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Avoid HVAC Issues By Regularly Checking Your Pan Float Switch

When water builds-up in your HVAC system occurs from condensation, your pan float switch is triggered so that the water can be released. You should be keeping tabs on what's going on with the pan float switch so you know when a problem has come up.

Check Your Plan Float Switch

In the heating and cooling process, water droplets form at the evaporator coil and collect in a tube. Some condensate pumps have a pan that collects liquid from the tube. If the pan is full, there may be an issue with water coming from a frozen coil or a clog in the drain.

How to check your pan float switch

  • Locate the indoor unit of your heating and cooling system.

  • Check to see if power is running to your unit, starting with the power chord on the condensate pump.

  • It is often located on the side of the unit. There should be a power cord attached to a small box with a tube.

  • Make sure the power cord on the condensate plug is plugged into an outlet. If the power plug was not plugged in, this could have been the issue.

  • In newer systems, this looks like a light switch mounted on, or close to the unit. On older systems, the switch is often located at the top of the basement stairs. If the switch is off, it will cut power to your system.

  • Is the outlet a GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter)? It looks like a regular outlet but with two buttons in between each plug. Try hitting the reset button. If a GFCI is tripped, it will click and the pump should run.

  • Do you see a breaker in the OFF or TRIPPED position? When this happens, most breakers will set to the middle position marked in orange. If so, reset the breaker.

  • Look for a pan. Has the pan filled with water? If the pan has filled with water, it has likely tripped the pan float switch to prevent water from leaking and damaging your home.

  • Look for two small wires on your condensate pump. Once you have located the wires, take a look to see: Do the wires just hang there? Or, are they wired into the HVAC unit? If they are wired into your HVAC unit, this means you have a condensate secondary switch. This may have switched on and turned off your unit.

Has your pan float switch been triggered? If not, consider other reasons for HVAC leaks.

What To Do If Your Pan Float Switch Has Been Triggered

You'll need to empty the water from the drain pan. If you have the right tools, you can do this yourself. You should also consider why the pan became full. A technician can diagnose water coming from a frozen coil or a clog in the drain.

NOTE: This content is for informational purposes only, and HomeX and its affiliates disclaim all liability related to it. If you decide to perform any tasks based on this information, you assume all risks, including the risk of loss or damage to property or personal injury.

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