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  1. #1
    Field Supervisor 500+ Posts roho's Avatar
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    Portable AC unit leaking water

    I figured since most of us are techs, this might not be a bad place to ask around. I have a couple months old portable AC unit. It has a manual drain which I leave plugged and a upper tube drain which I run into a pail. I clean the airfilters on a regular basis. I noticed water around the floor today and after cleaning that took out the drain tube and poked a bit and cleaned that area. I seem to be getting a steady drip from the line, but alas, shortly after...

    I then took the unit into the washroom and drained it manually in the tub but I was expecting more water.

    I've checked out some stuff and advice from Google, and I have poured through the user guide endlessly, which would be more aptly named useless guide.

    I read that the unit has to be level or the drain float may not activate properly, these are condo hardwood floor, not a old farm house and the unit was flawless for two to three months so I feel I can rule that out.

    Hoping someone has some experience and advice, dreading the thought of not having it on tonight while I am trying to sleep. I would just worry about floor damage happening while asleep.

  2. #2
    Service Manager 5,000+ Posts
    Portable AC unit leaking water

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    Re: Portable AC unit leaking water

    I'm fairly experienced when it comes to repairing AC units. Normally a window unit must tilt slightly backwards in order to drain properly. Some manufactures have it factored in. Some don't. See video.



    Embrace the process, not the outcome.

  3. #3
    Field Supervisor 500+ Posts roho's Avatar
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    Re: Portable AC unit leaking water

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyCarpenter View Post
    I'm fairly experienced when it comes to repairing AC units. Normally a window unit must tilt slightly backwards in order to drain properly. Some manufactures have it factored in. Some don't. See video.



    Thanks for a quick reply while sheltering from a hurricane landing. The problem is mine is a portable unit, they recommend the unit remains level for the float to in the proper position.

    Since I drained it it seems fine but there are no recommendations or mention of draining the lower tray when using the drain line. I just worry I have a temp solution and will wake up to a small dispersed puddle and warped floor boards.

    Thanks BC, stay safe...

  4. #4
    Service Manager 5,000+ Posts
    Portable AC unit leaking water

    BillyCarpenter's Avatar
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    Re: Portable AC unit leaking water

    Quote Originally Posted by roho View Post
    Thanks for a quick reply while sheltering from a hurricane landing. The problem is mine is a portable unit, they recommend the unit remains level for the float to in the proper position.

    Since I drained it it seems fine but there are no recommendations or mention of draining the lower tray when using the drain line. I just worry I have a temp solution and will wake up to a small dispersed puddle and warped floor boards.

    Thanks BC, stay safe...


    My mistake. I thought you were talking about a window AC unit. I think you're talking about a self-contained unit that sits on the floor. If so, I don't have any experience working on those. By chance, does it have a drain pan?
    Embrace the process, not the outcome.

  5. #5
    Field Supervisor 500+ Posts roho's Avatar
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    Re: Portable AC unit leaking water

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyCarpenter View Post
    My mistake. I thought you were talking about a window AC unit. I think you're talking about a self-contained unit that sits on the floor. If so, I don't have any experience working on those. By chance, does it have a drain pan?
    Exactly, sits on the floor. There are 2 draining options, the drain pan from what I have come to understand (User Manual is very vague) is used only when the top drain is plugged. The problem there is twofold, the device will shut off when the float activates kicking a code on the display and you have to manually drain the unit over the tub. The top drain came with a hose and I plug the lower one and have the drain continually cycling down into a pail. Much easier to drain a large pail then wheeling the unit down the hall.

    No code or interruption happened and I'm using the top drain.

    Seems fine after draining it, perhaps the crazy humidity here is causing it to back up?

  6. #6
    Retired 10,000+ Posts slimslob's Avatar
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    Re: Portable AC unit leaking water

    I have a portable AC unit made by AeonAir. Keep the drain hose in a bucket and check it daily. If it fills up fast, which it will if humidity is high, use 2 buckets and swap them out when emptying. The plastic buckets that many brands of cat litter come in work nicely.

    In low humidity conditions, the air flow from the condenser coils blows across the drain pan similar to a refrigerator evaporating the water and carries it out the exhaust hose.

  7. #7
    Field Supervisor 500+ Posts roho's Avatar
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    Re: Portable AC unit leaking water

    Quote Originally Posted by slimslob View Post
    I have a portable AC unit made by AeonAir. Keep the drain hose in a bucket and check it daily. If it fills up fast use 2 buckets and swap them out when emptying. The plastic buckets that many brands of cat litter come in work nicely.
    I have been doing that and had no issues until today. I think that since I've been running it a lot that there was a build up of some kind of dust and gunk inside. Seems to be steadily draining water since I moved it and lifted it which probably just loosened a clog. My concern is that it will at some point begin spitting water around at three in the morning when I won't catch it.

    Being a tech I'm thinking of removing some of the panels and seeing if there isn't a dust clog somewhere inside.

  8. #8
    Service Manager 10,000+ Posts
    Portable AC unit leaking water

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    Re: Portable AC unit leaking water

    Quote Originally Posted by roho View Post
    I have been doing that and had no issues until today. I think that since I've been running it a lot that there was a build up of some kind of dust and gunk inside. Seems to be steadily draining water since I moved it and lifted it which probably just loosened a clog. My concern is that it will at some point begin spitting water around at three in the morning when I won't catch it.

    Being a tech I'm thinking of removing some of the panels and seeing if there isn't a dust clog somewhere inside.
    My guess is humidity is high and thus higher output.
    Could you set it on blocks and put bigger pans under it?


    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Field Supervisor 500+ Posts roho's Avatar
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    Re: Portable AC unit leaking water

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil B. View Post
    My guess is humidity is high and thus higher output.
    Could you set it on blocks and put bigger pans under it?


    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    Good suggestion, and it may come down to that as I DO NOT want any water running around on the floor undetected. The humidity is and has been stupid high here for a few days now. It doesn't even cool off during the evening, it would usually dip and feel cool at night and in the morning but not the last few days.

    So far so good after moving it and manually draining it, I've noticed a continual drip ( at my age I can relate to) from the tube.

    Thanks for all the help, I've had water damage on carpets and you either can flip 'em and dry them out or you just cut bait and carpet and move on. A continuous pattern of hardwood floors in a condo...

  10. #10
    Retired 10,000+ Posts slimslob's Avatar
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    Re: Portable AC unit leaking water

    Quote Originally Posted by roho View Post
    Good suggestion, and it may come down to that as I DO NOT want any water running around on the floor undetected. The humidity is and has been stupid high here for a few days now. It doesn't even cool off during the evening, it would usually dip and feel cool at night and in the morning but not the last few days.

    So far so good after moving it and manually draining it, I've noticed a continual drip ( at my age I can relate to) from the tube.

    Thanks for all the help, I've had water damage on carpets and you either can flip 'em and dry them out or you just cut bait and carpet and move on. A continuous pattern of hardwood floors in a condo...
    You could check a hardware store for galvanized or plastic tubs, water heater pans or large flower pot pans. Just make sure that what ever you block it up with is taller than the sides of the pan. You may also want to get a wet pick up vacuum so you don't have to disassemble every thing to drain the pan.

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