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Old 06-02-2018, 11:38 AM   #1
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A/C condensate running off the roof... NOT out of the drain tube

2014 23D International Serenity

Well ratz!

Earlier today, I turned on the air conditioner in Fortune Cookie... Cools great.

But...

There's nary a drop of condensate dripping out of the drain tube in the wheel well. It's running off the roof!!!

I can [easily] blow through the drain tube which would seem to indicate it's not clogged.

I took the shroud off of the top-mounted unit, but apparently the condensate drain tubing cannot be seen from there.

I just don't want water running down between the interior and exterior walls or any other bad ju-ju.

Anybody else had this happen? What do do next?

Bummer...

Thanks, Robert
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Old 06-02-2018, 11:54 AM   #2
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What type of AC?

When used last did the AC drain through the tube?

You may be able to see the connection by removing the AC cover on the coach ceiling.
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Old 06-02-2018, 12:57 PM   #3
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Try running a long length of weed wacker line up from the opening by the wheel well. Unless you used an air compressor to blow it out, there still could be something plugging it up.
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Old 06-02-2018, 01:48 PM   #4
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Or suck it out with a wet dry vac. Just use 2 fingers at the nozzle to reduce the air leakage. I do mine 2, 3 times a year in muggy eastern Virginia. Green algae comes out, and then the flood. Sign it is time? Water drains only when A/C stops running. Not really plugged but getting there.
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Old 06-02-2018, 02:41 PM   #5
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See ďwater coming out of front a/c intake againĒ. I donít know how to attach a link. Should get some help there.
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Old 06-02-2018, 03:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
What type of AC?
Dometic 13,500 BTU w/Heat Pump Model 651XXX (there are six configurations of this model, each with its own three digit numbers at the end. Standard A/C for 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
When used last did the AC drain through the tube?
The last time it was used... last August~September

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
You may be able to see the connection by removing the AC cover on the coach ceiling.
I would be absolutely delighted to try that, but I have no idea how to get the cover off. The installation instructions indicate that it SNAPS ON when installing, but not a peep about how to SNAP the thing off (without breaking something).

Since there is absolutely zero access to the condensate drain tubing from the roof with the top shroud off, I'm going to have to get the inside piece off to have a look.
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Old 06-02-2018, 03:21 PM   #7
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Or suck it out with a wet dry vac. Just use 2 fingers at the nozzle to reduce the air leakage. I do mine 2, 3 times a year in muggy eastern Virginia. Green algae comes out, and then the flood. Sign it is time? Water drains only when A/C stops running. Not really plugged but getting there.
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See “water coming out of front a/c intake again”. I don’t know how to attach a link. Should get some help there.
OK, thanks, it's really easy to blow air through the drain hose, so it doesn't seem clogged at all, but I'll probably go ahead and try this anyway... you never know
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And some stuff

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Old 06-02-2018, 03:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I would be absolutely delighted to try that, but I have no idea how to get the cover off. The installation instructions indicate that it SNAPS ON when installing, but not a peep about how to SNAP the thing off (without breaking something).
I have a older Dometic Penguin. The lower cover is removed by first removing the 2 plastic air filter retainers at the bottom of the cover. This provides access to screws which hold the lower cover in place.
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Old 06-02-2018, 04:46 PM   #9
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Really sounds like the hose may have become separated from the drain cups. Mine was broken somewhere up there but the dealer fixed it so I canít be more explicit. Even after it was fixed, I still experienced some leakage periodically as you described which is remedied by maintaining clear tubing. Jim
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Old 06-02-2018, 05:05 PM   #10
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Well, I fixed at it and suspect that it's fixed for a little while. So, on the 2014 A/C that I have, there are eight very "unobtrusive" Philips head screws (that is, pretty well hidden, until you really look) that are removed to take down the inner A/C trim.

Easily visible are the two clear plastic drain tubes and the "Tee" that ties them to the wheel-well drain outlet. They looked pretty nasty. I separated one of the tubes from the Tee and tried to run a super-heavy week-whacker line through it... no dice. Then I used a piece of 12 gauge insulated solid copper wire and it poked through. Virtually zero water came out, though.

Satisfied that condensate water will not drip into the Airstream interior (the cup design is very cleaver), I buttoned the whole thing up. Done for the day. Thanks to all who answered.
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Old 06-02-2018, 05:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Well, I fixed at it and suspect that it's fixed for a little while. So, on the 2014 A/C that I have, there are eight very "unobtrusive" (that is, pretty well hidden, until you really look) that are removed to take down the inner A/C trim.

Rob, we have the same AC I imagine, so I want to 'future reference' this--as I've stared at the interior AC cover and speculated how, if needed, it comes off.



