Causes of Overflowing Air Conditioning Condensate Pans

The condensate pan is the part of your air conditioning system that collects dripping condensation and moves it away via a drain line. An overflowing condensate pan can cause problems such as mold and corrosion, or even damage to the air conditioner’s electrical components.

In today’s post, air conditioning company Schmitt shares the reasons why condensate pans overflow and how you can prevent this from happening.

Common Causes of an Overflowing Condensate Pan

The condensate pan, or drip pan, is a metal tray positioned under the air conditioning unit. Excess moisture from the indoors is collected during the refrigeration process then routed to the condensate pan. A condensate pump takes away the water collected in the pans through drain pipes and into drain lines, where water from other sources such as the gutters is routed to as well.

Condensate pans can overflow due to one or more of the following reasons:

Clogged Drain Line — Drain lines may get clogged by dirt, mold or mineral impurities in the water, which can build up within the pipes. Regularly inspecting your air conditioner sill give you time to call for HVAC services if the pan is about to overflow.

Tilted Pan — The pan itself may be tilted or misaligned, which can result in premature overflow.

Excessive Condensation — If you notice excessive condensation the air conditioner may be generating too much moisture. This happens when indoor spaces are too humid or the air conditioner has low refrigerant levels.

What You Should Do

In addition to regular HVAC inspections, there are a few things that you can do that will help reduce the chances of an overflowing condensate pan, but these are mostly short-term solutions. For example, mixing in diluted bleach with the water can help kill mold in the pipes and may even help loosen up the clog. However, this won’t have an effect if the clogging is caused by mineral and dirt deposits. Indoor humidity levels can be controlled by addressing causes such as a lack of ventilation or plumbing leaks.

The ideal solution is to schedule an appointment with an HVAC technician who’s trained and equipped to address all kinds of HVAC-related problems, including fixing refrigerant leaks. Our technicians can also recognize potential problems and address them before they become bigger ones.

Call Schmitt for Your Air Conditioning Needs

Schmitt is your leading provider of heating and air conditioning services. Give us a call at (415) 522-0966. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in San Francisco and surrounding communities.