/or mold. If algae plug the drain, the water will overflow and run down your wall or inside your wall somewhere. This problem can be fixed by simply blowing out this line or using a snake to clean it out. Sometimes our maintenance crew will also put a little solution of water and Clorox in the tray to prevent this from happening again or at least slow the growth of the algae. I hope you did not pay too much to solve your problem, because it has an easy solution. Cleaning these lines should be part of your property manager’s preventative maintenance program. Thanks again for your question. Have a healthy and happy 2017. Allan


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