Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Whats Wrong With My Brothers Heat Pump? WATER ALL OVER!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    140
    Post Likes

    Whats Wrong With My Brothers Heat Pump? WATER ALL OVER!

    Visiting my brother's home in NC. He has a heat pump. Air handler is in an unconditioned attic. It's hot and humid there.

    During his recent yearly HVAC maintenance visit they found the air handler was soaked with water...water all over the inside and in the big pan under the unit. They supposedly confirmed the drainage pipe for condensation was working and the refrigerant levels were "fine".

    So, my brother and it went up in the attic and I took a look. Inside the air handler the insulation is soaked with water and as the tech stated the pan was 1/4 filled with water. Water was dripping from the entire unit into the pan. I also noticed the coil had frost on 1/2 of the top.

    Operation seems fine but the delta was a little low at 14 during the day when it was high 80's out and humid.

    The tech stated that maybe the inside condensation pan was cracked and maybe that was why the unit was leaking water. So, they have scheduled to replace the inside pan.

    Have any of you seen an "inside" pan crack on an 8-year-old air handler?

    Also, would you expect to see frost in 1/2 of a coil with normal operation?

    In your experience when an air handler is soaked with water, what is the usual cause?

    Thanks
    Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    11,074
    Post Likes
    What is the model number and brand of the Air Handler and outdoor unit section could be there is a drip tray extension or a plate that needs to be removed or added when AH is mounted in a different configuration. Maybe your missing that section? Look up on the install guide of the AH as typically the manufacturers will show how they would like the condensate drain line installed and what is required if the AH is installed in a horizontal right/left configuration vs a upflow configuration as an example only, also the blower could be pushing the condensate past the evaporator pan, reason for a extension section to catch it?

    How long has this doing this?

    Frost on half of the indoor coil, could mean a low refrigerant charge issue. The frost could be expanding beyond the pan width, and when it melts it bypasses the evaporator pan and settles in the auxiliary drain pan?? Hopefully they set up the system initally on startup, having properly sized ductwork, CFM set, final field refrigerant charge to manufacturers specifications, checked static pressures, etc. but who knows if that’s the case.

    How did they determine the refrigerant levels where “fine” by pressure only, or did they check to subcooling/superheat or whatever the install guide of the outdoor unit recommends.

    What does the invoice say?


    “The tech stated that maybe the inside condensation pan was cracked and maybe that was why the unit was leaking water”

    So they are going to replace the evaporator drain pan because the Tech. says it “may” be cracked? They are not 100% certain you have a cracked pan?

    If your brother registered the AH and outdoor unit initially ( and is the original registered owner ) the pan should be under the manufacturers warranty. Certainly labor and what not will be charable, unless he purchased a extended labor warranty originally.
    Last edited by Bazooka Joe; 07-24-2022 at 08:56 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold, NY
    Posts
    40,284
    Post Likes
    Frost on 1/2 the coil is not normal.

    From your description id be looking for a different service provider.

  4. Likes kdean1 liked this post.
  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,193
    Post Likes
    No the frost shouldn’t be there
    "I think Quantum tunneling would work great... "

    "Call a technician for God's sake. Or we'll see you on the news or the Dark Side of the Moon."

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,193
    Post Likes
    Get the frosting issue fixed first before suspecting the drain pan.
    "I think Quantum tunneling would work great... "

    "Call a technician for God's sake. Or we'll see you on the news or the Dark Side of the Moon."

  7. Likes kdean1 liked this post.
  8. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    140
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    Ok thanks! Since I am not there now I don't have all the answer your questions. But can say this summer is the first time this has happened. No issues since the install 8 years ago (new constuction home).

    It's a Goodman unit.

    Yes, tech just guessed it may be a cracked pan inside the unit. They did not confirm it but are going to change it based on their assumption!

    Good point about the warranty covering the part. Hopefully it was registered.

    When I saw the frost, I suggested to my brother to be sure the charge is really correct thinking maybe the frost was melting and overwhelming the unit with water.

    I'll link him this discussion. Thanks for your inputs!

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    va
    Posts
    5,459
    Post Likes
    Coil icing:

    Low charge/ leak
    Crimped or restricted liquid line or filter drier

    Air flow, dirty coil,Fouled air filter, Fouled blower wheel, duct restrictions

  10. Likes UltraCool liked this post.
  11. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mount Holly, NC
    Posts
    8,275
    Post Likes
    Was the frost present as soon as you opened the air handler, or after the door had been off for a few minutes?
    The TRUE highest cost system is the system not installed properly...

    Find a HVAC-Talk Contractor by clicking here

    Click below to BECOME a pro member
    https://hvac-talk.com/vbb/forumdispl...ip-Information

    Do you go to a boat repairman with a sinking boat, and tell him to put in a bigger motor when he tells you to fix the holes?

