The condensate line, or drain line, on your HVAC system isn’t something the average person knows much about — until they’ve made a heating repair call. A high efficiency gas furnace condensates up to 6 gallons of water every day.
Occasionally, there’s an issue, and in the winter, the most common problem is water freezing up inside it, which is not anything your contractor or builder did wrong. Unfortunately, we cannot control mother nature and can’t cover frozen drain lines under any kind of warranty.
When this happens, your system can’t operate correctly. We’ll get into the specifics in a moment. The good news is that there’s a good chance you can fix the problem yourself!
Water is the number one destroyer of homes and commercial buildings when it is not properly controlled.
What Is A Condensate Line?
The condensate line removes the moisture collected on the evaporator coil in your furnace or central air conditioner. As the heat transfer process causes water vapor to turn back into liquid, that water must get out of the system. So, it drains out through the condensate line.
Is Your Drain Line Frozen?
Start by locating that narrow ¾” PVC pipe leading out from the furnace and follow it all the way to where it terminates.
As we mentioned, it’s usually outside, but occasionally it drains to a pan or sink. If it’s wholly located indoors, it’s not likely that there’s any ice in it.
If it leads outside, this could be the problem. And it will be easy to spot.
Find the end of the line. Look for ice at the opening or shine a light inside to see if you spot a blockage. You can also feel the pipe itself to note if it’s especially cold.
If you find evidence that it’s blocked up by ice, you can likely fix it yourself.
Fixing A Frozen Condensate Line
Wrap the piping with some insulation if you have any available. The problem should be outside, so cover the exterior portion to preserve heat.
You can also do the same inside, where the line exits through a wall. The more warmth you can retain, the better.
You can use a heater, heat lamp, or hair dryer to melt the ice, so water can start draining again.
You can purchase any kind of heat type that plugs into an outlet to bring the temperature up on the pipe so the ice melts.
You can call Sensigreen Heating, Cooling & Insulation at 334-704-3274 and pay us a fee to come out and melt the ice for you.