If you see water stains on the wall or ceiling and you can't figure out where they're coming from, be sure to check your HVAC if it's housed in your attic. Your evaporator coil makes condensation every time your air conditioner runs. The condensation drips into a collection pan and then it's drained outside through PVC drain pipes.
Sometimes, a crack or hole develops in the pan, and then the water leaks on the floor instead of draining away. This is a serious situation since the water causes damage to your home. Here's how a residential AC repair technician might fix this problem.
Determine If Temporary Repairs Are Needed
It's necessary to use a new pan that's made for your equipment, so the repair technician may need to order a new pan. If so, the repair contractor might need to make temporary repairs by sealing the crack or hole until they can get a new drain pan to replace the bad one. The temporary repairs will stop the leak until a more permanent repair is done by exchanging the pan.
Replace A Leaky Drain Pan
Some drain pans slide in and out of the air handler and they can be changed fairly easily. Other pans are mounted to the air handler and condensation coil. It can take a lot of effort to get the pan loose and exchange it.
If the pan is a simple one that slides in and out, replacing it is easy. The AC repair technician has to disconnect the pipes first and then they can pull out the pan and put in a new one. After that, they can put the pipes back on and make sure the connections are tight so the pipes and pan won't leak.
A pan that's screwed into place is more challenging to exchange. The repair technician may even have to drain the refrigerant from your AC just in case something goes wrong and the technician punctures a refrigerant line in the coil. The technician has to remove the plumbing lines and several screws that hold the pan in place. They may even need to lift the evaporator coil so they can pull the old pan out.
This can be difficult work since the space is tight and the coil is heavy. Once the pan is loose, the technician can pull it out and exchange it with a new one. Then the screws and pipes have to be replaced so the pan is secure and it drains without leaking.
Test The New Pan
The AC repair technician may want to test the new pan by pouring water into it to make sure it won't leak. The water will drain out the hose, and this gives the technician a chance to check the hose to make sure it isn't clogged and slow to drain. Once the leak has stopped, you can proceed to repair the water damage to your floor, ceiling, or wall if you have any.