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Of HVAC Drains and Clogging
So the other day my upstairs thermostat went blank on me. The downstairs thermostat died in similar fashion last year and I had to replace it, so I assumed that they were shoddy devices the builder had installed with a 3ish year half-life, so went ahead and bought a fancy new one to replace it with. Only to discover that the problem wasn't the thermostat, it was that there wasn't any powering coming down the hot wire from the HVAC transformer.
Investigation in my attic revealed that the backup drainage catch pan under the heater was full of water, which had tripped the sensor device designed to cut the system off in the event that said pan fills up with water (prior to water washing over the edge and coming down through my ceiling, so yay for that). Presumably there is a blockage in the drainage pipe leading out of the house from the unit. Conveniently the builder installed a u-bend and a hand-tight cap. Inconveniently, the cap is on the outside of the u-bend and above the turn where the pipe leads out of the house. I don't really want to chop up and re-splice the PVC, so I'm curious what the best way to go about clearing this thing out is. I figure I can just use a bent coat hanger to fish out the u-bend in case the clog is there, but I'm a bit stumped on the long run out to the side of the house.
I considered buying a plumbing snake, but I'm not sure how I'd get it into around the corner to head out of the house.
I have a fairly beefy wet/dry vac (I used it to get the water out of the catch pan, in fact, to make sure that the unit came back on once that issue was cleared up). Would it be a good idea to duct tape the end of the hose to one end of the drain pipe and fire it up? It's 1" PVC and probably... I don't know... between 50 and 100 feet from the heater to the open drain outside the house. If this isn't a terrible idea, should I hook up the vac to the heater end, or to the outside the house end?
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