Air conditioner condensation problems

Rhonda asks “I had a plumber come in because there is a lot of water accumulating under my trailer. he tells me it is coming from the ac pipe, and that it is normal. But I’ve checked under my neighbors trailers and they do not have this problem, but at the same time i looked under the insulation and have no leaking pipes, besides the black plastic (ac hose) that is creating the puddles. why would this be doing this? what can i do to remedy it? and what is the best way to dry out the underneath of my trailer?”

There are several parts to this. First of all, air conditioners remove a LOT of water from the air as part of the cooling process. This is especially true in humid climates. The water has to go somewhere, and the usual solution is to let it drain under the home.
I sometimes hear from people who have water in their heater ducts, wondering where it came from. The usual answer is the drain line clogged so the A?C condensate runs down the ductwork instead draining like it should.

In Rhonda’s case, I wonder if the soil under her home has more clay than her neighbors. That would prevent the water from draining into the soil quickly. It could also be that her lot was not properly sloped so water accumulates there.

The easiest solution to the drain line problem seems to me to be adding an extension so the water from the A/C drains away from her house. Some cheap plastic tubing should do the job. At least until the kids/dogs chew it up or tear it loose. I suppose it could get exciting if it got wrapped in the lawn mower too.

A badly slopped lot is a much bigger, more expensive, problem. It would involve heavy equipment, ripped up landscaping and $$$.

After reading the above, Rhonda sent additional information.

“ its not only that is accumulating faster, but that i can even hear and see the water coming out of the ac pipe. i can turn my ac off all day and come home from work 12 hours later and there is just as much water coming out of the ac pipe as if it was running all day… and if i crawl under my neighbors trailer ( who has left their ac on all day ) u might see the odd drip coming out but is not too noticeable. also i do have a clay/mud kinda mixture under the trailer which does prevent it from sinking in”
Did you explain that to the A/C guy? If so I don’t think he heard you. Lots of repair guys (they are almost always male) seem to have serious hearing loss; especially with female customers. The only way I know to counter this problem is to forcefully stick to your guns, but that’s hard to do when you don’t really know what is going on yourself.

At this point I have to confess my ignorance of A/C units. I live in New Mexico and most people have evaporative coolers. They are known as swamp coolers or swampers and are a box with a pump in the bottom that pumps water over absorbent pads and a fan to pull air through them into the house. They are cheap to run since there is no compressor, only a fan. On a summer day they can often drop the outside air temperature 25 degrees. They don’t work well once the humidity gets over 50% but that doesn’t happen to often here. 🙂 So I have no experience with compressor driven A/C units.

So, knowing nothing about how compressor driven units work, it sounds like there must be a float valve or something like it, that hasn’t shut off. I’m thinking these combined A/C & heating units feed water into the system to provide humidity in the winter when the furnace is running. With the symptoms you describe, that sounds like a water supply valve in yours is stuck open.

I would be happy to hear from someone who knows more.

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