Condensate drain: too much bleach?

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Old 08-28-18, 09:45 AM
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Condensate drain: too much bleach?

Hi Folks,
We just moved into a new house, so I was very unfamiliar with this AC unit. About a week in, the AC system went dead. I called in a pro, and he cleaned out the drain and showed me where to put the periodic vinegar to keep it clear. When I put it in yesterday, I popped off the switch, and poured on a half-cup of vinegar. Well, that shut down the system again! It wasn't until I used some paper towels to suck out the vinegar that it started working again. So today, I tried to repeat the process, this time with half the amount of vinegar. Same thing is happening. What am I doing wrong here? I have since power-cycled the air handler breaker and it's now working. Is that a required step when doing this (shut off-turn back on)?
 
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Old 08-28-18, 09:54 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

I use bleach to clean condensate drains.

It sounds like you still have a clogged condensate drain line as your system is shutting off on an overflow condition. I'd need to see pictures of your unit and drain connections to help you further.
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Old 08-28-18, 02:29 PM
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May be a float switch that is slightly out of alignment. When you say "popped off the switch" are you removing the switch or turning off the system via a disconnect switch?
 
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Old 08-28-18, 02:35 PM
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Sounds like a clog in the drain line that if given time, the condensate will drain, but it will back up and hit the kill switch and shut things down. I always blow compressed air into the line from the outside and then go inside, reset everything and add some bleach. The compressed air removes any obstruction that may have built up over time in a wet environment (algae).
 
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Old 08-28-18, 02:54 PM
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Thanks Pete. It should be noted that everything had been working just fine until I decided to do some preventative maintenance. It's running now because once again, I removed some vinegar (lowered the water/vinegar level) where the switch plugs into. It's been running fine for several hours now and it is draining outside as it usually does. I gotta think something's wrong with my procedure. I've attached pictures so you can point me in the right direction. BTW, I see you're from Northern NJ. We just moved here to Central Florida from Ringwood, NJ!
 
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Old 08-28-18, 03:03 PM
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Your problem is a clogged or partially clogged primary drain line. The primary drain is slightly lower than the secondary drain. In normal operation..... there should be no visible water in the secondary drain line. Right now your A/C condensate pan is running with too much water in it. It looks there is a cap on the primary line for clean out.

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I live near Morristown so Ringwood is fairly close.
 
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Old 08-28-18, 06:19 PM
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Why does it look like the secondary slopes down to the switch? Are you trying to get the vinegar to flow uphill?
 
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