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Old 05-09-2010, 01:59 PM   #1
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2008 23' Safari FB SE
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Exterior heat pump condensation or leak?

We took our 08 AS out this weekend for a trial run and I ran the heat pump all night.

In the morning, we were going through the freshwater sanitation process and after turning the water pump on and running water in the shower, bath, kitchen, we noticed dripping water running down the outside of the airstream to the right of the awning. Being new to airstreams, we weren't sure if it is just normal condensation from the heat pump or a leak.

We shut off the heat pump and let it sit for 5 mins and the dripping seemed to lessen. We then turned on the pump again and ran water in all the sinks/shower and it appeared to speed up again. The damp spot below the awning was about 2' x 1'.

From what we can tell visually, it appears to be coming from the duotherm white unit on the top of the AS and running down onto the awning. (The rest of the AS roof was dry.)

Could this be the result of normal condensation or does this sounds like a leak?

Thanks?
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:30 PM   #2
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It's normal.
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:32 PM   #3
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More info from dealer on this potential issue

So I spoke with our local AS dealer today and they say that there are not water pipes in the roof area or going to the duotherm heat pump so they said this has to be condensation and not a leak.

I thought I'd post this update in case someone else runs into a similar issue.

I am going to clean out the A/C drain outlet in the wheel well as a next step and they also suggested removing the duotherm cover to see if any leaves might have collected near the drain outlet for the duotherm AC/heat pump.
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonginator View Post
So I spoke with our local AS dealer today and they say that there are not water pipes in the roof area or going to the duotherm heat pump so they said this has to be condensation and not a leak.

I thought I'd post this update in case someone else runs into a similar issue.

I am going to clean out the A/C drain outlet in the wheel well as a next step and they also suggested removing the duotherm cover to see if any leaves might have collected near the drain outlet for the duotherm AC/heat pump.
Thank you for this thread. You just gave me one more thing to look for.... and one less thing to worry about. ;>)
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:45 PM   #5
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Water produced by the heat pump defrost cycle drains to the roof.
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:50 AM   #6
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Thanks

I know what you mean about one less thing to worry about!

I am still learning the regular operations of my unit so this was a relief to learn this is just normal condensation...
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:16 AM   #7
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Heat pump condensation

I'm beginning to think if they included everything we wanted to know in the Owner's Manual, the book would be 3000 pages thick!

I am new to Airstream and was pleasantly surprised this summer to discover that the condensate drain for the A/C runs through a drain line to exit under the coach, not run down the side like most others. This is a nice touch, Thank You Airstream. I also realize that this drain tube could get blocked by mud daubers or something similar, so it should be kept in mind that if water runs off the roof when running the A/C, this should be the 1st place to look.

However in heat pump mode, you should expect to see condensation run off the roof. A heat pump is simply an air conditioner running in reverse. The condenser and evaporator swap roles and moisture condenses on the outside unit. I'm sure the engineers decided not to run this through a drain line because in freezing weather, the line could freeze up. The simple solution is to let the condensate run off the roof.

As the temperature drops, the outside unit will actually frost over. In my Comfort Control Manual is says that when the exterior temperature drops to 42F, the unit will go into defrost mode for 5 minutes after 25 minutes of operation. At that time it stops the blower and essentially goes into A/C mode to heat up everything outside. At 30F, it switches off the Heat Pump and turns on the furnace.
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