HVAC Drain Pan Repair and Refurbishment: What You Need to Know!


HVAC Drain Pan Repair – Water leaks from HVAC units are usually due to holes in one of the drip pans or from a clogged drain. What happens is the drain becomes blocked, allowing water to accumulate in the drain pan. Over a period of time, this standing water causes corrosion and leaks develop. Water leaking from HVAC units installed in the attic or basement is messy and causes secondary damage, so it’s essential HVAC leaks and leaking drain pans are fixed by repairing or refurbishing the drain pans.

HVAC Drain Pan Repair

It’s usual for HVAC units to have primary and secondary drain pans. The primary pan is installed directly under the condenser coil, while the secondary pan is at the bottom of the housing.

Depending upon the design, it may be possible to remove the pans, although the primary pan is often a fixture that can’t be detached. In any event, access around the HVAC unit may make it difficult to remove either pan.

Replacing the Drain Pans vs. HVAC Drain Pan Repair:

Drain pans are fabricated from thin-gauge galvanized steel. Their design is such that once they start corroding, it may be difficult to effect a long-term repair, and in these instances, removing the old pan and replacing it with a new one may be the best choice.

If you’re contemplating replacing your HVAC pans, ensure you can get or fabricate replacement pans before you start. It’s quite likely that you’ll destroy or further damage the corroded pans when you remove them.

Before working on the HVAC unit, isolate the electrical power, and if the unit incorporates heating, close the fuel line. Then carefully remove the drain pans and install new ones, taking care to avoid causing damage to other equipment such as the coils, piping and wiring. While the pan is out, check and clean the drain line, making certain it’s secure and not leaking.

Refurbishing Drain Pans

Unfortunately, even when pans are removable, this is easier said than done because of limited access and the way pans are installed. Sometimes, the only solution, apart from replacing the entire HVAC unit, is to refurbish the drain pans. This is done as follows:

Preparation. Thoroughly clean and dry the drain pan, removing all water and mold. If necessary, use a hot air gun or dryer. Using sandpaper, remove as much of the rust as possible. Then, using a rust converter, coat all damaged areas and allow to dry. Work carefully as poorly carried out repairs will almost certainly fail within a short period of time.

Applying the Sealant to Prevent HVAC Drain Pan Repair!

Once the paint is dry, a sealer should be applied. There are several preparations available including epoxy, acrylic and polyurethane sealants. Be careful of silicon-based products as some don’t adhere that well.

There are two alternatives for sealing. The easiest solution is a two-pack epoxy liquid adhesive. This should be mixed according to the instructions and poured into the pan. Use enough to completely coat the pan. Apply the epoxy immediately after mixing so that it spreads easily. If necessary, use a small piece of wood or blade to disperse it. If required, apply a second coat to ensure the entire base is properly covered.

The other method is to use a waterproof acrylic or polyurethane sealant designed for external applications. Sealant is applied to the damaged areas of the pans using a calking gun.

Regular Inspection Prevents HVAC Drain Pan Repair!

Provided you carefully prepared the drip trays before applying the sealant, the repair should last for a long time. To make sure, periodically check the drain is not blocked, that water is not accumulating in the pan and there are no leaks.

For over 20 years, we have been helping people who are working on improving indoor air quality by providing high quality workmanship with unparalleled customer service to both residential and commercial customers. Our staff of professionals are dedicated to serving your specific needs from the moment you contact us until the completion of your remediation project. Visit our website or contact us today for more information or to schedule your mold remediation consultation.

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