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Gurgling and dripping noise from HVAC vent

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  • Mar 28th, 2021 12:38 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
Aug 26, 2010
170 posts
82 upvotes
Toronto

Gurgling and dripping noise from HVAC vent

Hey everyone,

With the heavy rain last night, I woke up to the sound of gurgling and dripping in one of my hi velocity HVAC vents. It also stopped pushing out air. Reliance came to check it out but he says there's no chance that it could be rain water and kinda blamed outside factors and said I spilled water in there. I should add that this is the only vent it's happening to and no signs of leaks around the house. The vent is right next to patio doors leading out to 2nd floor balcony.

Have you guys seen anything like It? I can't think of who to call next.

14 replies
Deal Addict
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Sep 27, 2006
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Not so easy there Ma…
Is that your basement floor? It looks like a clear out for your plumbing or something like that not an HVAC vent?

Just noticed you said second floor. Can you get a shop vac hose end tool down there? You can vacuum water with them.
Last edited by fergy on Mar 26th, 2021 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Aug 26, 2010
170 posts
82 upvotes
Toronto
fergy wrote: Is that your basement floor? It looks like a clear out for your plumbing or something like that not an HVAC vent?
No it's the 2nd floor of a 3 floor townhouse. It's definitely HVAC vent. It's one of those hi velocity ones with the small circle registers
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Sep 27, 2006
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Not so easy there Ma…
jaynometry wrote: No it's the 2nd floor of a 3 floor townhouse. It's definitely HVAC vent. It's one of those hi velocity ones with the small circle registers
Shop vac extension tool fit in there?
[OP]
Jr. Member
Aug 26, 2010
170 posts
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Toronto
Unfortunately not Weary Face

It's really small and the angle is hard to get anything in there. I can't even get my phone in there to take a video of what's inside. I'm leaning toward calling a plumber and maybe they have some kind of snake camera thing they can use?
Deal Addict
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Sep 27, 2006
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Not so easy there Ma…
It looks like the water is visible, perhaps head to the hardware store and look for something you can tape onto the end of the shop vac hose. A peice of tubing they sell by the foot or something like that.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Aug 26, 2010
170 posts
82 upvotes
Toronto
fergy wrote: It looks like the water is visible, perhaps head to the hardware store and look for something you can tape onto the end of the shop vac hose. A peice of tubing they sell by the foot or something like that.
Thanks I'll give that a try first. I'd really like to know the cause of this issue though. Really a head scratcher.
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Sep 27, 2006
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Not so easy there Ma…
jaynometry wrote: Thanks I'll give that a try first. I'd really like to know the cause of this issue though. Really a head scratcher.
I assume the wood beside the black pipe is damp?

The floor boards, do they run towards the patio doors? Check the caulking along the top sides and bottom of the patio doors. Also the tracks where the doors run should have drain slots and should not be blocked with debris.

And no kids?
[OP]
Jr. Member
Aug 26, 2010
170 posts
82 upvotes
Toronto
fergy wrote: I assume the wood beside the black pipe is damp?

The floor boards, do they run towards the patio doors? Check the caulking along the top sides and bottom of the patio doors. Also the tracks where the doors run should have drain slots and should not be blocked with debris.

And no kids?
Yes it was damp. I did check the caulking but no signs of and entry way inside. No cracking on the cement around the door either. I do have a kid, but she sleeping when all this was going on.
Deal Addict
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Sep 27, 2006
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Not so easy there Ma…
We're you able to vacuum the water out?

It occured to me this morning that there is a great tool that you could pick up ASAP before things dry out. I own one myself and can vouch for it. I'm not sure how thick your floor is but it may well be worth a go at tracing the water back to the source. I'd check the wall as well to see if it picks up anything. If things don't trace back on the floor to the back of the house and nothing on that adjoining (?) wall, if you can open the attic hatch and shine a really bright flashlight around for any indication of moisture, see if a roof vent is in the area near the adjoining wall etc. Water leaks can be difficult to trace.
https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/mast ... #store=457

Be aware that it picks up metal, screws, nails as point source blips. If you had metal wall studs that could throw a tracing off.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
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More than likely water in the inducer motor,
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Feb 10, 2006
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jaynometry wrote: Hey everyone,

With the heavy rain last night, I woke up to the sound of gurgling and dripping in one of my hi velocity HVAC vents. It also stopped pushing out air. Reliance came to check it out but he says there's no chance that it could be rain water and kinda blamed outside factors and said I spilled water in there. I should add that this is the only vent it's happening to and no signs of leaks around the house. The vent is right next to patio doors leading out to 2nd floor balcony.

Have you guys seen anything like It? I can't think of who to call next.

Your system might look something like this. The unit is basically a coil (like a radiator in your car) and a fan. Hot or cold is pushed through the coil and the fan blows the air throughout your house.

It is almost impossible to get water in your vents from the system. And if it did happen I would expect it to be flowing out of the unit continuously because you'd have a leak inside.

If they took the panel off and confirmed the coil is intact you have to be getting water from elsewhere.
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Aug 26, 2010
170 posts
82 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks for the replies guys.

Yes my unit looks exactly like that. The unit itself is bone dry. The drain lines are clear. I haven't taken any panels off but I believe all this water should be obvious. I have an HVAC installer coming in tomorrow and he has a snake camera. Hopefully we can see the source. Will update this thread.

The scary thing for me is that there was a gurgling or draining sound. Kinda like a bathtub emptying. All that water had to go somewhere but I can figure it out. No signs anywhere inside the house.
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Sep 27, 2006
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Not so easy there Ma…
Are those HVAC pipes the same diameter as any plumbing pipes? I know it sounds exceedingly remote but when the home was built could somebody have really goofed up and connected that HVAC run to a plumbing drain or vent stack?

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