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Manage My Life

why does the drain pan of my window a/c unit keep getting clogged with goo causing the water to drain into the room instead of outside?

by Manage My Life Last activity date:
August 20th, 2010

Kenmore, Mod: 580.75050500, Ser: 412TAKK17173, 5150 Btu Window air conditioner, about 3 to 4 yrs old. It worked fine for the first year and a half and ever since I have to pull it out of the window about every three to five weeks, remove the shrouds and clean the styrofoam drain pan of a greenish, somewhat clear goo that plugs up drains. A narrow channel from the front (room side) to the back of the unit always plugs up first. When this happens the water drips into the room and mold mitigation is becoming a problem. How do I prevent the goo from growing? Why does it do this now and not when the unit was under warranty. I am not so rich that I can afford to replace an otherwise good working a/c with a new one that will probably do the same thing.

Kenmore , Appliances , Small Kitchen Appliances
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Answers (4)
Manage My Life
Thanks Scott D. I have cleaned and remounted the unit to provide greater fall and better drainage. If I continue to have problems I will give your technician a call. For what it's worth to the people who design these units: some space under the condenser coils would drastically improve drainage. In this unit the coils sit directly on the bottom of the pan and a knife blade thickness gap from the rear shroud. A few dead mosquitoes could plug the drain. I recommend more space under and behind the condenser to allow greater flow, a feature I will consider when replacing this unit. Also in the FWIW department: In this unit the drain channel from the evaporator side around the fan housing to the condenser side is very narrow. Again, it takes very little debris to clog it up. I recommend a larger drain capacity.
Answered in 19 hours
by Manage My Life
August 20th, 2010
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scott d
This type of problem is due to an algae build up that develops in the evaporator coil, which is normal. To prevent this from happening, the evaporator needs to be cleaned with a coil cleaner. It will clean out the algae that has developed and prevent new growth for awhile. This type of deep cleaning should be done by a technician that will have the proper type of coil cleaner. I'm listing a site you can access, to have a tech come out. Here is a link for the website:

Sears Home Services

Answered in 16 hours
by scott d
August 20th, 2010
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Manage My Life
Thanks Barbara H, I most likely don't have enough fall on the unit to clear the condensate fast enough. If I don't check the exterior drain hole and it gets slightly blocked, even though it is dripping, then water could puddle in the unit and goo ensues. I'll let you know in a week or so how it worked out.
Answered in 3 hours
by Manage My Life
August 19th, 2010
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Manage My Life
Green goo may look worse than it is, but I would want it gone also. The summer's heat and humidity are most likely responsible. While you wait for the expert answer, you may want to check a web site that I found. I also linked the owner's manual. The troubleshooting guide seems to partly cover this issue. Hope this helps!
Answered in 13 minutes
by Manage My Life
August 19th, 2010
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