Avoid Water Damage – Know Where Your Condensate Lines Are!

With warm temperatures here, your air conditioner is probably running quite a bit.  As you may know, air conditioning systems work in part by removing moisture from the air – and that moisture has to go somewhere!  Make sure you know where your condensate is going so you can avoid water damage to your home.

  • Condensate lines are typically ¾” PVC lines that go from your inside coil to the outdoors.  Sometimes they are encased in downspout material along with the copper lines that go between the indoor and outdoor units.
  • Find where your condensate lines are on the outside of your home, and make sure that they are not blocked.  Sometimes we’ve seen mulch or other items laid down in such a way that the pipe gets blocked, creating backups inside.  Also look out for mud daubers:  they can build a nest in a day that will stop up a condensate line.
  • Know where your indoor coil is and what sort of condensate removal setup you have.
  • Condensate lines require periodic maintenance to avoid being clogged by algae growth or dirt and other particles from your air conditioning system.
  • Sometimes a condensate pump is involved.  These require periodic cleaning to prevent algae buildup and clogs.
  • If your air handler is in a finished space, like an attic, you probably have an emergency drain pan.  If you’re seeing water in this emergency pan, it’s not normal!  Water should only be going into that pan if there’s a problem in the normal condensate drain system.
  • If your indoor unit is in a finished space, consider getting a ceiling saver kit.  Our kits include special traps and water sensors that cut your unit off if a clog is detected to help prevent ceiling damage.


Our technicians have seen some costly damage caused by condensate over the years.  If you have any doubts about whether you have a good condensate drain system or would like to have maintenance performed, please contact us to arrange for a visit from one of our qualified techs.