Asked by: Catia Tabit
home and garden indoor environmental quality

What is a secondary drain?

Last Updated: 15th January, 2020

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The secondary drain provides an outlet for the water in case the primary gets plugged up. Since the secondary connection is a backup drain, it is located slightly higher than the primary connection. Sometimes this is done using an internal dam which forces water to go through the primary drain unless it is plugged up.

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Hereof, what is a secondary drain pan?

The secondary pan is called the auxiliary drain pan. This pan is located beneath the air handler and serves as a warning to the homeowner and professional HVAC technician. If the auxiliary drain pan is overflowing, then it is logical that the primary drain is backed up, clogged, or in need of servicing in some manner.

Similarly, where is the primary drain on AC unit? Find your AC drain line. Most AC drain lines are located outside, near the condenser unit. Push the stiff, thin brush into the end of the drain line. This might clear any clogs located near the end of the drain line.

Accordingly, what is a condensate drain pan?

To safely remove excess water, the condensate drain pan is installed to catch water that drips off the evaporator coils. Then, from the pan a condensate line moves water out of the home, emptying to the sewage system or another external location.

Do all AC units have a drain pan?

Both central air conditioners and room units have drain pans that catch this condensation and allow it to flow outside.

Related Question Answers

Kande Narasimha

Professional

Should the condensate trap be full of water?

These traps form a seal which prevents poisonous combustion gases passing out of the boiler along the condensate drain pipe. If the trap is removed for cleaning it should always be refilled with water when it is fitted, before running the boiler.

Tamas Pierrot

Professional

Why is my AC drip pan full?

Potential Causes of Air Conditioner Pan Water Buildup
A clogged condensate line will cause water to build up in the drain pan. A few other potential causes of standing water in the AC pan include a frozen evaporator coil and improper AC system installation.

Fatima Ruffin

Professional

Should there be water in the pan under my air handler?

However, when it comes to your air conditioner's drip pan, also known as the drain pan, the presence of water is perfectly normal… but only if it's flowing out of the pan. When not taken care of promptly, a clogged drainpipe can cause serious mechanical problems for your air conditioner.

Benardino Ibaceta

Explainer

How do I know if my condensate line is clogged?

Clean out the drain pan as best you can. If there is condensate in the overflow pan, you probably have drain line clog. Pour a gallon of water slowly into the overflow pan under the air handler and observe the water level in the pan to verify that water drains freely into the secondary drain line.

Leonie Saldias

Explainer

Where do I run my AC condensate drain line?

Every central air conditioner has a condensate drain line that runs from the indoor air handler to the outside of the home. Look for a white PVC pipe that's located near your outdoor unit.

Delioma Caracuel

Explainer

Is a condensate pump necessary?

If you have an air conditioning system with an indoor unit, or you use a high efficiency furnace, then you definitely need to have a condensate pump to remove the vapor and other condensate that will accumulate when the system runs.

Poonam Zoyo

Pundit

How do I keep my evaporator coil from rusting?

How to Prevent Coil Corrosion
  1. Having an anti-corrosive coating applied on the coils once they're clean.
  2. Installing a whole-house air cleaner on your HVAC system to capture and eliminate airborne VOCs.
  3. Rinsing down your outdoor unit with the hose every month to limit the buildup of potentially-harmful debris.

Urano Siem

Pundit

Where is my HVAC drain pan?

Locate the condensate pan.
The location depends on your HVAC system, but most condensate pans are located directly under the inside unit or directly under the outside component of your air conditioning system.

Denisha Pfliegensdorfer

Pundit

How do you replace a condensate drain pan?

How to Replace a Condensate Drain Pan
  1. Turn off the power to the air handler or furnace.
  2. Look on the outside of the air handler or furnace for the drain tube that runs from the condensate pan.
  3. Check to see if there are screws near the front of the condensate pan that attach it to the air handler.
  4. Slide the new pan into place.

Lon Angermuller

Pundit

How do I clean my HVAC condensate line?

If water is present in the drip pan, a clog is likely present in the line. Using a wet/dry vacuum or rags, remove all water from the drip pan. Remove the drip pan and clean away all mold, algae, and contamination with a mild soap. Using your wet/dry vacuum, remove clogs from the condensate drain line.

Celine Strathaus

Pundit

What is the purpose of the trap in the condensate drain line?

The primary purpose of a condensate trap is to prevent air from moving in or out of the coil box or air handler during operation. Traps must be installed in a manner that will stop the air from passing through, but still allow the condensate to drain from the condensate pan. Without a trap, this doesn't happen.

Altha Dierken

Teacher

How does a condensate trap work?

The job of a condensate trap is to safely collect and release the condensation produced by the boiler, preventing any vapours created during the combustion process from escaping with it. For example, tiny bits of the heat exchanger may be corroded and can end up in the sump and ultimately in the condensate trap.

Nathalia Jewers

Teacher

Why is my AC drain pan full of water?

When an air conditioner's drain pan is full of water, the most common culprit is a clogged drainpipe. Inside the refrigerant coils and pipes is a breeding ground for algae, mold, and the like. Overtime, algae and mold can clog the drainpipe and cause water to build up and leak into the drain pan.

Ayara Vomberg

Teacher

What does the condensate pipe do?

What does the condensate pipe do? Simply, the condensate pipe's job is to take the wastewater from the condensing process, and send it to the sewer. The water created by the condensing process works in a similar way to the U-bend in a sink. Water collects until there is enough that it empties in one 'hit'.

Kenyatta Kisselevich

Teacher

How much water should be in AC drip pan?

During the summer, when it's humid, it's normal for your AC to drain anywhere from 5-20 gallons of water per day. However, we have to make a distinction here. It's completely normal for your AC to drain 5-20 gallons of water outside of your home (via the condensate drain).

Arminda Hensle

Reviewer

How do you clean a condensate drain?

How to Clean Air Conditioner Drain Line With Vinegar in 6 Steps | Drain Line Cleaning
  1. Turn off your air conditioner.
  2. Locate your condensate drain line.
  3. Identify the access point on the drain line.
  4. Flush with distilled vinegar.
  5. Let the solution sit for 30 minutes.
  6. Repeat each month.

Ansoumana Ausin

Reviewer

What happens if AC drain is clogged?

A clogged evaporator drain won't cause a loss of cooling directly, but it can sometimes trigger devices that automatically switch off the air conditioner. When the water in the drain pan rises to a certain level, which would happen if the drain was clogged, the water triggers the switch to turn off the air conditioner.

Cherkaouia Werrlich

Supporter

Will bleach unclog a drain?

How to Unclog a Drain With Bleach. Although 3/4 cup of bleach followed by a thorough flushing of hot water can be used to deodorize drains, it won't help a clog. Bleach is an excellent sanitizer but won't eat through the hair, washcloth bits, toothpaste and other matter that gets trapped inside pipes and causes clogs.

Saliha Bayliss

Supporter

Can you snake an AC drain?

Take a look at the AC drain pipe and see if you can see the blockage. If you can see the blockage, you can attempt to manually remove it with your hands (wearing protective gloves) or by using a drainage snake. Be sure not to push the blockage further down the drain pipe.