Installing a Condensate Pump in an Air Conditioner

To eliminate the condensate water from the water vapor of your air conditioning unit, you can install a condensate pump. These pump systems are designed to carry the condensate water away from your unit. If the water is not carried away, it builds up, making the area around it soggy and can also create structural damage. The condensate pump works when condensate water accumulates in the tank. A float is raised as the water level rises and engages the pump. The water is then carried away to the designated place. This water removal system runs on electricity but only uses a small amount because it runs intermittently, as it only runs when it needs to.

Tools and Materials

  • Condensate pump
  • Pipe joint compound
  • Electrical tape
  • ¾ PVC wrench
  • Measuring tape
  • Various PVC pipe fittings
  • Pipe cleaner/glue
  • PVC saw
  • Pipe straps
  • Cordless drill
  • Screws
  • Shovel or spade

Step 1 – Deciding Pump Placement

When deciding where to place your pump, there are some things you need to keep in mind. Consult a professional as to what size condensate pump you need. You want to drain the water away from the unit, but you want to keep the distance as short as possible. The condensate pump will have to work harder at longer distances. Keep bends and the use of elbows at a minimum. This will make the pump work harder and allow water to back up inside the drainage pipe. The drainage pipe and area need to be lower than the area of the unit. Gravity helps move the water through the drainage pipe. Measure the distance, which will determine how much PVC is needed. You will also need to place your pump near an outlet.

Step 2 – Shut Off Electricity

It is always better to take precaution when working with electrical appliances, so turn off the electricity to prevent the danger of shock.

Step 3 – Installing the Pump and Pipe

Dig an area for the condensation pump to sit in. Make sure that the area is clean of debris. Connect the discharge pipe from the unit to the condensation pump. Use joint compound to accomplish this. When laying the drainage pipe, make sure to clean the ends with cleaner before applying the glue. Make sure each fittings and joint are secure before moving on to the next one. If the pipe is being run along a wall, secure it with pipe strips that are screwed directly into the wall.

Step 3 – Plugging in Pump

Tape the condensate pump’s electrical cord with electrical tape. Make sure to tape both ends very well. Plug in the electrical cord to the outlet.

Step 4 – Turn on Electricity

Now, it's time to test the installation. Turn on the electricity so that the pump can begin working. As the pump works, check your lines for leaks, and repair as needed. Make sure you have a good flow through your drainage pipe.

Extra Tip

Make a cover for your condensate pump. This will eliminate odor, protect it, and keep out debris. This will also ensure the longevity of your pipe.