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  • cpw
    started a topic Leaking AC Drip Pan

    Leaking AC Drip Pan

    The AC air handler in my attic has two PVC outlets for condensation, one from the air handler itself and the other from the drip pan below. Both feed into the same a regular drain line. The connection between the drip pan and the PVC pipe is leaking. The float switch doesn't trip, because it is above the bottom of the outlet, so it has been leaking into the attic, down through a wall, and then into my garage ceiling.

    My questions are:
    (1) If there is water in the drip pan does that mean the AC unit itself has something wrong with it.
    (2) If it is normal for water to be in the drip pan, can i just caulk around the outlet, and maybe have some kind of backup like a pie pan with a water sensor in it?

    Thanks,
    Charles

  • cpw
    replied
    Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

    Originally posted by metal man View Post
    stop being such a tightwad and call a professional out there to fix it for you. You should be able to get it fixed for 150.00 to
    300.00 bills. Let the pros do the job they are trained for.

    Cheapo
    Considering that there is $70 worth of parts in there, and it costs $80 to have someone show up to your house before fixing anything, I doubt that this would only cost $150-300.

    Leave a comment:


  • cpw
    replied
    Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

    Originally posted by k-doghvacspec. View Post
    gear junkie is right.you need the main drain run to a p-trap, preferably the sewer and the auxiliary drain somewhere to the outside where it is visible to alert you that the main drain is stopped up.the evaporator coil could have a problem with the internal drain pan or the drain could just be stopped up.
    Gear was very helpful with this, he is really a great guy. I've got it exactly how you've described it now.

    Leave a comment:


  • k-doghvacspec.
    replied
    Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

    gear junkie is right.you need the main drain run to a p-trap, preferably the sewer and the auxiliary drain somewhere to the outside where it is visible to alert you that the main drain is stopped up.the evaporator coil could have a problem with the internal drain pan or the drain could just be stopped up.

    Leave a comment:


  • metal man
    replied
    Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

    stop being such a tightwad and call a professional out there to fix it for you. You should be able to get it fixed for 150.00 to
    300.00 bills. Let the pros do the job they are trained for.

    Cheapo

    Leave a comment:


  • cpw
    replied
    Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

    Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
    I use ez trap ezt-225. I saw little giant makes one called condelert that can detect 1/16" of water. I have no experience with this one though.
    Got the little Giant Condalert LC-210 and wired it in series with the float switch (so I am not depending on either moving mechanical parts or new-fangled electronics).

    Two pictures, one of the unit and one of the wiring. The directions have it wired between the control panel and compressor (to just shut off the compressor); but my existing float switch just cuts power to RC on the thermostat which turns off both the compressor and fan. I left it this way, since it is a better indication that something isn't right. So now, the R power goes to my float switch, then the condalert, then to the t-stat.
    Attached Files

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  • Ruudacguy
    replied
    Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

    Originally posted by FINER9998 View Post
    so the problem with my set up, where there is no drain out of the auxiliary pan under my attic mounted air handler, said pan being equipped with a float type micro cut off which disables the a/c should the auxiliary pan accumulate any condensate, is .............?

    FTR, i find the idea of drains from auxiliary pans counterproductive. should the primary clog causing condensate to accumulate in the auxiliary pan, a drain from the auxiliary pan would only allow a problem condition to continue. whereas a cutoff float switch in an auxiliary pan with no drain forces unit inspection as the accumulation of condensate in a place where there should be no condensation is indicative of a problem which should be addressed sooner rather than later.
    Everyone has their own opinions as to why they think their design is better. But if your float switch opened when it was 100 degrees outside and your service guy was booked solid and couldnt make it there for a few days, you might be re-thinking this setup.

    Andy
    Last edited by Ruudacguy; 07-09-2008, 07:21 AM. Reason: spelling

    Leave a comment:


  • gear junkie
    replied
    Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

    I use ez trap ezt-225. I saw little giant makes one called condelert that can detect 1/16" of water. I have no experience with this one though.

    Leave a comment:


  • cpw
    replied
    Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

    Originally posted by FINER9998 View Post
    not getting in any huff here but draining the auxiliary pan seems to create a situation where a problem could occur causing the primary to overflow but the unit would continue operating because the overflow would continue draining. this could go on for some time, correct? and could conceivably cause damage to the system. personally, i check the functioning of all the various domestic systems' controls regularly. (an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure). with a drained auxiliary pan, unless the operator made a point of checking the overflow pipe, he would never know there was a problem. whoever teaches the installation of an auxiliary pan drain is, i believe, making a mistake, notwithstanding a reason that has not yet been presented in this thread.

    cpw...just out of curiousity, what is causing the primary pan to overflow into the auxiliary pan?
    The primary condensate line was plugged up. I snaked it out and it was fine. I also put some bleach down it, and when I cut out a section it was pretty darn clean.

    I did replace my float switch, but the one I have doesn't float until there is enough water to drain into the auxilary pan. It is an ACS-2 from Little Giant Pump, which is actually the same model as my old one.

