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I’ve been excited this year to see my personal patent development journey move forward rapidly. A Senior Design team from Texas State’s Ingram School of Engineering has picked up development of my three HVAC condensate drain clearing patents as a project. The team created a functional prototype demonstrating blowing out the P-Trap (where the mold grows and causes clogs). I am proud to report that they won the Industry Choice Award at the end of the semester for their hard work.

A little background on the concept and patents… It's amazing how many people have suffered the results of clogged HVAC drains: roughly 80% based upon my informal polling. It happened to me three times before I came up with this fix about ten years ago and the problem hasn't returned.

Of course, the concept of blowing out lines has been around a long time, plumbers count on this as part of their income, and there are a couple of patents in the area. The key to my three patents is a method for automating the line clearing. The whole clearing function is autonomous and prevents clogs from forming. I've done a lot of research in this area and haven't found any art that predates my own.

I know many of my clients relate to my personal experience and even appreciate that I have been through the same struggles they are feeling. (I'm hopeful that the insurance industry will recognize the benefits and offer homeowner/business owner discounts.)