Avoiding the Wet Dog Look

Avoiding the Wet Dog Look

A Homeowner's Guide To AC Drip Pan Concerns

Darlene Stanley

The drip pan assembly is one part of your AC system you don't want to overlook, even if it doesn't directly cool your home.

Purpose of the Drip Assembly

The exterior unit of your AC has a drip assembly. The assembly consists of a condensate hose, a drip pan, and a drain. For a rooftop unit, the drain may actually route into pipes that runs through an exterior wall to the ground, or it may be routed into an existing guttering system. Ground-based units are typically drained out to just beyond the pad where the AC unit sits.

When the unit is running and cooling air, some condensation builds up inside the coils. This condensation is routed down to the condensate line, drip pan, and drain assemblies. The moisture can then run off and evaporate harmlessly well away from the unit, which cuts down on issues like mold growth and rust inside your AC.

Common Problems

Clogs in the system are the most common issues when it comes to the drip assembly. The combination of moisture and warmth leads to mold and algae growth in the drip pan and lines. A biofilm can also form, further worsening any clog. Another issue is with leaks. Sometimes leaks are a byproduct of a clog that doesn't allow the drip pan to drain as it should. In other cases, a crack drip pan or damage to the drain or condensate line can result in a leak.

When the drain pan can't empty properly or a leak occurs, rust and water damage in the AC becomes a concern. If you have a rooftop unit, leaks and overflowing drip pans can also lead to water damage to the roofing material or even inside the attic.

Repair Options

Fortunately, the drip assembly is one of the easiest parts of your AC to repair. Cleaning out the drain, lines, and drip pan will remove algae, mold, and biofilm. If the algal buildup is severe, particularly in the narrow water lines, then you may need to have them replaced.

A cracked drip pan or a leaking line will also require replacement. For rooftop units, it may be worth it to upgrade to a larger pan size with at least two drain openings. This way if one drain clogs the pan won't be in immediate danger of overflowing.

Contact an AC repair service if you notice standing water or other issues with your AC drip assembly.


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About Me
Avoiding the Wet Dog Look

During the summer months, I enjoy taking care of my outdoor plants and flowers. Because I live in the southern United States, my vegetation needs water almost daily. Thankfully, I have a convenient outdoor faucet connected to my home. However, I recently endured some problems with this source of water. When I turned on the faucet, I was greeted with a forceful spray of water going in all directions. Before I could gather my senses and turn the water off, I resembled my dog after she jumps into a pool of water. To avoid the wet dog look in the future, I plan to hire a professional plumber to take care of my faulty faucet. On this blog, you will learn about the benefits of securing a reputable plumber to repair your problematic faucets.