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  1. #1

    Just some information and a bit of a rant

    First off, I've been working on repairing a cracked condensate pan in my home air conditioner. I had repaired it about a year ago with epoxy and it eventually failed sometime recently. When I checked, the entire chunk just peeled up off the crack. So, I've been doing some experimenting with different adhesives on a general purpose drain pan I have. I first cleaned it with alcohol, then roughed it up with 180 grit sandpaper, then cleaned it again. I tried JB Waterweld, regular JB Weld, some Loctite plastic bond epoxy, and some Black Jack Neoprene Super Flash Cement. All of the epoxies just pried right off after they had cured. The Waterweld was stuck the tightest, but yielded to a putty knife and came off in one piece. The Black Jack was still pretty sticky after 24 hours and I think that's what I'll go with since it will stay flexible.

    Now the rant. Most air conditioning problems I've personally experienced are the fault of the installers. I had a new house in Phoenix and one of the air conditioners kept losing freon from the day we moved in. Turns out a solder joint in the attic was leaking a tiny amount. My son paid over $ for a new, high efficiency air conditioner in his home 4 years ago and it recently stopped working. Apparently the installer had left two freon lines rubbing together in the compressor unit and it eventually wore a hole in one. In fairness, I suppose it could have come from the factory that way, but I'd think the installer would check all the lines to be sure they aren't touching. The crack in my drain pan was caused by the weight of the evaporator coils resting on the pan near the corner where it cracked. The pan is suspended around the edges, not directly under the coil corner so it eventually gave way. I've tried to rectify the problem as well as I could by lifting the coil a bit and using a hefty sheet metal screw through the steel flange on coil side into the framework of the housing, like is done on the other side. Hoping like heck I haven't caused any freon leaks by jostling the coils.

    If I do have to replace the condensate pan, I think the coils will lift up far enough to slide the old pan out and slide a new one in, assuming I can find a 24" x 18" replacement. The lines from the coil go off to the side for 4 or 5 feet then make a 90 degree turn to go to the compressor unit.

    Chuck
    Last edited by jpsmith1cm; 04-24-2013 at 09:26 PM. Reason: pricing

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
    Posts
    1,221
    Agree some failures are caused by installation mistakes or short cuts. I would submit how ever far more failures are caused by lack of maint or an over zealous home owner who believes they are qualified to take something apart and "fix it" themselves. Just saying.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,663
    If your pan is that damaged time to replace. Two lines rubbing in a condenser manufacturers fault, or someone messed with it. I know on a new unit I'm not taking it apart to look for rubbing lines. A bad weld it happens but should have been discovered very soon after. In this biz bad installs happen that is the purpose of these sights.
    My name is TooCoolforschool and I am a chronic over charger.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Northeast PA
    Posts
    209
    try some black rtv sealant

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Atlanta area
    Posts
    2,559
    Yeah, look for something that doesn't dry hard. It needs to be flexible, like a latex caulk or rubber glue (the thick kind for shoes, not the thin stuff for inner tubes). The hard stuff will fail every time.

    Don't use straight silicone caulk. It'll peel when it dries.

    Also, a patch on top of the glue will make the repair a lot stronger and reduce flexion. Glues and sealants work better as bonding agents between materials than as the repair material.
    Last edited by Space Racer; 04-24-2013 at 11:22 PM.
    Vacuum Technology:
    CRUD = Contamination Resulting in Undesirable Deposits.
    CRAPP = Contamination Resulting in Additional Partial Pressure.

    Change your vacuum pump oil now.

    Test. Testing, 1,2,3.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,710
    That infomercial spray stuff is shown to fix those pans, but I would either replace the pan or have one made.
    Anything inside the outdoor unit is factory, there are stubs that installers tie into.
    The leak most likely should have been caught.
    The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and stamps EVER.
    Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to "Please Do Not Feed the Animals". Their stated reason for this policy "... the animals become dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."
    from an excerpt by Paul Jacob in Sun City, AZ

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Chicagoland Area
    Posts
    4,626
    If you can afford the luxury of time. 3M 5200 Marine sealant. Comes in a quick dry which is cured in 24 hours and regular takes like 7 days. It's permanent and will never come off. You can buy it online at boat supply sites, or locally if you have a West Marine.
    Officially, Down for the count

    YOU HAVE TO GET OFF YOUR ASS TO GET ON YOUR FEET

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    Liberalism-Ideas so good they mandate them

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by pacnw View Post
    That infomercial spray stuff is shown to fix those pans, but I would either replace the pan or have one made.
    Anything inside the outdoor unit is factory, there are stubs that installers tie into.
    The leak most likely should have been caught.
    This sounds interesting. The biggest problem seems to be getting something to stick to the plastic pan. Has anyone ever heard of Pan-Patch?

    Chuck

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Desert Southwest
    Posts
    666
    That 3M stuff is good. There are two West Marines that I know of in the Phoenix Area.
    If you can't fix it with JB Weld, Duct Tape, and Ty Wire it has to be replaced.
    No good deed goes unpunished.
    If you want to take off friday to go fishing then make sure you train your helper right.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Joplin,Missouri
    Posts
    310
    I had a unique drain pan in a fan coil unit above a cieling once that was cracked and I could not find a replacement and the owner just refused to replace the unit. I was driving myself nuts thinking of a solution for the problem when I had an idea. I took it to a shop that customizes trucks and had them spray it with Rhino Lining like they spray in truck beds. Worked like a charm.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Knoxville TN
    Posts
    53
    At the supply houses they sell stuff called "drain pan seal" I have used it on some pans and fixed the leaks. I'm not sure how long it last but it will seal the pan for now.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    7,815
    3M undercoating spray sold at any auto parts store.

    Or... seal the crack with NP-1 roofing rubber roofing caulk......
    YOU SHALL REAP WHAT YOU HAVE _______ SOWN

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