A condensate pump is used to pump the water created in a heating or boiling system. If your condensate pump is not functioning correctly, it may need to be cleaned, repaired or even replaced. It is dangerous to operate an air conditioning system if the condensate pump on the unit is malfunctioning. Choosing to run the pump while it is malfunctioning may lead to water damage and very costly repairs in the long run.
Unplug the air conditioning system and turn the power off on the pump. Be sure to turn off the power to both the high voltage and low voltage wires that lead from the pump. If you use an HVAC air system, you will need to turn the breaker off that leads to the system through the breaker panel in your home.
Check the float on the pump. The pump controls the water level and may sometime become stuck leading the pump to shut off. The float is located at the top of the pump and can easily be fixed by simply tapping it until it becomes unstuck. If the float is cracker or damaged, replace it with a new one from the manufacturer or a home improvement retailer. Turn the pump on to see if it works correctly now the float is unstuck.
Clean the pump thoroughly. Remove the outer housing of the pump by using a screwdriver to remove the screws that hold the cover in place. Dump the water from the tank and the pump. Use soapy water and a clean cloth to clean out the entire unit. Make sure to clean the float of the pump as well. Clean the pump lines by pouring 1/4 cup of bleach and a gallon of water through the pump. This will remove all the dirt from the lines and the pumps inner parts. Rinse the entire pump clean with clean water.
Remove the pump if it is still not working properly. Use a pair of wire cutters to cut the lines that are connected to the condensate pump. Make sure you cut the wires about half way from the pump so you will have wire to work with when replacing the pump. Disconnect any additional wires to the pump by cutting them with the wire cutters.
Lift the old pump from its position very carefully so as not to spill any water if it did not all come out when the lines were cut. Place the new pump in position. Reconnect all the electrical wiring by running new wires to the new pump. Insert new plumbing lines for the ones you removed.
Turn the pump on to make sure it now works properly. Pour water down into the pump to prime it. If the pump stops running after the water is poured, continue adding water until it works correctly.