In your post, I believe you dropped a word, after you typed "unobstrusive"... I am wondering if you meant to type "Tab" or "Screw" or something else. Would be good info for me to file away!


Peter
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Old 06-02-2018, 05:35 PM   #12
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< snip >
In your post, I believe you dropped a word, after you typed "unobstrusive"... I am wondering if you meant to type "Tab" or "Screw" or something else. Would be good info for me to file away!

Peter
Fixed it... good catch, Peter!

Eight screws. The little plastic side air diverters have to be snapped out (you'll see how when you look at it) revealing a screw on each side (that's two). There is one screw front and one screw back the screwdriver access as right where the little ball-ended tab is. We're up to four. One screw at the edge of each side about 2/3rds of the way to the front (you will notice the "bigger" holes for screw access). So that's six. Then, there are two just a couple of inches either side of the fore/aft center line. That's it... all eight. You can find them easier than you can read this, probably. The cover will kind of "hang on" to the ceiling pieces (a couple of low-strength snaps)... just give it a little tug and down it comes.

If you get in trouble just let me know.

Again, the drain system is really cleaver, a leak into the interior is VERY unlikely.
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And some stuff

Fortune Cookie: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rfpd30...57663633667345

"The Black Swan": https://www.flickr.com/photos/rfpd30...57648991024725
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Old 06-02-2018, 05:48 PM   #13
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I'm a little puzzled. I think that there should be some condensate up there plus you indicated that you could blow through the lines but it took a pretty solid wire to "poke through"? You will know shortly, I guess, by the appearance of condensate, hopefully through the tubing, not over the roof. Jim
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Old 06-02-2018, 06:07 PM   #14
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I'm a little puzzled. I think that there should be some condensate up there plus you indicated that you could blow through the lines but it took a pretty solid wire to "poke through"? You will know shortly, I guess, by the appearance of condensate, hopefully through the tubing, not over the roof. Jim
I know... it's nutz. The new drain system uses two little "cups"... one on each side. I think that I was blowing [easily] into one of the cups through the "Tee" while the other remained solidly blocked. It's been a long day and I'm exhausted. I'll look at again later. But for now, I can't even run the A/C (I don't have adequate power where it's parked).
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Old 06-03-2018, 06:46 AM   #15
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RFP,
I have the same scenario as you. We camped last weekend for the first time since bringing her home and noticed water running off the roof and not out of the condensate tube. Like you, I donít have 30amps in my driveway so I canít re-create the run-off on hot days.

My dilemma is that my 2018 23CB is ducted with no a/c access in the cabin.. So I guess the only way to see what you saw (and hopefully fix) is to remove the rooftop cover. My climbing days are behind me so it looks like Iím heading back to Colonial.

Iíll let you know how that turns out.
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Old 06-03-2018, 06:59 AM   #16
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Mine was a broken barber fitting on the drain cup. Those cups are made of very sun sensitive plastic.
This is how I fixed mine.

https://www.jbweld.com/products/waterweld-epoxy-putty

I have a new set of drain cups. But so far the repair is holding and Iím going to wait it out
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Old 06-04-2018, 08:31 AM   #17
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I run our AC in humid Florida even when storing the trailer in summer months. We encounter lots of AC drain issues including condensate running across the roof.

RFP described the removal procedure for the inside cover on unducted Penguin II roof units. Some fine points... the filters have to be removed before the cover will come off... the side deflectors do not need to be removed but with practice they can be opened just so and the screws will come out.

I do not subscribe to the "blast of air through the drain" approach. As noted above, there are two drain lines coming from the AC condensate pan. They join at a tee fitting that is visible and accessible when the inside cover is removed. If one line is blocked and the other is open, the blast of air will pass easily through the open side and do nothing to open the blocked side. Worse yet, if both sides are badly blocked there is a risk of blowing out the tube. Hopefully it will fail at that tee fitting which is easily reconnected. At worst it will fail inside a wall section. These being hand built trailers, only the ghost of Wally Byam knows what kinks, twists or unauthorized joints may be in those lines on any specific trailer!

I regularly remove the cover and separate the upper lines from the tee fitting. I run a smaller plastic tube (not a wire that might perforate a tube) through each of the three drain tubes. I have attached to that smaller tube the cap from a small dish soap bottle. For the worst clogs I add a small amount of bleach to water in the bottle that fits that cap and I flush the lines with that water. Use a bucket to catch the return drainage inside the trailer since the extra bleach can damage interior surfaces.

