I have notice that I never have any water being pump out from my first level air handler. I have one air handler on the first level and one on the second level. The second level, which I assume is gravity drain, is working fine, but the first level has a pump to send water out. I have never seen water come out of the first level drain hose. The pump sits in a container and is dry as if water has never been there.

Is it normal to NEVER have water?

The air handler seems to be working fine in both hot and cold weather. There are no signs of any water around the air handler area.

I just thought that you were always supposed to have some condensate water coming from an air handler. To have NONE just seems wrong.

What can you advise about this matter?

2 Answers 2


Yes, the second level unit is most likely gravity drained and the first level unit needs the ejector pump.

The ejector pump is used to pump condensate water to a higher level. It only operates for a minute or so when there is enough condensate water in the container to trigger the controls. It is not a continuous thing.

However, there will only be condensate when the humidity is high enough to collect on the evaporator. So, you need high humidity and a cold surface on the evaporator to collect condensate. This only happens while running the air conditioning.

So, depending on where you live (they call it the desert southwest for a reason) you could have very low humidity. In that case the condensate could evaporate quickly or never form at all.

Additionally, heat rises and the second level unit could be removing most of the humidity. Leaving the air too dry for the lower unit to collect any condensate.

Finally, as long as water is not collecting in the wrong place, leaking or damaging something, the units are operating normally. Don't worry about it.

Happy Day!

  • Humidity rises too... Jul 2, 2017 at 14:20
  • Thanks for the detail information. I also thought that it should have condensation, but want some other professional opinions. FYI... I live in Maryland on the Eastern Shore and we do humidity, especially in late June through August, but ver do have many time of good breeze that make things better. Jul 4, 2017 at 10:23

I should ask where you are located since this will help "trouble shoot" your problem. My recommendation: If the 2nd. floor unit expels condensate, then the 1st. floor unit should also expel condensate, although it may be at a lesser amount. Since cold air is heavy, it will fall to the lowest level in your home.(that is why basements are usually colder than the upper floors even when there is no or few discharge registers). The 2nd. floor unit may be large enough to cool both floors. If the 1st. floor unit runs, even if only occasionally, but does not produce any condensate, then I would have the unit checked out by a reputable A/C company, since it may be running but not cooling properly. One thing you yourself can do is set the thermostat for the 1st floor unit down about 5 degrees, wait 10 minutes or more and check the 2 copper lines at the inside air-handler or outside at the A/C unit. The larger line should be cold and sweating and the smaller line should be hot to the touch. (Do the same thing at the 2nd. floor unit "first" as a reference to what you should see on the 1st. floor unit. If the 1st floor unit copper lines are not as cold as the 2nd. floor unit this would indicate a need for service. Hope this helps.

  • I want to thank you for the detail information. One person told me that maybe the 2nd floor is handling the condensation for the 1st. Not sure, but could be possible. I never owned two units like this before. Had one unit for the whole home 1st and 2nd level. Always had condensation. I will try your test to see what happens. Was thinking about calling my HVAC tech tomorrow, but now not sure. From your comments I think I should and from the other comments it states if no water seen any where in the wrong place, not to worry about it. Jul 4, 2017 at 10:28
  • If the 1st. floor unit runs and is cooling it's area, then you should have at least some condensate. If you don't have condensate, then something is not working properly.
    – d.george
    Jul 5, 2017 at 10:22
  • Thanks... You sound confident in your answer, so I will contact by local HVAC service provider today to have them check it out. Thanks again. Jul 6, 2017 at 12:40

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