What is a condensate drain pan and why does it clog?

What is a condensate drain pan? How does it protect your home? Where is it located? How do I know if it is working properly?

  1. What is a condensate drain pan?
    • It is an important part of the entire central air system. It protects your home from water damage. It protects the furnace from microbiological growth and failure. Most importantly, it protects your home from any type of water-related safety issues.
  2. How does a condensate drain pan work?
    • The primary purpose is to collect water that results from the air conditioning process. Water that condensates on the coils drip into the pan and flow thru the condensate drain line and out of your home.
  3. Where is the condensate drain pan located?
    • In most homes, you will find it located in the attic under the evaporator coils or air handler. Sometimes, they will be located in the garage or a storage closet. For those in the attic, there is usually a secondary drain pan also. This is an added precaution in case the first drain pan gets filled up. Overflow of water could cause damage to ceiling drywall.
  4. Why does the condensate drain pan get damaged?
    • Unfortunately, it CAN fail. If they are made of metal, the water can rust them out and create holes and leaks. Plastic pans may be more durable, however they are usually part of the evaporator coil system and cannot be replaced independently.
  5. What damages the condensate drain pan?
    • Obviously, a rusted and cracked pan will leak. In addition, the drain itself can clog. A clogged drain can be the result of many things – a dirty air filter, foreign obstruction or simply old age. In this example, the water will just pool in the condensate pan and not travel thru the drain line.

It’s always helpful to take a peak in the attic – even between your HVAC maintenance!


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North Myrtle Beach HVAC & Refrigeration

LHT Cooling, Heating & Refrigeration is a North Myrtle Beach HVAC and commercial refrigeration company serving the South Carolina Grand Strand, Carolina Shores and North Carolina. LHT services and repairs heat pumps, heating units, air conditioning units, furnaces, ventilation systems, indoor air quality, humidifications, ductless systems, boilers, reach-in coolers, walk-in coolers, reach-in freezers, walk-in freezers, ice machines, blast chillers and refrigerated displays.

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