    I am yourmrfixit

  12. Likes Nuclrchiller liked this post.
  13. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    140
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    It was running for 10 min closed and the frost was seen as soon as I opened the panel and looked inside.

    My brother is going to let his HAVC guy know of the frost today before they come and install the internal pan that they just guessed is cracked. They said the internal pans crack all the time. Is that true? I've never heard of that.

  14. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold, NY
    Posts
    40,284
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by SCguy View Post
    It was running for 10 min closed and the frost was seen as soon as I opened the panel and looked inside.

    My brother is going to let his HAVC guy know of the frost today before they come and install the internal pan that they just guessed is cracked. They said the internal pans crack all the time. Is that true? I've never heard of that.
    Can it happen yes
    Did it happen highly unlikely.
    Don’t pay the bill until the water stops!

  15. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    11,074
    Post Likes
    They said the internal pans crack all the time. Is that true? I've never heard of that.


    Looking at the bigger picture, Thinking plastic evaporator drain pan cracks or partially melt when hooked to gas or oil furnaces ( maybe more so on upflow configuration ) due to not following manufacturers guidelines, ( IMO more so than in a Air Handlers ) on placement of a uncased/cased coil a certain minimum distance from supply side. As an example only, Goodman has high temperature drain pans that you swap if the furnace is oil due to the higher temperatures than with gas….had to do that a few times over the years.

  16. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    140
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    Update: The HVAC company is still waiting for the pan to replace the supposedly cracked pan (which was never confirmed to be cracked). Supply chain issues!

  17. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    11,074
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by SCguy View Post
    Update: The HVAC company is still waiting for the pan to replace the supposedly cracked pan (which was never confirmed to be cracked). Supply chain issues!
    If your brother wants the pan to do a visual, he can ask for the pan, providing they don’t actually break it to say here’s your cracked pan as typically the pan can be removed from the coil relatively easy. Hopefully that’s the only issue.

  18. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    140
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    Final Update:

    So the new internal pan finally arrived and the Tech went up into the attic to replace it. But when he looked.... everything was dry! No water in the overflow pan, no dripping out of the air handler, and
    insulation was dry inside the unit. So, they left without doing anything.

    They told him maybe one of the drain lines was blocked and then unblocked itself.

    My question...have you guys ever seen the humidity in an attic be so high that an air handler will sweat to the point of dripping all over the place? It was very humid outside along the SC and NC coast for days and days this summer.

  19. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    va
    Posts
    5,459
    Post Likes
    Plugged air filters, high dt
    Low charge, coil icing
    Low air flow, high dt

    Seen it in crawl spaces, never attics

    Fouled drain line should have been obvious.

  20. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    11,074
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by SCguy View Post
    Final Update:

    So the new internal pan finally arrived and the Tech went up into the attic to replace it. But when he looked.... everything was dry! No water in the overflow pan, no dripping out of the air handler, and
    insulation was dry inside the unit. So, they left without doing anything.

    They told him maybe one of the drain lines was blocked and then unblocked itself.

    My question...have you guys ever seen the humidity in an attic be so high that an air handler will sweat to the point of dripping all over the place? It was very humid outside along the SC and NC coast for days and days this summer.
    What is the humidity level now? still high? if not maybe the problem will return when you get the same humidity levels?, next year or whenever those conditions exist? So clearly a misdiagnosis if they never replaced the pan itself.

  21. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold, NY
    Posts
    40,284
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by SCguy View Post
    Final Update:

    So the new internal pan finally arrived and the Tech went up into the attic to replace it. But when he looked.... everything was dry! No water in the overflow pan, no dripping out of the air handler, and
    insulation was dry inside the unit. So, they left without doing anything.

    They told him maybe one of the drain lines was blocked and then unblocked itself.

    My question...have you guys ever seen the humidity in an attic be so high that an air handler will sweat to the point of dripping all over the place? It was very humid outside along the SC and NC coast for days and days this summer.
    So they left and NOTHING was resolved!

    Time to find a different contractor.

  22. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    140
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    Yes, nothing resolved since the issue "fixed" itself. Don't have exact numbers but humidity feels lower outside now than it did a month ago.

    So would these issues mentioned above (Plugged air filters, high dt
    Low charge, coil icing Low air flow, high dt) ever fix themselves?

    I advised my brother to go up in the attic and keep a check on it since the true cause of the issue was never discovered.

  23. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold, NY
    Posts
    40,284
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by SCguy View Post
    Yes, nothing resolved since the issue "fixed" itself. Don't have exact numbers but humidity feels lower outside now than it did a month ago.

    So would these issues mentioned above (Plugged air filters, high dt
    Low charge, coil icing Low air flow, high dt) ever fix themselves?

    I advised my brother to go up in the attic and keep a check on it since the true cause of the issue was never discovered.
    Yes the issue WILL return!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •