Most residential HVAC systems do not work in conjunction with your home’s plumbing system. Most plumbing problems will not affect the efficiency or operation of your HVAC system. However, there is one plumbing failure that could lead to an HVAC malfunction and cause extensive damage to your home. The failure is tied to the HVAC condensation line. The information listed below will help you avoid this unfortunate circumstance.
How your Plumbing can affect your HVAC
Most HVAC systems rely on a drain line that directs the condensation produced during the cooling process, which accumulates within the air handler, to flow to the home’s exterior. Often, the condensation is directed through an exterior wall and allowed to drain into the ground. However, sometimes the condensate drain line is connected to the home’s main sewer line. If a problem develops within the sewer line, the condensation will back up inside the HVAC unit until it eventually drains onto the ceiling or floor.
Since condensation is water, when this happens you can expect extensive water damage to interior ceilings, walls, baseboard and flooring. It can also invite mold and/or mildew growth, which will lead to an unhealthy environment.
The best way to prevent this from happening during a plumbing — sewer line blockage — emergency, is by turning off the HVAC system as well as the main water valve supplying the structure. By turning off the main water valve, you will prevent additional water from entering the drain lines and possibly create enough room in the drain line for the condensation to enter. This would be especially helpful for a slow draining sewer line as the water levels would subside as time passed. Turning off the HVAC system itself will prevent the unit from producing additional condensation.
Additional HVAC Plumbing Issues
Other plumbing problems within an HVAC system is the condensation line itself. Most condensation lines are constructed with PVC or Poly Vinyl Chloride tubing. Since the condensate drain line is routed through walls and ceilings just like a typical water supply line used in your home’s plumbing system, it is prone to the same failures such as broken joints, cracking and rupturing. While a condensation line does not exude pressure like a water supply line, the moisture will slowly exit the pipe at the rupture point and cause the damage mentioned above. Periodic inspection, flushing and cleaning are recommended to maintain your HVAC condensation lines.
For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.