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Just imagine surviving a Florida summer without an air conditioner. Even though we rely on these appliances so much, we tend to take them for granted and ignore giving them proper care until damage inevitably occurs.

While most air conditioner problems need a professional remedy, minor repairs like
AC drain pan replacement are easy for most homeowners.

Today, we’ll learn more about this particular component, why it may sometimes need attention, and ultimately, how to do an AC drain pan replacement all on your own!

What Is An Ac Drip Pan?

A drip pan is a simple, yet important piece of your air conditioner. Here’s why:

The air conditioner evaporator coils are where refrigerant in your system is converted from liquid to gas.. As the hot air blows across the finned tubes of the evaporator coils, its heat is transferred to the coils themselves, thus cooling them..

But what does that have to do with drain pan replacement?

The heat transfer process creates condensation, which, in turn, drips into the drain pan where it’s removed from the air handler unit through a condensate drain line. So if the drain pan can’t remove the water properly, the water in your system will have nowhere to go. 

As a result, it may start collecting in the drain pan, and once it sits there for too long, you may have to deal with a mold infestation. Additionally, the water may eventually overflow and cause water damage in your unit, as well as your home. 

This is why you should periodically check the status of your drain pan and ensure that it’s working properly.

Do You Need To Replace The Drain Pan?

You should always look out for an accumulation of water in your drain pan, as it’s a sign that something is not right.

Unfortunately, drain pans don’t last forever, and it’s quite common for these parts to damage in some way. For instance, a drain pan can develop cracks, corrode, and in some cases, the water may start accumulating under the thin metal sheet in the drain pan.

Once you visually inspect the pan and notice it has visible cracks or corrosion, you should lose no time in kickstarting your AC drain pan replacement project.

If the drain pan seems fine, maybe something else is to blame. 

For example, if you forgot to swap out your air filters or your air ducts are blocked, you have a major airflow problem. In time, this can lead to frozen evaporator coils. Once the ice starts melting, it may cause extra water in your system with which your draining system won’t be able to keep up.

Keep in mind that evaporator coils can also freeze due to a refrigerant leak, so if you notice this happening, you should call an HVAC professional to resolve the problem.

Lastly, one of the reasons why you have a full drain pan can actually happen because the drain line is clogged. This is also something you can fix yourself if you know what you’re doing.

this article to learn how to unclog the drain line on your own.

How To Replace The Drain Pan

Before we continue, there’s a key piece of information you need to know. Some systems have two drain pans. One is primary and it collects the condensation, while the secondary one is an extra line of defense in case the primary drain pan overflows. 

If you have this type of system, you shouldn’t replace the primary drain pan by yourself. Usually, they are attached to the system and removing them could cause expensive damage across the board. 

If you have a system with a single drain pan or you’re wondering about the secondary AC drain pan replacement, you can proceed.

The first thing you should do is to buy a new drain pan. We recommend finding the exact model number of your AC and ordering a replacement online. You should also have a pair of pliers, a wrench, and a pair of work gloves.

Follow these steps once you’re ready:

  1. Shut the power to your AC unit on the breaker.
  2. Remove the front panel of your unit. For most models, you won’t need any tools as the front panel can either be pushed up or pulled away.
  3. Inspect the drain pan. You can easily remove the types which are held in place by screws or clips. If the drain pan is welded in place, don’t try to force it loose as you can cause damage to your unit.
  4. Locate the drain line (you can find it on the corner of the drain pan). Loosen the line with pliers or wrench before removing the drain pan.
  5. Unclip or unscrew the pan and slide it out. If the pan doesn’t budge, push towards the inside of the unit to loosen it. We recommend using a pair of gloves since you don’t want to risk exposing your skin to mold.
  6. Slide the new drain pan into place and reconnect the screws/clips and the drain line.

Congrats! You just completed your first AC drain pan replacement!

What Should You Do After An Ac Drain Pan Replacement?

You can never be too safe, and even if everything seems to be working fine after an AC drain pan replacement, you should still monitor it periodically.

If the next time you check on it it’s full of water, you either installed it improperly or something else is behind the problem. We recommend checking the drain line and the
evaporator coils again, and if you can’t discover the reason why your drain pan is full again, calling in a professional will help avoid more serious damage.

Call For Backup

If you’re uncomfortable performing an AC drain pan replacement yourself or unable to remove it, we recommend calling an HVAC technician straight away. 

While you’re waiting for the backup to arrive, you can use a sump pump to remove the water collected in the drain pan to avoid water damage. 

Don’t know who to call?

Aztil Air Conditioning is your best bet.

technicians are available 24/7, and they’ll quickly diagnose and address the underlying issue. We will save you money, time, and a lot of headaches in the process.

Contact us - (888) 729-8452 to schedule an appointment and get your AC action-ready as soon as possible!




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