There’s a very angry flat-owner known as Mr Yip Wai Hon who thinks he’s been played for a fool by the HDB.
The reason being – he was instructed by the HDB to remove a condenser tray beneath his air-con unit in 2014 to reduce the chance of mosquitoes breeding.
Now, he’s been told to re-install said tray because one of his neighbours has complained about water dripping from his air-con condenser unit.
Said Mr Yip:
“In 2014, government agencies set a regulation that the condenser tray from outdoor air-conditioning units must be removed to reduce the chance of mosquitoes breeding. Most residents complied.
Recently, however, I received a HDB notice instructing me to reinstall a “HDB recommended” condenser tray from an “authorised contractor”, as my neighbour downstairs had complained about being disturbed by water dripping from my air-con.
I called the contractor and was told it would cost S$350 to reinstall the tray. When I asked if it was HDB approved, the contractor said yes. When I asked if the National Environment Agency had also approved it, he kept silent.
I then checked with the HDB, which confirmed that it was issuing such notices when residents complained about dripping water. But it warned that I would be fined if mosquitoes were found breeding in my tray if I did not maintain it.
Why is there a backpedalling of policy now?
Residents paid hundreds of dollars to remove the trays to comply with the national policy. Now, we are asked to pay hundreds more to put the tray back just because of some complaints that the dripping water is noisy.
It is shocking that the HDB expects residents to ensure the condenser trays are mosquito-free.
In high-rise flats, it is dangerous just to peer out the windows to check on the trays.
Maintenance can be done quarterly, but that does not prevent mosquitoes from breeding, as eggs can hatch in less than a day. Given the frequency of rain in Singapore, it is not just condenser water that residents need to worry about flooding the tray.
It is wiser to deal with a virus that can kill us than to be bothered by the noise caused by a dripping condenser.
Simply securing a rubber mat or cloth on the top of an air-con unit would absorb the dripping water and noise, while preventing mosquito breeding.”
The HDB has essentially replied Mr Yip in a manner that even we catch no ball – the questions is why ask me to remove tray, then now ask me to fix back, the HDB’s answer is “here’s where you can buy the tray”.
You also catch no ball?
Read the HDB’s reply:
“Under the National Environment Agency’s Code of Practice on Environmental Health, the placement of air-conditioning trays or receptacles beneath or on top of any air-con unit is discouraged, as the accumulation of stagnant water on such trays could result in mosquito breeding.
If water is found to be dripping from outdoor air-con units in HDB blocks, flat owners should check if the air-con has been properly installed and maintained. This includes checking if proper water discharge measures like affixing a pipe into an internal floor trap have been adopted, and engaging a contractor to service the air-con.
Flat owners who still encounter issues with dripping water from their air-con could consider installing an HDB patented air-con tray to collect the condensate.
Designed with a gradient , this tray has been tested to effectively channel the condensation from the air-con into a discharge pipe.
There was no problem of stagnant water or debris. The trays are in use in several homes and effectively solve the dripping problem. Still, these trays have to be checked regularly to ensure that they are functioning properly.
The tray is available for purchase through a vendor and the installation can be carried out by an air-con installer at a cost.”