The Problem Was Obvious!

>> Monday, April 6, 2009

When Connie and I started into town Thursday morning we soon discovered a problem.  As I put the van into reverse and began to back out of our parking space we heard the sound of splashing or gurgling water, and almost immediately water started coming down from under the dash onto the carpeting on the passenger’s side of the van.  The problem was obvious!  We had a major water leak somewhere.  Our first response was to grab some paper towels and begin soaking up as much of the water as possible.

Then, it was to try and figure out where the leak was and how the water was getting into the area under the dash.  Without thinking it through thoroughly I thought it must be from around the windshield.  We had the windshield replaced several months ago and I thought perhaps the caulk or adhesive had begun to turn loose.  I didn’t get a chance to really check things out that day and that night we got another 1 and 1/2 inch rain.

When I next got the time to begin check things out I moved the van to experience water “raining” down once again.  I was able to get down and look up to see that the water was dripping from several locations on the bottom of the heater/AC ductwork.  That made me begin to think maybe it wasn’t a windshield leak after all.

April  4th & 5th 010 Just in front of the windshield is a grill which allows fresh air to be brought in.  As I began to check I discovered that there is a plastic pan that sits directly under this grill.  It can’t be seen, but there is a connection from this pan to the ductwork for the heater and AC.

April  4th & 5th 009 The photo on the right shows a portion of this plastic pan.  As I began to examine the situation I noticed that there was a hose that was attached (right in the center of the photo).  This was obviously a drain tube.  I pulled this hose loose and water began pouring out of the drain hole in the pan.  I also discovered that the drain hose was packed full of leaves. 

It became quite clear what had been happening.  The water from the rain had gone through the grill and with the drain hole plugged the water had accumulated.  When the van began to move the water splashed and sloshed in the pan, overflowing into the heater/AC ductwork and then to “rain” down onto the floor of the van.

April  4th & 5th 011 With the drain hose cleaned out water can now drain out as it should.  (Oh, I did discover there is a second drain on the other end of the plastic pan.  It was not plugged but I made sure that there was nothing to obstruct the water from flowing through it.)

Thankfully the solution to the problem we encountered was quite simple once the time was taken to really check it out, just not as obvious as the problem. 


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