Have you ever noticed how, during summers, condensate forms outside the glass holding a chilled drink? Something like this happens in your AC when warm and moist air passes over the cold evaporator coils. In the case of glass, you just wipe the water that accumulates on the surface where it is kept. However, in the case of your air conditioner, you cannot do that. Else, the whole day, every few minutes, you will switch off your AC open the panel and mop up the moisture. Just when you thought of relaxing in the cold air, you landed up creating more work for yourself. Nonetheless, it is not even feasible to do so. On top of it, modern technology is here to save us time and energy, and that is why all ACs come equipped with a drain pan.
The Drip Pan
The drip pan is usually located just under the evaporator coils. Due to gravity, all the moisture that condenses on the evaporator coil falls into the drip pan. The drain line attached to the drip pan pours all the water in the drip pan outdoors. So, your walls don’t become wet, and also there are no puddles of water inside the house.
Cracks In The Drip Pan
With the passage of time, even the drip pan wears out and develops cracks and holes. When that happens, the water does not stay contained anymore. Instead, it drips down the walls and causes puddles and dampness.
The Best Option
When the drip pan develops holes and cracks, your best option is to replace it. For some reason, if you cannot do that, your next best option is to repair the existing one. But do you know how to fix a cracked AC drip pan or how to repair an air conditioner drip pan? If not, here’s what you need to know about it.
Inspecting The Drain Pan
In order to detect the cracks, you need to first inspect the drain pan. To detect the cracks, you need a good flashlight and around a gallon of water. Begin by switching off the power supply to your AC. Then, take off the access panel. Locate the drip pan; it should be right under the evaporator coils or the air handler. Switch on your flashlight for clear visibility and pour a gallon of water at a steady pace into the pan and observe its flow. If the crack or cracks are small, the water will drip down drop by drop, and if the crack is big, it may flow down in a stream. In case there are no cracks, the water will drain freely through the PVC drain line.
Things You Need To Fix A Cracked AC Drip Pan
Here is a list of things you would need to repair an air conditioner drip pan –
1.Water-resistant sealant or glue.
2.Wet vacuum cleaner.
How To Repair An Air Conditioner Drip Pan
Now that you have detected where the cracks are, its time to fix them. To be on the safe side, while inspecting outline the cracks with a good marker. Now, let’s begin –
Step 1 – Turn The Power Off – Whenever working with electronic equipment, you need to first and foremost turn the power OFF. To do that, locate the circuit breaker for your AC and push it to the OFF position. If you cannot locate the correct circuit breaker, you can turn the main power source to OFF. In either case, the power supply to the AC will be cut, and you can start with the repair work.
Step 2 – Remove Access Panel & Expose Drip Pan – There are two drip pans in an AC. A primary one and a secondary one. The primary pan is under the evaporator coil and permanently fixed. If the crack is in this pan, you will have to work with it still attached to the AC. Mop up all the water inside the pan with a rag or with the help of a wet vacuum to get rid of excess moisture.
The secondary pan is at the bottom of the machine. If the cracks are in the secondary pan, remove it from its nesting place and drain all the water inside it.
Step 3 – Seal The Cracks – You had marked the cracks while inspecting the drip pan, its time to seal them. Use a good quality water-resistant sealant to patch up the cracks. Sand down the area around the crack with fine grain sandpaper. It will help the glue to adhere better. Apply the sealant on both sides with a steady hand and allow it to cure for at least two hours. After two hours, the sealant would have hardened adequately. Now would be the best time to sand down the excess sealant for a smooth finish.
Step 4 – Test The Repair – The best way to test the repair is the same manner in which you inspected for cracks in the first place. Repeat the process to test how well the sealant holds. You could also test the job by switching on the power supply to the AC and allowing it to run for a few hours. It is entirely your choice how you want to verify a patch-up job well done.
Step 5 – Replace The Access Panel & Switch On Power – If everything looks fine, close the access panel and switch ON the power supply to the AC. Now sit back and enjoy the labors of your hard work.
In The End
If you have read the above post diligently, you will realize that fixing a cracked drip pan is not a challenging job. It is something you can do yourself with minimum assistance. However, we would still like to stress that replacing a drip pan is better than repairing it. Also, in spite of knowing that you can easily fix the drip pan in your AC if you still want someone else to take care of the job, feel free to contact us anytime.