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I have a heat pump with the unit under the house. We have noticed our power bill has increased. After crawling under the house I notice the drip pan is full and not draining through the pipe. So I unclogged it and it drained fine, but my next issue is, why would the return duct have about 3 gallons of water sitting inside the pipe making it sag. So what can I and need to do to fix this. I have been covering the ducts to cover the leak that I found but this water in the pipe has me baffled. Please help. I'm a member on here for cars but this is scary

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Hi, this sounds as though you just have a backed up condensation line that you opened up the drain, and you say it drained fine. As far as the return air duct having water in it, it is connected to the return side of the evaporator coil and it just over flowed into the flex duct causing it to sag. I would take a small sharp knife or a 16 penny nail and just drain the water off. If you have a panel on this unit where the return duct attaches, try and remove it to see how or if the coil has dirt built up on it and check the pan and try and clean it out. I have seen this problem quite often, its not serious but will cause problems if the pan continues to plug off the condensate line and backing up into the duct.With the duct sagging, it will cause the system to work harder to pull air through the home back to the filter and through the evaporator coil to start its journey over again. This is why you have noticed the increase in your bill. This pan needs to be cleaned up so the condensation will continue to drain through its line and not back up into the return. This will solve your problem my friend. Nothing to be worried about, just drain off this water and flush out the pan and you will be fine. Keep me posted on this. I would like to know if you were able to excess the condensate pan OK. Keep me posted.
Sincerely,
Shastalaker7
A/C, Heating, & Refrigeration Contractor

Posted on Aug 26, 2010

Testimonial: "Thanks for the info. Will keep you posted."

  • 1 more comment 
  • Robert Horton
    Robert Horton Aug 26, 2010

    PS, make sure the air -handler has not dropped down some what in the rear where the return duct attaches, as this may be why its over flowing into the duct. I am sure its just a dirty condensate pan as I have had to clean many that have over flowed into the return duct above and below.
    Best to you.
    Shastalaker7

  • Chris Busby
    Chris Busby Aug 26, 2010

    The unit is under the home, and from what I see the unit sits fine. The pan was evenly full and was only draining what could get through the cracks. This is what I went to fix was the duct work and the return. These were never sealed off and losing air like crazy. I have no idea who did the work but it was sloppy. But anyways, I have one other question, after all this drains will I quit getting condensate on the windows, because I was thinking that the cool water inside this pipe was being transferred into a moisture causing the windows to condensate were we have vents. The system looks great other than I mentioned, it's about 3 years old. Do you have an idea of what it would cost to put in new duct work for 1800 sqft. Thanks for all your help.

  • Robert Horton
    Robert Horton Aug 27, 2010

    Hi, thank you for the awesome rating's!! Yes, with the pan full and the relative humidity will cause moisture/condensation to form on the windows inside. As long as the line is open and draining, this should clear up. I can give you the price and tell you about what we get out ducts for at cost and most all contractors will double that to the owner. The return and supply air ducts come in 25' sections at around $76 our cost for a 18" section of duct, so double this for the amount you would need. I would replace only the return and supply unless you are having other leaks in the smaller ducts. The best thing for you to do is find a contractor in your area that will send out at no charge to give a look at your conditions, space to work under the home and so on, and they will work up a bid for you. Yes, this return should be replaced. If you don't feel a lot of cool air under the home, you may get away with just replacing 1- 25' section on your home. It would be hard for me to give you an estimate without first taking a look at the system, but I just did a home that was 3,000s.q' just the return and supply which the total cost to the customer was $400. So check around and find someone that will come for free to give you a bid as we are out there. I wish you the best of luck,
    Shastalaker7

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