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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Being a sheet metal worker by trade I probably have a bit more access than most to the materials but I have replaced several leaking drain pans on otherwise good systems. My parents just received a new 16 ga fully tig welded 316L stainless steel drain pan for their evap coil. Expected drain pan life expextancy UNLIMITED friends/customers only receive lite gage galv pans, life expectancy 12 to 15 years LOL. Point is that if you have know someone that works at a sheet meatl shop, they can whip you out a new galv one out in just a few minutes, bring them the old one for a sample to build off of. Note: it may look like you cannot remove the pan but with a few cuts in the right places with metal snips the areas where the piping goes thru the metal can be cut away, that part is not needed anyway so don't try to build it back in just delete it from your new one. I cannot think of the name of it but have used a water proof clear caulking product that is used for marine purposes, (nonsilicone) it will hold for along time if you can clean the metal enough to get a good bond.
    When you give a lesson in meanness to a critter or a person, don't be surprised if they learn their lesson.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    leland nc
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    why waist the time on fixing a pan on an old systen
    by the time you do what it takes to pull the coil and remove the pan and fix it if you can then put the pan bac on the coil and reinstall the coil just to find out it still leaks or not is not cost affective at all
    you should be able to install anew coil in about two hours and your done. it is nice to try to do some thing for someone but at the same time how far do you want to go
    one thing i know is true if it dont work after you are done they will say but you said it would and it dont what are you going to do about it
    replace the coil and walk away knowing you wont be back
    been there and done that

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    Thumbs up Helpful idea's

    1) pump down outdoor unit.liquid line first.
    2)turn off power to outdoor unit/indoor unit
    3) remove drain line/cut 3/8" copper and 3/4" copper (cover)with tape.
    4) remove transition and plenum from old coil.
    5)discard old coil
    6) install new coil connect to transition and plenum
    7) seal with mastic around both connections
    8) install drain line with clean out
    9) sand with emory cloth copper and couplings
    10) with low flame silflos solder lines
    11) Install 3/8" liquid line drier at condenser
    12) Vacuum system,charge by superheat/check sub-cooling.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    San Luis Obispo County, CA
    Post Likes
    You're trying to learn this trade, and this guy is friend you work with. I wwould err on the safe, if not most efficient way to fix his problem. friend or not, once you break into the refrigerant part of the system, you own it. What if the compressor dies next month? What happens if your brazing skills aren't up to snuff and the charge leaks out, taking the compressor with it?

    FIX THE PAN...

    the guy just has a water leak, why buy into more possible trouble than you are ready to handle. the pan can be repaired with fiberglass, or a sheet metal patch riveted and siliconed in place. get your supplies from a boating store, they have the most selection, and their stuff is made to be waterproof.

    Now, if you want to learn this trade, here is a suggestion...
    Make sure you have your EPA certification, and make the rounds of the HVAC companies in your area. Buy, or perhaps they will give you some of their old take outs. Practice on them, learn what happens when a system is low on charge... or overcharged. See what restricted airflow does to your pressures. Learn the electrical controls. Take it apart and braze it back together. In a short time, if you are serious, and do some book learning too, You will have the basics down, and be more confident to take classes, or perhaps apprentice with someone.

    Good Luck, the trade can always use another good tech.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    Thanks for the responses..'s how it went:

    Got up early, gathered up all my equipment. Practiced
    brazing a little. Played with my two year old then
    headed out. Stopped by the supply store and purchased
    some misc. copper fittings in case I needed them. I then
    headed to Little Rock to start the mission.

    I followed directions on rough drawn map to house and
    arrived fifteen minutes early. Nice neighbor hood. The
    house next door had two service trucks parked in front of
    it; I thought he had already called somebody else out at

    Anyway...I show up to find another coworker of mine,
    Friend of his(golfing buddy), under the garage with a
    surprised look on their face, I guess they thought I
    I wasn't going to show. The buddy of his was supposed to
    only show up later to help with making the plenum look
    good because he had experience fabing ductwork when he
    lived in Colorado.

    Well they had already pulled the coil out and had it
    turned upside down inspecting it. it had rusted through
    right at the drain connection right in the bend. But all
    hopes of repairing the leak was gone since the method of
    removal was hacksaw through the piston and suction line
    right next to the coil.

    To make a long story short it turned out ok and was a good
    learning experience. The furnace was in a utility room
    pretty much in the open, but the ductwork above 90'd
    so we couldn't use the case the coil came in. Oh yea,
    and we spent a couple hours riding around trying to locate
    the right size coil. We ended up using a frigidaire coil.
    The friend did a great job building the box out of sheet
    metal. He put the x on the side panels(what do you call
    doing that anyway?) that made it look real professional.
    He secured the coil to the furnace with a short piece of
    S lock screwed to the coil frame and the furnace housing.
    We even used the part that came with the case that has
    the holes in it for the line set and used the aluminum
    tape around it. All was square and neat when we finished.
    What was on there before was just sheet metal all taped
    up to the duct and the funace, not neat at all.

    It was a long day so after pulling a vacuum and charging
    it back we didn't do any more. I told him he needs to
    relocate his condensor, needs a larger liquid line, and
    replumb his condensate drain.

    [Edited by Regulator on 05-18-2005 at 04:39 PM]

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    Thread Starter

    another question

    why do they put an extra orifice with the new coil? The spare
    had a 63 on it.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Post Likes
    he's got metal shavings in the line set from using a hack saw to cut the lines. always use tubing cutters and a reamer.

    keep the extra piston handy, you'll need it when the new one clogs with the copper shavings.

    the coil is probably good to use with full and half ton systems, 3 and 3.5 ton, 4 and 4.5 etc. so a piston change is necessary to convert.

    and he better hope it's the piston that's clogged and not the distributor tubes. (another new coil)

    [Edited by billva on 05-18-2005 at 06:53 PM]

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    San Luis Obispo County, CA
    Post Likes
    Ah... so it turned into a cluster f%$#...

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