Virginia Sweet smell problem

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by lambo, May 19, 2018.

  1. lambo

    lambo New Member

    So first post... searched and didn't find anything that addressed my specific issue. At wit's end with this.

    Bought our house 18 months ago, has a two zone geothermal HVAC system. Works fine. In the winter, no issues. But in the summer, downstairs only, we get a weird sweet (unpleasant) smell coming out of the system. We've had three regular HVAC companies come and one geothermal specialist company and none can figure out the source. Ultimately they suggested replacing the trunk lines in the crawlspace (crawl doesn't smell at all) because they said the smell may be embedded in the fiberboard, but we'd smell it in the winter if that was the case I would think.

    So again, sweet smell, only the downstairs zone, only when the AC is running... Any ideas from the fine folks here?


  2. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    What is your condensation line doing? Plumbed with a P-trap? Air gap over main drain?
    lambo likes this.
  3. lambo

    lambo New Member

    Chris - thanks for the reply! So the condensation line is not plumbed with a p-trap, but according to the sticker it is 'internally trapped' - not sure what that means. It runs through our crawl and out back to drain.

    Not sure what 'air gap over main drain' refers to unfortunately. Thanks again!

    [​IMG]IMG_0062 by Robert, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_0063 by Robert, on Flickr

    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  4. lambo

    lambo New Member

    Popped open the unit and this is the way the condensation line runs. I don't understand how the water can get out though... with that huge bend in the tube, how does the water get forced out? We never have any overflow or backup of water in the system, so I'm confused. Is that just a giant p-trap like thing - the sticker does say it's "internally trapped." Could the smell be from that water sitting in that line? And if so, how do we fix that?

    This is the route of our condensation line to the wall (then it goes into the crawl and out back.

    [​IMG]IMG_1798 by Robert, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_1799 by Robert, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_1796 by Robert, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_1793 by Robert, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_1792 by Robert, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_0063 by Robert, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_0062 by Robert, on Flickr
  5. mtrentw

    mtrentw Active Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Couldn't hurt to drop a clorox tablet in the drain pan at the first indication of odor. That may be an informative test.

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