Aircon Drain Pan Guide and How To Repair It When It Is Clogged

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We all know that our air conditioner is an essential part of every home.  But what most people don’t know is how to take care of their air-con drain pan or even what it does. When cleaning an air conditioner, the AC drain pan is frequently overlooked. This can seriously damage your unit. For your home environment to stay healthy, you need to clean the drain pan out as necessary. This blog post will discuss why your drain pan needs to be checked routinely and how you can fix a clogged one on your own if you ever need to.

What are aircon drain pan?

The condensate drain pan is one of the critical parts of an aircon system. The drain pan needs to be checked regularly for any cracks or water leaks.

The drain pan collects the condensation that drips off of the condenser coils within the AC system. The water is directed through a pipe, either down a drain or gets discharged outside your house.

How To Find the AC Drain Pan

The overflow drain pan can be found under the indoor evaporator coil. It traps any condensate that forms whenever hot air moves across the cold evaporator coils.

Next, the condensation gets directed via the PVC condensate drain pipes outdoors.

Should the AC drain pan have water in it?

It is normal to have water in the drain pan since its job is to collect droplets of water. However, water should flow easily and overflow, settle or build up inside the drip pan.

Various systems will have their own setups. A central system that has a DX coil, for example, will drain the droplets of water that are on it through its drain pipes. There is also a secondary drain pan, but it will not have any water droplets in it unless there is something wrong with the primary pan.

Usually, window air conditioners are designed to evaporate any water from the pan quickly. In high humidity situations, window conditioners are designed for dripping out the back promptly.

In the case of portable air conditioners, you need to empty the pan manually. Some portable air conditioners are equipped with hose pipes that get plumbed at various locations to make the draining process easier.

Lower levels of humidity lead to lower condensation levels.

Why does the AC drain pan fill up all the time?

A clogged drainpipe is one of the common causes for water to stagnate on your drainpipe

The air flowing across loses its humidity and cools down as it passes over the evaporator coils inside the AC unit. The humidity gets left behind as condensation on your AC evaporator coils. The condensation goes through the system’s drain line, drips into the drain, and then exits the system.

Dirt and dust also get left behind on your evaporator coil. That indicates that water is not the only thing causing system problems. The dust and dirt come from the air blowing across the coils.

The dust and dirt move down the drainpipe and can result in a clog.

Another issue that can cause clogged water is when the air conditioner was installed incorrectly and has the wrong angle alignments. To avoid this problem, you should have your system correctly installed by a company that has trained and qualified technicians.

The system’s drain outlets should be located on the lower side at all times so that the water can flow towards it easily. When the outlet is on the opposite side, water always stagnates rather than draining.

A frozen evaporator coil can cause traces of moisture inside the drainpipe. This results in water dripping into the drain pan. There is a very high chance that the evaporator coil will freeze if refrigerant levels are low.  Low levels of refrigerant are a sign that the AC system has a refrigerant leak.  Our team’s technicians can identify leaks quickly and repair your system.

How Can The AC Drain Pan Be Fixed?

If the drain pan has a lea, you can use epoxy glue to plug the crack causing the leak. However, if the leakage is significant, it is highly recommended to replace the entire drain pan. It will cost more money but will be a lot more effective than continuing to replace system parts, which can ultimately result in the entire AC system breaking down.

A clogged drain pipe is the most common cause of an air conditioner having a drain pan that is full of water.  If you have the right tools, it is easy and simple to unclog a drainpipe.

Quick steps for unclogging your drainpipe:

  1. Turn off the AC’s power supply
  2. Inspect the unit’s tubes to make sure that the drain pipe does not have any leaks, cracks, or other problems.
  3. If the drain line does have a defect, relaces the faulty drain line parts with new ones.
  4. Remove water collected inside the drain pan.
  5. Once you have removed all the water and residue, the system can be safely unclogged.
  6. Remove the PV cap slowly and use a wire brush to unclog it.
  7. It is recommended that you add a bit of bleach to the pipe since that helps to remove algae and mould, which can clog up the system.
  8. Put the PVC cap back on and test the air conditioner.

Main Take-Aways

Hopefully,  you found this guide useful in helping you understand what AC drain pans are and how to keep yours clean. If your AC unit constantly fills up with water, call us to ensure the clog is cleared from the drain pan before any burst occurs.

Related Read: Overview of Aircon Parts

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