Window AC is leaking some water inside; Can't remove grille

tenbelowJuly 18, 2014

This is a Hampton Bay Model # HBQE060. It's tilted properly to the outside. I don't have the manual. This is the first window AC in which I've been unsuccessful in removing the front grille. There is one small, shallow bolt on each side of the cabinet, and those won't budge. If anyone knows how to remove this model's grille, please post that info.

I've been running my window AC unit a lot lately, and in the past few days I've noticed the window sill and some of the floor below getting a little wet. I shut off the AC, cleaned up the small amount of water and put dry paper towels on the window sill; those paper towels ended up getting soaked.

I thought that maybe the water was from condensation that occurs sometimes when it's humid, so I started up the AC when everything *looked* dry. That night, I saw drops of water coming out from where the power cord exits the housing and out from where the grille meets the housing. Now when I push my fingers on the underside of the grille, a little water comes out (cord is not plugged in).

I feel stupid asking this, but in this situation, is it dangerous to run the AC in this condition, even if I continually use paper towels? Is this problem most likely the drain pipe being clogged?

I don't know what to do if I can't get that cover off the AC. I'm moving in the Fall, so it's not worth it to buy a new AC, and hiring a service person will cost more than the unit is worth. It gets very hot & humid here, so it will be an uncomfortable summer without AC.

Any help is really appreciated. Thank you.

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over40

Turn the screws a little harder? You should be able to get it off.
Can you get to the outside, and see if you can stick something any drain holes that look clogged?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 6:19PM
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tenbelow

over40, I tried with all my strength to loosen the bolts, and they won't budge. I'm not even sure you need to remove them in order to remove the grille, since the bolts are not on the grille part.

I'll have to get someone up on a ladder outside to try to see in there. There's a sparrow's nest under my AC with sparrows using it now.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 8:11PM
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saltidawg

I see there are numerous parts available for your A/C on-line.

As I'm quite sure they did not assemble your A/C's internals like a ship in a bottle, so there IS a way in!

I can find your Manual on-line, but not for free.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:18PM
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Skie_M

sounds like a clogged drain .... get some pipe cleaners in there?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:22PM
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tenbelow

Saltidawg, Yes, there MUST be a way in...lol. Thanks for looking online for the manual (too bad it's not free).

Skie_M, Do you mean the drain outlet on the exterior? I've never looked for a drain before. Or is it something on the inside of the AC that is blocked? If so, does that mean that the AC needs to be taken apart?

I'm praying for no heat waves.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 10:03PM
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tenbelow

I finally found my manual. It doesn't give any info about how to remove the grille. It doesn't say anything about what to do if water comes through the front of the unit.

All it says is to wash the filter twice a week. And it says that the unit is designed to operate with approx 1/2" of water in the bottom pan.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 11:39PM
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mrjasondude

If this is the correct grille for your unit the pictures might help you understand how to remove the grille.

http://www.repairclinic.com/PartDetail/b170p16/Hampton-Bay-Air-Conditioner-Grille-Kickplate/111410740001/1109690?modelNumber=HBQE060-F

Best of luck.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 2:18AM
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Skie_M

Yes, the water in the pan is there to help keep your condenser cooled ... without the water there, you'ld be burning it up. My concern is, if the condensate (water buildup) on the inside of the unit is there because the drain is blocked, is enough water getting to the back area of the unit where the condenser is to keep it cool?

There is usually a small drain hole between the front and the back that allows the water condensate from the front to naturally flow to the back and keep that condenser happy. If that hole is blocked up, you need to open it up ...

Is it possible to just uninstall the unit, take out outside and direct a good hard water spray into the problem area to look for the drain hole and clear it out? Keep in mind that you'll want to let the unit dry off overnight at least, before plugging it back in if you spray all over it.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 2:24AM
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tenbelow

I found the hidden screw that holds the grill to the body. I can't believe I've never seen it before. It's hidden behind the filter! I'll try to remove the grille when I get the chance.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 2:24AM
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tenbelow

mrjasondude, yes, that looks like my grille. Thanks so much for finding it.

Skie_M, thank you for all of your help, and your explanation was great. I have a feeling that the drain may be blocked, since it's never been cleaned inside there. Unfortunately, I'm unable to remove the unit from my window to take outside for a cleaning.

I'm hoping we don't get any bad heat waves :)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 2:37PM
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