We just moved into our new place. So many new things need to learn. Just like the problematic AC. My apologizes if I do not know the correct terminology for some of the parts. I will try my best though.

The air handler with evaporator was installed in a closet on the 2nd floor. The evaporator is at the bottom in the air handler unit. And there is a big hole on the floor plywood right underneath the air handler to let the return air come in.

enter image description here

So the problem we have is that if we run the A/C for about 1.5 to 2 hours, we can see water drips to the ceiling of the first floor. And there is a water mark on the ceiling. So I just drilled a hole and let the water run down to avoid further damage. And I also took a picture through the hole to see what is going on(the filter has been removed). I saw condensate forming on the bottom of the drain pan. I'm not sure if the coil sweating.

enter image description here

What I've found/tested are:

  • The main drain pan seems working okay. I can see it catches water and let it go away through the pipe to the drain-line. But the pan is dirty. And it seems not overflowed.
  • Looks like there is no backup drain pan so the condensate drops directly on the ceiling.
  • The filter is a washable filter and has been cleaned.
  • Tried to put a dehumidifier in the closed but didn't help too much.

I'm not sure what I can do next to fix this problem permanently. I thought I should install a secondary pan and clean the coil regularly. Am I on the right path? If you get an idea, please let me know.

  • This seems like a poor design.
    – Tester101
    Jul 24, 2015 at 18:53
  • @Tester101 Yes, I realize that now. It's definitely a poor design. I'm just looking for a reasonable way to improve it.
    – Shey Shi
    Jul 24, 2015 at 19:42
  • 1
    I have exactly the same issue! I would love to hear if Shey Shi resolved the issue and if so, how? I read on the manufacturer's website (Bryant) that if the installation is on the first floor then a secondary drain pan must be installed. But the builder did not ensure that the contractor did so.
    – user48615
    Feb 1, 2016 at 15:45
  • @HemantPatel Sorry to hear that you have the same problem. Seems I'm not alone. I live in cold Canada. And summer is short in my province. So I didn't even get a chance to fix the AC last year. I'll have some professionals come in the summer and see if they can fix it. I'll keep you posted if I still remember. Please also let me know if yours is fixed. Good luck.
    – Shey Shi
    Feb 2, 2016 at 16:26
  • One of the A/C service companies I called said that I need a new evaporator coil. This may cost anywhere upwards of US$1200. I will get other estimates and keep you posted.
    – user48615
    Feb 4, 2016 at 4:04

1 Answer 1


Any working coil is going to sweat, or it isn't working.

You need a pan or a properly ducted return that will catch the drips and protect the drywall, or a combination of both.

If it still functions, you only need a new coil if the drain tray is cracked. Even then, the pan itself might be a 'simple' replacement part.

"I read on the manufacturer's website (Bryant) that if the installation is on the first floor then a secondary drain pan must be installed." – Hemant Patel

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