About That Funky Air Conditioner

As predicted, the a/c went out again last night around 9 pm. Running it colder got the house cool enough to start today.

I’m gonna try something to fix it…Around here, they put float switches on the drip tray, so it shuts down the system, if the tray drain gets clogged to keep it from overflowing.

Down in the RGV, our systems never had float switches, and the drip tray would overflow into the front hallway.

Question: if the water in the drip tray evaporates enough to allow the float switch to go down, will it allow the system to come back up fully? I am going to check on that. I am going to try putting a wet/dry vac on the outside drain outlet, and see if it will blow the clog out, our vacuum it on through…might be worth a shot.

An old buddy of mine in the RGV did a/c work, and he used to carry a tank of compressed air, and fire it into the drain lines to free the clog…

The a/c guy did not show up yesterday or call, which I thought was odd. I know he put us off as he had another customer that needed him in their attic for a/c work. Hopefully, he didn’t have a heat stroke up there, or worse.

So I wasted yesterday garden wise waiting for him…shame. I was so looking forward to being outside pulling weeds again…at least I was cool.

I did make a quick  trip out with the wife..for curiosity to find that there was a bean plant pushing up…

The wife got busy and cleaned out the fridge, filling three coffee cans with veggie scraps, so that will need to get into the composter, which will require equal amounts of dirt, dead leaves, and grass clippings….I may have to switch to the compost pile as it could end up a lot of stuff in there…coffee and tea with bags and filters, veggie scraps, watermelon rind, onion tops and bottoms, potato peels, egg shells; seems like there was more than I thought.

Yeah, my new neighbor has  2 or 3 horses, I may could finagle some horse manure from him.

Otherwise, the gate still needs to be installed at the chicken run. The kid is off today and tomorrow, so here’s hoping she finds her way to help me get that done, so she can move forward in making her decision on whether or not to get the 5 new chickens.

I’ll try to get some pics of the composter to show one way on how NOT to do it.

8 thoughts on “About That Funky Air Conditioner

  1. My mother had a unit that had a sump pump in the drain. The house was never built to accommodate an evaporator in the attic, so the only solution was the sump pump. I don’t know if it had an overflow switch, but would guess it did.

    If you can access you evaporator coil, look in the pan for the usual gunk that accumulates. Poke the drain oil open, and put two caps of Clorox in the pan. Another thing might be a p trap in the drain line. They’ll clog too and cause problems.

    My experience with AC tells me your intermittent problem is electrical. Many things can go wrong, including a faulty thermostat. Those types of problems are usually far less expensive than compressor, coils and fan motors.

    • Try as I did, my attempts to blow and vacuum the line were unsuccessful using the wet/dry vac on the outside drain.
      I am unable to reach the drip tray or the coils, as they are in the attic, and the only access is made for someone much thinner than I. Even so, one will have to stand on top of the water heater to access the scuttle…not I.
      In the other house, I was able to pull the lint off the drain in the tray, and allow it to drain. The problem came back again and again, but at least I could fix it without a service call.

  2. I used a vac to start the drain at work once. The guuuulp! of the load of moss that surged out still tickles me. It was pretty graphic sounding. They started putting in mini splits in the cold rooms and putting a pump on them to push the water outside. In Houston, they put the ac drain over the tub. It would blurp out cold water in the middle of your shower. I yelled a couple times until I figure out what was happening…

  3. It would serve to reason that the float switch, if installed, would shut down the compressor to keep more condensate from accumulating in the drip pan. The blower fan would still work.

    Out here in the West we have “tattletale” drains installed on the drip pans. The tattletale is plumbed at a higher level than the primary drain; a kind of “spare drain” if you will. It’s plumbed to the outside of the house, usually somewhere it’ll be noticed, like adjacent to a door. If that can’t be done, it’s plumbed to drain into a deep sink or something like that. If you see water dribbling out of that, you know the primary drain is clogged.

    I had the condensate drain clog in my other house because wasps had decided to nest in the drip pan! I installed a P-trap to keep that from happening again.

  4. Though I don’t have room anymore for a veggie garden I do a little year-round composting for the ~70sf flower bed. The “soil” is beyond bad, crappy clay from the basement hole-not an ounce of top soil anywhere to be found. It has been a multi-year project to try and “make dirt”. I mix in darn near anything that is organic, including coffee filters. I first let them dry and make sure all the coffee grounds are scraped off, then after a month or so I have a shredding session. Two filters are sandwiched between two sheets of newspaper and then run through the micro-shredder. The small bits of paper are then mixed in when the daily dose of wet coffee grounds gets added. The idea is that the filter paper has different characteristics than newsprint; the filter bits hold moisture better and decay more slowly-that is why I don’t go with whole filters. My in-ground compost pit seems to do well in our dry climate and produces plenty of earth worms every summer. The only problem is with cats peeing in it and squirrels burying nuts the old ladies around here set out for the little bastards.

    • Anytime one has worms in the compost, the job is well done.
      I did not realize that about the properties of newsprint vs coffee filters…I use them whole; tea bags too, although I tear them up first.

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