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Old 03-02-2012, 12:35 PM   #1
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Drip pan for my heat pumps compressor


I have a trane heat pump, about 2 years old, it was the top of their line then. It has been perfect, well except one fault. Which is probably mostly my fault, but i think some fault rest with the hvac installers too.

I had them place the outdoor unit on our carport, which shares the house's concrete slab foundation. This was my first experience with a heat pump, so i didnt know the outdoor unit condensates this much, or at all. The hvac installer failed to inform me of this bit of info as well....i would think they would since its on our carport..... especially since the condensate floods our entire carport, and freezes into a sheet of ice during really cold times, all other times, its just an annoying puddle of water to walk through. Luckily the house is raised up higher than the carport, or it would flood inside probably.

Anyways, my questions are about having a drip pan under the exterior unit and having the condensation drain somewhere else via pipe.

what problems could occur?

does any company make drip pans for them? if they dont, i can easily fabricate one out of steel.

if i did make one, any suggestions on anything particular to do when i design/build it?

if i dont do a pan, i could move the unit over about 6 feet, which will put it off of the slab, however, this is a lot of water (in my opinion, under our situation) to be pouring into the ground and under the house. We live on the side of a hill, with a 10' retaining wall on the opposite side of the hill and exterior heat pump unit.....which doesnt make the water draining under the house, sound good. the indoor condensation drained out on the ground right by where the external heat pump unit is, but due to its abundance of water and flooding the area too, i have temporarily ran it into the septic untill i can get another drain line ran. (which i could drain both of them into when i do get another drain line ran.)

anyways, hope i didnt confuse you. thanks for any help.

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Old 03-02-2012, 02:47 PM   #2
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Drip pan for my heat pumps compressor


the drain pipe would freeze and then the pan would overfill.

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Old 03-02-2012, 02:48 PM   #3
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Drip pan for my heat pumps compressor


agree.

But the unit was not installed correctly, the original installer is responsible for making it right.
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by hvac5646 View Post
agree.

But the unit was not installed correctly, the original installer is responsible for making it right.
Based on what the OP stated how was it not installed correctly?
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:00 PM   #5
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they put it in her carport and now she has nuisance flooding.
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:32 PM   #6
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the op wanted it there.

Quote:
I had them place the outdoor unit on our carport, which shares the house's concrete slab foundation.
The way the OP talks there is no good place to put it that would allow proper drainage.
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:47 PM   #7
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missed that....thanks


Hey Op ...you made a mistake....sorry I mislead you.
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Old 03-02-2012, 04:06 PM   #8
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Drip pan for my heat pumps compressor


A couple of things;
If you made a drip pan then make it alum.or at the vary least galvinized metal.
There is an outdoor electrical heat tape that can be submerged.Its used along the bottom of a gutter and inside the downspout.You could use that to get rid of the water.I have actually used this heat tape several times and it worked great.It is more expensive than normal heat tape.
Since its a heap pump you should already have pump up legs underneath it.Usually 12 " legs.
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:51 PM   #9
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Drip pan for my heat pumps compressor


thanks for the replies.

if the drip pan froze, then overflowed....what is the problem that it would cause, other than, more annoying flooding. i would only build the drip pan about 2 inches deep, and it looks like the unit it self has a 2-3 inch base (or more) before anything inside it would be sitting in water...so if drip pan froze....what would be the problem.

i live near fort worth texas, it rarely freezes, however, the exterior unit floods the carport all the time when the heat is on. so if it froze occasionally, but prevented the flooding carport, most of the time....where would i be going wrong...

the installer actually chose the location, i said it was fine, with no knowledge of the condensation. sorry to mislead with me saying "i had them place it there." they chose it as the first option, i said ok.

legs on the bottom? 12" legs? i dont see them, are they hidden underneath? why do they have legs?

and im a he....not a she....what gave you the impression im a she.

thanks again.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:03 PM   #10
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Drip pan for my heat pumps compressor


The coils would be crushed by the ice. And then you would need a new coil, and it wouldn't be covered under any warranty.
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
The coils would be crushed by the ice. And then you would need a new coil, and it wouldn't be covered under any warranty.
So your saying all the coils lay in the bottom 2 inches of the unit?

i dont see any thing that would be sitting in the ice though...

