Problems with AC condensate pans

Problems with AC condensate pans

A poet should write a loving ode to the condensate pan, a humble and inexpensive but important part of your air conditioning system.

How important? If the pan fills with water, your AC system can shut down or your home may sustain water damage.

This simple pan serves quietly for years, capturing the condensation that drips from the cooling process. The pan protects your AC unit and your home from unwanted water and keeps bacteria from growing; it sends the water outside through a condensate line.

It also prevents bacteria growth by ensuring the water does not sit — it is instead funneled outside through a condensate line. 

Condensate Pan 101

Occasionally a pan will develop holes or get dislodged, so check it periodically for peace of mind.

The pan is also known as an AC drain pan and an AC drip pan, and your AC system has two.

One is beneath the indoor evaporator coils; the other, “overflow pan,” is either under the exterior unit or below the primary pan inside the unit. The primary pan is welded onto the system, which makes it hard to remove. The overflow pan is much more accessible.

Metal pans, seldom used anymore, can rust or corrode over the years, springing leaks. Plastic pans can crack gradually if they undergo frequent temperature changes.

With either pan you may find water collecting on the floor or near the indoor part of your system. This may be due to cracks, which may be fixed with waterproof sealant.

Drain Line Clogs

However, clogs in the drain line usually are the reason the water is overflowing. When this happens, some AC units automatically stop operating rather than allow flooding.

Algae and even mold like to grow in clogged drain pans, which can be a health hazard.

But a Lighthouse technician can drain and disinfect the line and soon have your AC humming again.

Incidentally, this item is on the checklist for every annual maintenance inspection made by our techs, so they can prevent it from even happening.

The licensed, insured technicians at Lighthouse are available 24/7 for emergency calls. 718-568-7562

We provide heating, ventilation, air conditioning and plumbing services for homes and businesses in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. And we guarantee our work!