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Phil, Mechanical Engineer
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 8494
Experience:  Retired HVAC/ Electrical & Boiler contractor. Industrial
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I have a rheem electric hvac model RCBA-2457G horizontal

Customer Question

I have a rheem electric hvac model RCBA-2457G horizontal unit. It is leaking water from the metal pan on the bottom by the electric portion of the unit. my name is jack
JA: Are you an HVAC professional?
Customer: no
JA: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?
Customer: yes
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: the condensation drain is open.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  Rick replied 10 months ago.

Welcome to Just Answer, my name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you with your issue. If my initial response doesn’t answer your question then let me know and we can continue our conversation.

The most likely culprit is a clog in the condensate drain where it connects to the unit. If you're sure that it is open then you probably have a leak in the pan. You can clear a clog with a wet vac. Replacing the pan is a lot more involved and should probably be left to a pro.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
What is involved with replacing the pan?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
My phone # is ****************
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Should I disconnect and wait for your call?
Expert:  Rick replied 10 months ago.

There is an additional charge for a call. The the pan replacement instructions on the Rheem site are not coming up.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
How much
Expert:  Rick replied 10 months ago.

A call is an additional $24 but I can't access the pan replacement instructions at this time. I'm getting a file not found error on the Rheem site. All I can tell you specifically is how to clear a stoppage at the pan.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Don't want to pay another $24.00 if you don't have an answer. The drain is open
Expert:  Rick replied 10 months ago.

Ok, perhaps one of my colleagues has experience with this specific model. I'm going to open this up to my colleagues so one of them can help. Please don't respond (even to acknowledge this post)until you get a response from us. If you respond first it will only delay your answer.

Expert:  Phil replied 10 months ago.

Hello, a leaky pan occurs about 5% of the time in these cases, 95% of the time the cooling coil is dirty with pet hair etc and those make pathways around the cooling coil bypassing the pan.

Inspecting for a dirty coil is the first step.

First check for a lot of dirt build up on the blower wheel blades, if there is dirt there, the coil is dirty also.

To answer your question about how to replace the coil drain pan. It is difficult to say the least, it is attached to the cooling coil by inaccessible screws, generally the entire coil needs to be removed, that means cutting the refrigerant lines.... a costly job best avoided.

No phone call is necessary unless you wish.

Tell me about dirt in the blower blades, we can go from there.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
everything appears dirty. What should I do to clean it?
Expert:  Phil replied 10 months ago.

Tell me if the cooling coil is on top of the furnace, below the furnace or if the furnace is horizontal please.

Expert:  Phil replied 10 months ago.

Its dirty work. You will also need to clean the condenser coil on the outside unit.

I will send you some video's in a bit

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
It is horizontal
Expert:  Phil replied 10 months ago.

Thanks, ***** ***** to find some useful video's for you now... it will take me half an hour or so... there are no shortage of not so good video's on the topic.

Expert:  Phil replied 10 months ago.

This is a good broad spectrum primer, with good advice.

Let me know if makes any sense on your end or not, we can go from there without a time limit.

Expert:  Phil replied 10 months ago.

This video shows cleaning the cooling coil without cutting the refrigerant tubing (saves $300 or more).

Expert:  Phil replied 10 months ago.

The blower slides out of the cabinet on rails, after you remove the two retainer screws, unplug all of the attached wiring, make a perfect diagram so that you can get it all connected properly later.

take the blower to a car wash and clean it, bag the blower motor in a plastic bag and position it so that the car wash water does not wet the motor.

Expert:  Phil replied 10 months ago.
Expert:  Phil replied 10 months ago.

Lets stay in this thread Jack, the other one got disconnected

Thanks Jack, it sounds like you are accessing and cleaning the dirty side of the coil, but check the other side of the finned surface to be sure,, that side could be clogged with dirt as shown in the video'

I send video's as an introduction and orientation since after 55 years in the business it is still difficult for me to guess what the installers actually did.

I have seen one almost invisible glob of lint allow water to drain off of the face of the coil and bypass the pan, your option is to carefully look for that, or pour some colored water (food coloring) into the pan and look for that color of leak.

Let me know, we can go from there

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