How to Troubleshoot a Condensate Pump

Condensate Pump Troubleshooting

Air conditioners are big investments. Not only are they costly, but you also have to live with the make and model of your choice for many years. It affects how comfortable your home is, your power bills, and even the air quality inside your household. So when it has a faulty part, you want to know how to troubleshoot so that you can resume your regular routine with a working AC.

Today, we’re discussing how to take care of your condensate pump when it gives you issues.

What Is a Condensate Pump?

An air conditioner works by absorbing the warm air and humidity from your home. It then separates the moisture, which causes water droplets to drip into what’s known as a drip pan. Once the drip pan is full, the water is filtered out of your home through a pipe called the condensate line.

The water is pumped out of your home thanks to an AC part called… you guessed it: the condensate pump. The pump knows when to get the water out of your home because as the water level rises, it lifts the float. When the float is high enough, it hits a switch that powers the pump motor, which forces water outside.

How to Tell If the Condensate Pump Is Working

The biggest telltale sign that there’s an issue with the condensate pump is that your air conditioner won’t turn on. The reason this happens is a safety measure to prevent the pump’s water reservoir from overflowing and causing puddles all around your home.

How to Troubleshoot a Condensate Pump in 6 Steps

If your condensate pump is not pumping water out or not working as it should, follow these step by step directions.

Step 1. Turn off your air conditioner. To be extra safe, shut off power at the breaker panel too. No sense in risking electric shock.

Step 2. Locate the pump. Next to the furnace, you’ll find a rectangular, plastic box that serves as a reservoir for the pump. Remove the top. The receptacle will be full of water. Remove the water to make it easier to troubleshoot.

Step 3. Inspect the float. This is located at the top of the pump. It can sometimes become stuck and cause the pump to shut off. If the float is stuck, tap gently on it until it can move freely again. If you notice the float is cracked or damaged, it will need to be replaced.

Step 4. Check to see if there’s a blockage in the drain line. Flush it with a full cup of either vinegar, peroxide, or bleach. Let it sit for half an hour. If there’s a big blockage, you can suck it out with a shop vac.

For step by step directions, check out our article: How to Clean Your AC Drain Line With Vinegar

Step 5. Purchase a new pump. If none of the above works,  you’ll have to replace it. You can purchase a new one at any hardware store.

Step 6. Get regular AC maintenance. The best way to prevent this or additional AC issues from happening is to schedule regular AC maintenance. It will keep your air conditioner working optimally and extend its lifespan.

Call Blair’s Air for AC Repair in Pinellas County and South Tampa

If you have any issues with your AC, let us know. Our experienced HVAC professionals will get it back up and running in no time. We offer 24/7 emergency AC repair services, and we’re open 365 days a year.

Call (727) 800-4148 to schedule service.