Thursday, June 28, 2012

Repairing home air conditioners (Leaking Water)

When summer comes in Malta, the temperature can soar to 50 degrees celsius. My main bedroom is just below the roof and to make it worse (not that I complain as I have fantastic green views) the windows overlook the east rising sun. Now consider the case when the air condition fails as it happened this week...The result would be a frustrating hell.

Anyhow, this week with the help of an electrician, my engineering background and some further research, I learned a couple of things on air conditioning units faults and repairs, which can be done by yourselves. In this post I would like to talk about a very common problem - leaking water from the indoor unit due to a blocked drain.

I am not going into much theoretical detail because this post is more directed to the housewife or beginner DIY person. I will just mention that the cool gas from the compressor will produce condensation in the inside unit and the water is drained out from the pipes (by gravity). Now what happens is that by time dirt will block the drain pipes and water will accumulate inside the unit instead of piped out. I mentioned that water is drained by gravity - there is not a pump - therefore congestion is very easy especially if you leave the windows open and let dust inside the air condition.

How to fix - this is very model specific but the idea is to get to the inside of the unit by removing the front cover, normally secured by 3 screws at the bottom of the frame and then locate the water tray (normally on top of the air guide) and disconnect the drain pipe, normally on the left hand side.

Now fill a plastic bottle with hot (not boiling) water and pour it in the drain pipe - of course if it is blocked you should not expect it to drain from the other end but bounce back - so what you need to do is blow inside the pipe (if you have a good breathe, no pun intended) and consequently push the warm water inside the pipes to help the unblocking, or else use a vacuum cleaner to suck out the air and cleaning the pipes in the process.

Good luck!
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