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  1. #1

    Payne Air Handler leaking Water

    I have a 2002, 4 Ton Payne Heat Pump and the air handler is leaking water inside the air handler and seeping out of the front panel. My friend who does commercial heating and air came over and we cleaned the inside coil, checked freon, vacuumed and inspected the drain line, poured Clorox down the drain pipe and coil as well as hot water and watched it drain while the front cover was off, and inspected the drain pan to find no signs of leaks. The leak only occurs when the AC is running and tends to leak more when it is more humid and when the unit runs a lot. The house is cooling fine and the unit runs for normal periods of time.
    My friend suggested last night that I run the fan motor continuously and I did. There has not been any water leaking or seeping in the last 16 hours. The only work that has been done on the unit recently is the fan motor was replaced about 1 year ago. I'm almost certain that it is the same horsepower as the older fan motor, but I am wondering if the RPM's are different. I cannot seem to locate the RPM specification for this unit. Does anyone have any opinion as to what the problem may be? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Greenville/Spartanburg SC
    You can google the model number of your air handler, typically you can find some specs.
    Also how did he check the refridgerant charge? Sometimes if it isn't checked properly the system may still be undercharged, causing it to drip condensation from the coil and not go into the drain pan. Look for water above and/or outside the pan after its been leaking.

  3. #3
    Hi JodyM. Does the condensate drain line from your air handler travel through a pump or does it just use gravity alone to transport the condensate to it's final discharge point (typically outside of the house somewhere)?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Boise, ID
    Sounds like your friend corrected the problem and your system is working properly. Condensate lines clog up if not maintained Just curious why you have a concern over motor RPM?
    If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what will never be. (Thomas Jefferson 1816)

  5. #5
    Thanks for your reply. The condensation line uses gravity alone (P Trap) to drain to the outside. I talked to someone earlier and he thinks that the negative pressure from the P Trap design may be causing the problem. The P Trap vent is extended several inches above the drain pan and is left open and not covered. He thinks that I should put a cover on the P Trap vent (inside the air handler room) to correct the problem. What do you think?

  6. #6
    I was just wondering if the fan speed may have created a negative pressure which changes when the fan motor cuts off and causes the water to overflow.

  7. #7
    Hi Jody,

    If I understand what your are saying, then YES there is a big problem.

    Since you say a "negative pressure" condition may exist, I will assume that you're air handler is configured as an "upflow" system. If this is true, any air flow, no matter how small, that's being sucked into the air handler when the blower fan is running will prevent/limit the condensate from leaving the drain pan in a graceful/proper manner.

  8. #8
    Hi Jody,

    The more I ponder you're postings, I'm less sure that you have an "upflow" air handler or a "downflow / counterflow" air handler. Regardless, the fact that you have some portion of you're condensate drain system "uncovered" between the air handler and the p-trap is cause for major concern.

    The good news is that remedy should not be all that expensive. Please have a true professorial come out and take a look. The condensate trap is perhaps the most overlooked item in the design and installation of fan coils and air handlers with cooling coils.

    In addition to having a pro fix your immediate concerns, they should be able to suggest some inexpensive upgrades to you're condensate drain system that will provide "control interlocks" to suspend operation of your system when potential condensate discharge issues exist. All of this is just fancy words to try and convey the message that as bad as it is to be without A/C on a hot day, it's far worse to face flood damage to your HVAC equipment and home.
    Last edited by Forst; 06-06-2011 at 12:14 AM.

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