In Wall Air Conditioner Styrofoam Condensation Pan Cracked

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Old 07-06-13, 11:15 AM
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In Wall Air Conditioner Styrofoam Condensation Pan Cracked

My 1984 White Westinghouse AH064H7T1 in wall A/C has a cracked styrofoam condensation pan and leaked into my wall. I live in an apartment and have an odd sized sleeve. They don't make A/Cs in that size anymore. My old one works great, but leaks. Cannot find replacement part. Was told it cannot be fixed by everyone I've contacted. Management gave me new A/C - sticks 8" into room, it lets in all outside air/heat (no way to close off outside air) and amplifies outside ambient noises. Horrible! Can anyone tell me what to use to fix cracks/fisures in styrofoam without disintegrating it? Something that will be water/heat resistent? Thank you!
 
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Old 07-06-13, 11:47 AM
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I've never tried repairing styrofoam, however I have a couple of ideas that you could try. To repair the styrofoam, I would suggest trying silicone caulk, also known as RTV. The stuff I'm thinking of is usually clear and is available in big tubes for use in a caulking gun, as well as in smaller squeeze tubes. When it dries, it turns into rubber. I would start by taking a small amount and use your finger to "work it in" to the cracks & crevices of the styrofoam. Once you've done that, then run a bead over the crack and feather the edges. Do the same to both sides (inside & outside) where the crack is.

If that doesn't work, could you put the pan in a large ziplock bag (or equivalent). I don't know how large the pan is, so I don't know if that is feasible or not. If not, perhaps you could cover the inside of the pan with some moderately heavy plastic sheeting (think saran wrap only heavier). Perhaps you could put a large elastic band around the pan to hold it together (so it doesn't fall apart), along with the plastic sheeting to make it water tight.
 
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Old 07-06-13, 12:01 PM
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Thank you Bob for your good ideas. I will try caulk on some practice styrofoam. Unfortunately, if it doesn't work, I don't think I can put the pan in a bag because this styrofoam actually runs through the middle of the AC, tight up against the top and bottom of the machinery. I really wanted a service person to take it apart and do this for me, since I have no experience taking apart an A/C (or anything else electric for that matter), but I am desperate to get this thing to stop leaking (without breaking it)!
 

Last edited by littlekittykat; 07-06-13 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 07-06-13, 12:42 PM
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I just Googled "repair cracked styrofoam" and it listed a number of model airplane sites. Apparently the wings of most modern model airplanes are made of styrofoam. One of the people suggested using "Gorilla Super Glue". It has tiny rubber particles in it and is activated by moisture. Put a small amount of glue on both sides of the break, press together, and pour water over the crack to activate the glue. Gorilla Super Glue (and all other brands of super glue), use cyano acrylate as the active ingredient. From what I learned on the model airplane websites, cyano acrylate (CA) is the recommended substance for gluing styrofoam. The Gorilla glue has the added advantage of having the rubber particles, which makes the joint stronger.
 
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Old 07-08-13, 11:20 AM
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Someone on some website said that Gorilla Glue melted his styrofoam. Did you ever hear of that?
 
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Old 07-08-13, 12:22 PM
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No, I hadn't heard that. Note that I don't have any personal experience with repairing cracked styrofoam. I was just passing on my own idea (caulk), and what I had found on a model airplane site on repairing cracked styrofoam wings. You could try Gorilla glue on a small sample of styrofoam and see if anything bad happens, or try some silicone caulk on a sample piece. The decision is yours as to what to try to repair the crack.
 
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