The top ends of those two drains are visible if the roof unit is disassembled far enough. The flushing can be done from there but I find it easier and safer from inside. I'm considering adding algicide packs to my unit the next time I disassemble the roof unit. Those are widely used in residential AC systems here in Florida. They might work in Dometic Penguins, too.

I have learned through trial and error that my trailer will drain best when perfectly level. IMO it is the AC, not the fridge that determines how level is "level enough" to camp. It is common for us to have condensate drain through the interior grille and onto the floor if the lines are not perfectly clear and the trailer is not perfectly level. If I have to err out of level, I prefer to be tongue high and street side low (my AC condensate drain ends in the wheel well on the street side).

I hope those pointers help someone.
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Old 06-04-2018, 09:06 AM   #18
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GammaDog,
Good (and scary) insights into the AS world of the A/C system. Since I have a ducted model, I suppose my only option is to access from the roof.
Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 06-04-2018, 10:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
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< snip >... the side deflectors do not need to be removed but with practice they can be opened just so and the screws will come out.
I really, really, really don't want to get any "practice" doing this nonsense. I intend to find - and implement - an easy "fix" for this foolishness

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I do not subscribe to the "blast of air through the drain" approach. < snip >
Yep, that's not going to do a thing to help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GammaDog View Post
I regularly remove the cover and separate the upper lines from the tee fitting. I run a smaller plastic tube (not a wire that might perforate a tube) through each of the three drain tubes. < sanip >
This is so irritating. The Dometic people have done a good job of designing a pretty good drain system that - except on ultra-rare occassions - will not let any rogue condensate drain into your Airstream's insides. But, they failed to provide a SIMPLE way to deal with inevitable clogs - either partial or complete.

There is a simple fix:

Simply drill a 1/2" hole in the plastic cup, directly opposite the 'barbed drain fitting' that goes into the trailer. The hole can be filled for everyday use with a rubber plug (a couple of possibilities shown below).

Then, when a clog is suspected, or even for routine preventive maintenance, snap out the rubber plug and use the "reaming device" of your choice to be sure the opening is clear all the way across the cup and the exit drain (is ANYBODY following this?).

I'm going to do this... Dometic should have. No wrestling with dismantling the upper stuff... no removing the inside trim. Easy peasy.
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2015 Ford F150 3.5 EcoBoost, Max Tow - "Cookie Monster"
And some stuff

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"The Black Swan": https://www.flickr.com/photos/rfpd30...57648991024725
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Old 06-04-2018, 03:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GammaDog View Post
I run our AC in humid Florida even when storing the trailer in summer months. We encounter lots of AC drain issues including condensate running across the roof.

RFP described the removal procedure for the inside cover on unducted Penguin II roof units. Some fine points... the filters have to be removed before the cover will come off... the side deflectors do not need to be removed but with practice they can be opened just so and the screws will come out.

I do not subscribe to the "blast of air through the drain" approach. As noted above, there are two drain lines coming from the AC condensate pan. They join at a tee fitting that is visible and accessible when the inside cover is removed. If one line is blocked and the other is open, the blast of air will pass easily through the open side and do nothing to open the blocked side. Worse yet, if both sides are badly blocked there is a risk of blowing out the tube. Hopefully it will fail at that tee fitting which is easily reconnected. At worst it will fail inside a wall section. These being hand built trailers, only the ghost of Wally Byam knows what kinks, twists or unauthorized joints may be in those lines on any specific trailer!

I regularly remove the cover and separate the upper lines from the tee fitting. I run a smaller plastic tube (not a wire that might perforate a tube) through each of the three drain tubes. I have attached to that smaller tube the cap from a small dish soap bottle. For the worst clogs I add a small amount of bleach to water in the bottle that fits that cap and I flush the lines with that water. Use a bucket to catch the return drainage inside the trailer since the extra bleach can damage interior surfaces.

The top ends of those two drains are visible if the roof unit is disassembled far enough. The flushing can be done from there but I find it easier and safer from inside. I'm considering adding algicide packs to my unit the next time I disassemble the roof unit. Those are widely used in residential AC systems here in Florida. They might work in Dometic Penguins, too.

I have learned through trial and error that my trailer will drain best when perfectly level. IMO it is the AC, not the fridge that determines how level is "level enough" to camp. It is common for us to have condensate drain through the interior grille and onto the floor if the lines are not perfectly clear and the trailer is not perfectly level. If I have to err out of level, I prefer to be tongue high and street side low (my AC condensate drain ends in the wheel well on the street side).

I hope those pointers help someone.


Your post rings a lot of bells for me, here on the Tx Gulf Coast Iím seeing condensation off the roof, out of the intake screens, out of the drain tubes, and coming out of belt line trim over the battery compartment... all over...thanks for the tips
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