Monday, July 19, 2010

Flooded Basement Welcome Home?

So it's been a while since I last blogged, and I thought I'd be starting off by sharing one of several really cool stories from my last two weeks of traveling. Instead, I will share an unpleasant surprise that greeted me upon my arrival.

Around 630PM Sunday night, I pulled up to my house with Jamie to pick up a couple of gift cards that we were going to take to sozo a local coffee house some friends and I started in Morgantown back in 2007 through the support of Chestnut Ridge Church. You see, there was this really cool group at sozo last night called Gift Card Giver. What they do is take unused or partially/mostly used gift cards and give them out to people who are in need. (For example, they recently shared donated phone cards with recently rescued victims of human trafficking. These children were able to contact their family for the first time in years because of donated phone cards!)

Instead of running down with my Panera and Applebee's gift cards as planned, I was halted by the appearance of a rug that I had seen in my laundry room sitting outside in my driveway. It was damp, but drying out. I began to wonder if the washer had overflowed, but I found out quickly that my home had fallen victim to a far worse fate--the AC drain line had clogged. If you've never experienced this phenomenon before, let me tell you, several gallons of water condense and fall into a drain pan and then run down a drain line each day during the summer. That's how it works, unless the line becomes clogged. Then, the pan overflows, and several gallons of water pour all over one's floor. I think I went through every towel in the house trying to sop up water from my carpeted basement floor.

It took me a while to figure out that it was the AC, but it was actually a relief when I solved the mystery. You see, a clogged drainage line is pretty easy to fix. Here's how I did it. I brought a garden hose into the house, and stuck the nozzle into the drainage line. First I made sure the clog wasn't away from the AC unit (it's much easier to push blockage downstream into a larger line.) It was clearly a problem near the unit itself, so I used the hose to apply back pressure and blow the blockage out of the drainage pipe. It probably would have been a really messy ordeal, had there not been a very significantly messy situation in my basement before this.

Two hours later, and I had missed the event at sozo, but I had solved the mysterious appearance of water in my basement. Now my next challenge is getting my basement floor dried out before there's a massive growth of mold, and removing the musty smell of wet carpet from the space in an expeditious manner.

Anybody got a handy tip? Hopefully this blog post will help anybody who experiences a clogged AC drainage line in their home. From what I've read, they are inevitable. I also found this website handy in my troubleshooting. It was quite the welcome home, but I'm glad that at least it was an easily solvable problem.

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