The principle of operation of an air conditioner, and indeed of any other evaporative type refrigeration machine, is based on the physical property of a gas (or an easily evaporating liquid such as freon, ammonia) to cool its volume with a sharp expansion. This process constructively takes place in a special evaporation chamber, which cools the air.
At the same time, another phenomenon of physics comes into play, more commonly known as “reaching the dew point”. In nature, this looks like the appearance of tiny dew drops on a cold surface and is called condensate.
In fact, it is a by-product of the operation of the air conditioner and, in order to ensure the normal functioning of the device, it needs to be removed from
Where does the condensate come from and where does it go?
Where it comes from has already been described a few paragraphs earlier and now we will reveal the topic of condensate removal from the air conditioner and why it is needed:
- — this is water, and since air conditioners are complex electromechanical devices, water can cause their premature failure.
- Up to 20 liters or more of atmospheric liquid can flow from one unit per day — with a large number of devices in the building, you can easily collect a whole ton. Such a volume can already be called the risk of flooding the basement floors.
- Stagnant water is an excellent hiding place for the development of mold, bacteria and other pathogens.
Even these three arguments are enough to make sure the implementation is necessary. The main purpose of such a system is to remove excess moisture outside the premises.
The main danger of clogging the drainage is not the consequences of flooding the neighbors or the breakdown of an expensive device, but the threat to the life and health of the inhabitants of the cool room. If there is dirt, water and heat, then this automatically creates the risk of creating a whole incubator of various infections in the split system:
- Molds. Some strains can cause respiratory diseases up to lung cancer.
- bacteria. There is a specific variety that causes Legionnaires’ Disease, a bacterial inflammation of the lungs. At the same time, the mortality rate is very high.
- Bad smell the least of the possible evils. At the same time, it serves as a kind of last warning — it’s time to clean the drainage.
How to get rid of condensation
The most common and cost effective, but not the best and most correct, way is to simply lead the drain pipe out of the window through a hole in the wall. The advantages are obvious — I drilled a hole, laid a hose and you’re done. The negative sides are the effect of “raindrops” that drum on the windowsills, and the greater the height, the louder the knock. Such a decision is fraught with a showdown with an angry neighbor who is prevented from sleeping by your “drum set”. The aesthetic side of the implementation should also be written down in the minuses — the pipes hanging on the wall do not at all add beauty to the interior of the room.
On a note. Modern editions of SNiP and SanPiN prohibit the withdrawal of runoff through the wall. Crashing into a storm drain is also prohibited — during heavy rainfall, the pressure in the storm drain will be so strong that the room will be flooded with a reverse flow of water from the LC. This happens when the LC cannot cope with the flow of rain and is completely filled along its entire length — then the pressure in it reaches its maximum value.
Much more competent will be the discharge of condensate from the air conditioner into the sewer.
In this option, the disadvantages of the first method are solved — the waste from the operation of the unit is merged into a network specially designed for this. This can either be the general sewerage system of the building or a specially laid pipe network. Drainage is carried out either by gravity, due to the negative slope of the pipes, or with the help of a pump.
It is worth paying attention to some nuances when implementing a discharge into the general sewer:
- To prevent the penetration of unpleasant odors from the pipe into the room, it is necessary to install a water seal — a part of the drainage pipe curved in the form of the English letter S. The water that will remain in the lower knee will create an insurmountable barrier to the “aromas from below”.
- In the hot season and with prolonged downtime of air conditioners, the water seal may dry out and the air will begin to “smell”. To eliminate such a nuisance, it is enough to pour a couple of liters of water into the drain.
- If gravity is used, then be sure to calculate the minimum required diameter and slope of the system so that all condensate flows freely along it.
which use part of the condensed moisture to maintain the balance of air humidity by evaporating the liquid in the heater.
It should not be forgotten that the prevention of the drain system should be carried out at least once every three months. Even if the air conditioner did not work all this time, nothing prevented dirt from accumulating and pathogenic organisms from developing in all its nooks and crannies.
Self-maintenance of the drainage system
To blow out the drain hose and not resort to an expensive call service, you will need three things:
- A wish. And it will definitely appear after the room starts to smell very unpleasant.
- Tools. Screwdrivers, pliers and a knife are usually enough to dismantle the housing cover, pipe clamp and mounting screws.
- Disinfectant. It will help to get rid of hard-to-remove plaque on the walls and in places of bends. The best results are shown by concentrated chlorine-containing preparations for the dirtiest surfaces.
To carry out cleaning, you will only need to remove the top cover of the device, disconnect the tube and blow strongly into it with your mouth. If the installation was done correctly and there is no kink on the pipe, then all the accumulated dirt will fly out from the opposite end. After that, it is necessary to fill in the disinfectant there and let it work with the internal surfaces for about twenty minutes. After the specified time, simply rinse the tube with clean water and assemble everything back, following the assembly sequence.
Please note that this is an incomplete set of hygiene measures that must be carried out quarterly.
Tips & Tricks
- It’s better to do it right now than to redo it later. It all depends on the installers who will install it. The degree of professionalism can be judged by the equipment of the brigade. If they are dressed in overalls, use personal protective equipment, then we can say with a high degree of confidence that they are professionals and know the intricacies of the work.
- In the event of a problem on the equipment already put into operation, it makes sense to invite a specialized organization. It is unlikely that anyone at home will find a high-pressure compressor and powerful chemicals, so to speak, “in reserve” — they cost a lot of money and are sold, most often, in kilograms, with a consumption of 100 grams per cleaning.
- In addition to cleaning the drain, it is also necessary to clean the air filters, impeller, outdoor unit, etc. For this procedure, Karcher brand cleaning units are used. You can do it yourself, but it will take several days for an unprepared person.