however, if your saying the ice would build up...and up...and up, then wouldnt that be an issue with or without a drain pan....the unit sits flat on the concrete with no cut outs/drain holes in the plastic on the sides of the bottom for water to drain away, it just seeps from under the unit....wouldnt that just be an issue with ice build up?

last winter the thing built up ice about an inch thick around the bottom of it, and thats just around the outside of the unit, the inside had to have been worse....so i would say the whole ice build up thing would be a void argument....wouldnt it? (well besides the pan filling up and freezing, which would then cause the main problem of water/ice on the carport to come back to haunt me, but only during those extremely cold days)

i dont care about warranties, however, how would it not be covered....the pan could simply be removed.....what proof would there be that a drip pan existed to cause the issue.....
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Old 03-03-2012, 04:30 AM   #12
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Drip pan for my heat pumps compressor


Heat pumps are suppose to be on pump ups to aid the water in draining out and not building up ice inside of it.

There are drain holes in the bottom of the heat pump.

Its not hard to figure out that something prevented drainage. Are you going to thaw the ice when the heat pump quits working when its real cold outside and quickly remove the pan so the tech doesn't see it.

The coil will cost of the coil alone will be 1/3 to over 2/3s of the heat pump. Plus labor and incidental cost.
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:33 PM   #13
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Drip pan for my heat pumps compressor


Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
Heat pumps are suppose to be on pump ups to aid the water in draining out and not building up ice inside of it.

There are drain holes in the bottom of the heat pump.

Its not hard to figure out that something prevented drainage. Are you going to thaw the ice when the heat pump quits working when its real cold outside and quickly remove the pan so the tech doesn't see it.

The coil will cost of the coil alone will be 1/3 to over 2/3s of the heat pump. Plus labor and incidental cost.
There are no pump ups (which i presume you mean some kind of legs that lift the unit off the ground a little bit) installed on my unit, or at least as far as i can tell.

I didnt say there werent drain holes on the bottom of the heat pump, i said there werent any drain holes around the sides of the bottom of the unit (which would allow the condensation to drain away from the unit.) My unit is sitting directly on the slab, as in the only thing allowing the condensation to drain away right now is 1) the fact that the concrete slab is somewhat porous and not level and 2) there is a imperfect, paper thin separation between the concrete and the bottom of the unit, which is due to the fact of the concrete having a brushed texture and not a smooth, polished texture. (however in freezing weather it doesnt drain away)

Yes, it (the drip pan)could easily be removed...within the amount of time it would take a tech to get to my place which is hours from anywhere, and theres only like one a/c installer that would even come out this far and would need a few days notice....however, again, i do not believe in the idea in warranties, would never and have never taken part in buying or using a warranty, and dont plan to, plus, i think not slipping and breaking a bone (or knocking myself out) on my carport is a little more important than a warranty.....and the cost of an entire replacement unit if need be.

but anyways, i understand what you mean by freezing up and the coil freezing, however, i do not see the difference in the unit sitting in a frozen 1-2" deep drip pan vs. there being 1-2" thick sheet of ice around the unit and presumably inside the unit (because how would it not be frozen inside that much if its frozen outside that much).

now with all of this said, it would probably be best to have the unit sit on either the pump up legs (if this unit has them hidden somewhere) or on some concrete blocks inside the drip pan....keeping the unit out of the drip pan, but allowing the condensation to fall down into the drip pan....good/bad idea??

not trying to be a smarty pants, im simply trying to figure this out....and understand anyones opinions they have shared...as in, dont get offended if i question your suggestion....thats how a problem is solved. (just thought i would say this because i always seem to offend everyone (in forums) by asking them to explain themselves).
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:34 PM   #14
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Drip pan for my heat pumps compressor


oh and this is my heat pump

http://www.trane.com/Residential/Pro...20i-Heat-Pumps
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:16 AM   #15
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Drip pan for my heat pumps compressor


The installers should have left you with a home owners manual.In that little book it would show that "pump ups" are reccomended.If you look around you will find them on most heat pumps.You will not find them on a/c units.
Your idea of having a pan underneath the pump ups is perfectly acceptable and in your case probably a good idea .The only reason that they did not install the pump ups was to save the cost of these items.P.S. they are not expensive but if one cuts corners this is something one is apt to see eliminated.
It would be a real good idea to have the charge checked to make sure that isn't adding to the condensate one would normally expect.

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