Drain Pan Replacement in Fenton, MO
Your central air conditioner produces something other than cool comfort: Water, lots of it. On a humid Missouri summer day, a residential central A/C wrings more than 5 gallons of condensate out of the air.
If everything works right, the condensate drain pan collects the water and diverts it down a drain line. If something goes wrong—like a leak in the drain pan—serious water damage may occur as gallons of water leak out every time the air conditioner cycles on.
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Where Does the Water Come From?
Extracting water vapor from indoor air is a critical part of the cooling process. Dry air cools more efficiently and also feels more comfortable. To condense water vapor, the system airflow passes through the evaporator coil located in the indoor air handler. As warm moist air contacts frigid coil surfaces chilled by circulating refrigerant, condensation occurs. Water drips into a drain pan, then flows down the PVC drain pipe. Condensate production is ongoing every time your central air conditioner cycles on.
What Can Go Wrong?
The condensate drain pipe may become clogged—algae growth or other debris in the pan is a typical suspect—causing the drain pan to fill up and overflow.
The other problem is that the drain pan itself may leak, particularly if the A/C is more than a few years old. Condensate drain pans are often made of galvanized metal. Over the years, however, rust and corrosion takes its toll and the pan may spring a leak.
How Do I Know There’s a Problem?
You may not, for some time. Typically, the A/C indoor air handler is located in a seldom visited location like an HVAC closet or even up in an attic. Silent leakage from the drain pan can cause serious damage to wooden structure of the house as seepage saturates the floor and walls nearby. If you notice water pooling near the air handler or stained walls or ceiling, contact a qualified Fenton, MO HVAC technician.
Why Can’t I Do It Myself?
DIY replacement of a leaky A/C drain pan is not recommended. Here are a few good reasons why:
- The evaporator coil and drain pan are sealed inside the indoor air handler. Accessing the inside of the air handler requires substantial dismantling including removal of the cover plate, as well as cutting (and later replacing) air sealant tape and insulating material.
- In many cases, the drain pan is not fully accessible and replacement entails repositioning the evaporator coil. This is a delicate and critical procedure that requires professional expertise and tools to avoid over-stressing fragile coil tubing and joints that could trigger expensive refrigerant leaks.
- While the coil case is open, the Fenton HVAC technician can also clean the evaporator coil using specialized foaming cleaner, brushes and vacuum. This important service helps restore system efficiency and cooling performance.
Schedule Your Drain Pan Replacement
If you notice or suspect leakage from your A/C air handler, don’t wait for expensive water damage to occur. Contact the professionals Metro Heating & Cooling in Fenton, MO for inspection and repair of a leaking drain pan.