Analyzing PTAC condensate leak

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Old 07-28-18, 04:02 AM
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Analyzing PTAC condensate leak

We have an Ice Cap PTAC unit in our bedroom that has been leaking on the floor. Just now I took the front panel and filter off the front of the unit to have a look. Condensation is forming on the bottom of the condenser fan drums and dripping into the drip tray, which I imagine is exactly what is meant to happen. But the drip tray seems to have a few spots where water can escape - the front left corner mainly, where there is a seam. The bottom of the pan also seems to be a little bit uneven. I've read that these need to be tilted towards the back so that they can drain to the outside, but I can't see any opening where the pan would allow water to pass to the outside. So all tilting the unit back would do is allow water to accumulate at the back of the pan until it reached the front and dripped out onto the floor.. I'll try to get some pics in a bit, but if anyone has any ideas, I'd be happy to read them.
 
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Old 07-28-18, 07:03 AM
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So I decided to take a look at the hose that goes from the condenser coil through the wall to the outside. It was attached to the condenser coil with a very primitive/lame wire clamp. The hose did have some hair and other gunk in it, so i cleaned that out with a pipe cleaner and some cotton swabs, reattached it and fastened it with a much more secure zip tie. Why the hose stem wasn't actually a hose barb, I don't know. Would be way more secure that way.

Anyhow, I then proceeded to turn the AC back on. Immediately there was water dripping, this time I saw it underneath the unit, at the back, right where it starts to go through the wall. Ugh!

So what can I do at this point? AC repairmen in NYC charge so much money it's a joke. I don't want to have to go that route unless it's absolutely necessary.
 
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Old 07-28-18, 07:09 AM
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Here are some crappy pics. I also shot video of the water dripping out the back but not sure I can upload a video.

1. The underside of the unit with water dripping out along the seam at the back.

2. The drain hose from condenser to outside (before I cleaned the hose).

3. Two shots of the drip tray, including one that shows the front left corner where water was dripping originally.
 
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Old 07-28-18, 09:20 AM
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So you have determined it's the seam in the condensate pan that is leaking ?
If the pan is not rusted thru you could probably seal the seam with silicone or one of those products like flex-seal. It must be very clean for anything to adhere well.

Flex-Seal-Liquid-Rubber-32-oz
 
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Old 07-28-18, 09:57 AM
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I don't know, to be honest. The water that was coming out at the end was actually NOT coming from the drip pan. It seemed to be coming down from behind the unit, between the main body of the unit and the part that goes through the wall. I ran my fingers along that seam and felt a soaked piece of foam insulation in there. Anyhow, turned it off, toweled everything dry, let it sit for awhile. Turned it back on and no drips... Put a towel down just in case, but it's been running for an hour or so now and no water is leaking. One or two drops of condensation have dripped off the condenser fans and have trickled into a tiny (1") pool in the drip tray but no harm there.

Is it possible that when I cleaned out the hose, a bunch of backed up water had accumulated above it in the compartment where the coil is and then after I reattached the hose and turned on the unit, that water just all trickled down and out somewhere in the back? I'm not sure where it would have gone, but I can't think of any other explanation. I'm just running it with a big thick towel underneath and checking every half hour or so. So far no leaking... Fingers crossed...
 
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Old 07-28-18, 11:18 AM
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It's hard to pinpoint a leak when onsite. It's even harder to do online.
I carry a mirror and flashlight with me when I'm looking for out of the way leaks.
 
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