A clear bend and access ports make this condensate trap easy to inspect and clean.
Dave Yates A clear bend and access ports make this condensate trap easy to inspect and clean.

Q. After replacing both a condensate pan and a pump, the plumber fixing my client’s leaky air-conditioning coil finally determined that the problem was actually in the condensate drain. The drain’s small trap was clogged with a mucuslike substance; unclogging it was a simple repair that took just a few minutes, but (needlessly) replacing the pump and pan cost my client a couple of service visits. Is the trap really necessary or is it just a way for hvac installers to set up nuisance service calls?

A. Dave Yates, a plumbing contractor in York, Pa., responds: One way for corner-cutting hvac installers to avoid clogs — and eliminate altogether the expense of traps and condensate pumps — is to simply drill a hole in the concrete floor and drain the condensate directly into the stones under the slab. But this is a bad idea, for a couple of...

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