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Al-G-Liminator :: Defining the Problem

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Defining the Problem

Anytime an A/C system runs, whether it's a home central air conditioner or an industrial cooler, it forms condensate. Condensate is the water that drains from the evaporator, the cooling coil. This coil is located in the attic space in vast majority of homes. Getting rid of this water has always presented many challenges. There are numerous ways to deal with this condensate. A drain line to the outside or to a sewer vent line in the attic or a combination of the two are the most common. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

There are 2 types of home A/C drains. These types are a positive pressure drain and a negative pressure drain. This is defined by the location of the blower vs. the drain line. Most new systems are a negative pressure drain. This is most common today in order for the blower to be located farther in the attic to reduce the system noise. In this system a p-trap must be used on the drain line in order for the water, condensate, to drain.

Another design that is still being used that requires a p-trap is a drain connected to a sewer vent line in the attic. With this design a p-trap is absolutely required to prevent sewer gases from being drawn into A/C unit and into living space with either a positive or negative drain system. It doesn't matter which drain system you have, this is where the problem starts.