    Does anyone know of a safety switch that detects moisture instead of floating, or a brand that you prefer instead of the little giant?

    Leave a comment:


  • FINER9998
    replied
    Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

    not getting in any huff here but draining the auxiliary pan seems to create a situation where a problem could occur causing the primary to overflow but the unit would continue operating because the overflow would continue draining. this could go on for some time, correct? and could conceivably cause damage to the system. personally, i check the functioning of all the various domestic systems' controls regularly. (an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure). with a drained auxiliary pan, unless the operator made a point of checking the overflow pipe, he would never know there was a problem. whoever teaches the installation of an auxiliary pan drain is, i believe, making a mistake, notwithstanding a reason that has not yet been presented in this thread.

    cpw...just out of curiousity, what is causing the primary pan to overflow into the auxiliary pan?
    Last edited by FINER9998; 07-08-2008, 03:41 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • gear junkie
    replied
    Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

    float switch is fine but it is an electrical piece of equipment that can fail. Redunancy is used to prevent damage where your pan has none. The highest price in damage I personally ever saw due to a clogged condensate drain was 54k. There was no overflow pan. The couple went on vaction for 3 weeks and came back to big problems. I'm sure others have seen worse.

    Another point, not calling you stupid, but what are your qualifications; personal experience or are you an hvac tech? Before you get in a huff, my point being is piping the auxilary drain is taught to thousands of tech students, done in millions of homes that way, and was designed by people a lot smarter than me, you or the guy that installed your system. If you were(or I) knew a better way, we would be getting paid the big bucks instead of those guys. I'm not one to accept everything I'm told but I'm going to reinvent the wheel either.

    Leave a comment:


  • cpw
    replied
    Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

    Originally posted by FINER9998 View Post
    so the problem with my set up, where there is no drain out of the auxiliary pan under my attic mounted air handler, said pan being equipped with a float type micro cut off which disables the a/c should the auxiliary pan accumulate any condensate, is .............?

    FTR, i find the idea of drains from auxiliary pans counterproductive. should the primary clog causing condensate to accumulate in the auxiliary pan, a drain from the auxiliary pan would only allow a problem condition to continue. whereas a cutoff float switch in an auxiliary pan with no drain forces unit inspection as the accumulation of condensate in a place where there should be no condensation is indicative of a problem which should be addressed sooner rather than later.
    Thought that assumes your cutoff switch works. Mine doesn't. It should be cutting off my unit right now, but it sinks instead of floating.

    Leave a comment:


  • FINER9998
    replied
    Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

    so the problem with my set up, where there is no drain out of the auxiliary pan under my attic mounted air handler, said pan being equipped with a float type micro cut off which disables the a/c should the auxiliary pan accumulate any condensate, is .............?

    FTR, i find the idea of drains from auxiliary pans counterproductive. should the primary clog causing condensate to accumulate in the auxiliary pan, a drain from the auxiliary pan would only allow a problem condition to continue. whereas a cutoff float switch in an auxiliary pan with no drain forces unit inspection as the accumulation of condensate in a place where there should be no condensation is indicative of a problem which should be addressed sooner rather than later.

    Leave a comment:


  • gear junkie
    replied
    Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

    Originally posted by FINER9998 View Post
    if i were you, i would find a way to route the condensate pipe exiting the soffit to some relatively inconspicuous place and get it down to the grouond draining away from the house. just my 2 cents.
    Negative ghostrider. You want to see the drain so if the primary ever leaks, you can see the water come out of the auxilary drain.

    Leave a comment:


  • FINER9998
    replied
    Re: Leaking AC Drip Pan

    CPW...as my installation is a retro fit, the compresor was placed at the rear of my house with the air handler 2 1/2 stories up and roughly midway between the front and rear of the house in the attic. the refrigerant lines were run underground from the compressor to a point directly below the attic located air handler, where they were run vertically up the side of the house inside aluminum rain leaders for asthetics. the undergound run of the refrigerant lines were run inside 4" solid plastic drain pipe with drain holes along its bottom. this was surrounded by 3/4" stone and covered by landscape fabric to keep out soil. the primary condensate drain line exits the air handler into a p trap like the one in your photos. the pvc drain line runs via two 90 deg. turns to the point where the refirgerant lines exit the building side wall in the unfinished attic. the drin pipe runs down inside the leader along with the refrigerant lines and drains into the 4" pvc which protects the refrigerant lines from the earth surrounding it. as the condensate accumulates, it leaches into the 3/4" stone which surrounds the drain pipe and some cocndensate exits the 5 holes i drilled in the bottom of the 90 deg. elbow at the end of the 4" plastic run where it exits the soil at the compressor location.

    if i were you, i would find a way to route the condensate pipe exiting the soffit to some relatively inconspicuous place and get it down to the grouond draining away from the house. just my 2 cents.

    Leave a comment:

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