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  1. #1
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    Default rusty secondary pan

    This secondary pan for an attic unit has rust in it. The primary condensate line was functioning properly at the time of the inspection so I think the rust was from a past problem that had been fixed. Although the pan had this surface rust in it, there was no evidence that it ever leaked water to the surfaces that it sits on.

    Would you recommend that this pan be replaced simply because of the rusty surface? I'm leaning that was because once the corrosion begins, well...you know the rest.

    Would you tell em to replace it?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: rusty secondary pan

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    This secondary pan for an attic unit has rust in it. The primary condensate line was functioning properly at the time of the inspection so I think the rust was from a past problem that had been fixed. Although the pan had this surface rust in it, there was no evidence that it ever leaked water to the surfaces that it sits on.

    Would you recommend that this pan be replaced simply because of the rusty surface? I'm leaning that was because once the corrosion begins, well...you know the rest.

    Would you tell em to replace it?
    I don't.. Unless there's salt in the water, and if the pan stays dry, I'm guessing the pan will out live the unit.

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: rusty secondary pan

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    This secondary pan for an attic unit has rust in it. The primary condensate line was functioning properly at the time of the inspection so I think the rust was from a past problem that had been fixed. Although the pan had this surface rust in it, there was no evidence that it ever leaked water to the surfaces that it sits on.

    Would you recommend that this pan be replaced simply because of the rusty surface? I'm leaning that was because once the corrosion begins, well...you know the rest.

    Would you tell em to replace it?
    Replace the pan. Once the galvanized coating is used up and rust sets in it will continue to rust even without liquid water present. Just moisture in the air will be enough (well maybe not if you live in the desert). I call them out for replacement, if someone else decides to risk their ceiling and furnishings over a $100 pan, so be it; but it won't be on my dime.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  4. #4
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    Default Re: rusty secondary pan

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Replace the pan. Once the galvanized coating is used up and rust sets in it will continue to rust even without liquid water present. Just moisture in the air will be enough (well maybe not if you live in the desert). I call them out for replacement, if someone else decides to risk their ceiling and furnishings over a $100 pan, so be it; but it won't be on my dime.

    That's all I needed to push me over the edge. Thanks Jim.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: rusty secondary pan

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    If the rust is minor surface rust, it can be lightly cleaned, coated with a product like Loctite's Extend Rust Converter and then with two coats of galvanized spray paint. Nearly as good as new for about $20.

    Perhaps, but...
    Taking the pan out of the attic to scrape, sand, prime and topcoat it 2 times isn't saving anyone money. Because its faster to replace it, the cost is actually cheaper. And good luck finding a "technician" willing to do either option anyway...

    Dom.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: rusty secondary pan

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Replace the pan. Once the galvanized coating is used up and rust sets in it will continue to rust even without liquid water present. Just moisture in the air will be enough (well maybe not if you live in the desert). I call them out for replacement, if someone else decides to risk their ceiling and furnishings over a $100 pan, so be it; but it won't be on my dime.

    Not only replace the pan, but that unit shows evidence of overflowing into the unit (secondary condensate drain line likely plugged/capped), which saturates the insulation on the bottom and the sides, which makes that insulation useless, which allows for/creates the metal cabinet becoming cold and causing condensation to form on the outside of the metal cabinet ... so now you have water on the metal inside the cabinet ... and water on the metal outside the cabinet ... and how long do you suppose that cabinet is going to last??? Not to mention that the insulative value of that wet insulation is nada (wait, I already did mention that, didn't I?).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: rusty secondary pan

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    JD: JL says replace it, likely because the TREC SOP requires that he do so. The TREC SOP was written and edited by those who pretend to know, but actually do not. While I mark it as a "deficiency" per the SOP, I inform the clients that there are alternatives to replacement. If the rust is minor surface rust, it can be lightly cleaned, coated with a product like Loctite's Extend Rust Converter and then with two coats of galvanized spray paint. Nearly as good as new for about $20.
    No, I don't call it because SOP mandates, just because I have seen far too many pans with no evidence of water in them and have only a small amount of surface rust but checking underneath the rust has perforated through the metal. If it was mine, yeah I might cheap out and paint or treat it but then I would be there to watch it in the future. I see far too many ceilings damaged by improper condensation plumbing and inept maintenance. If the client is ok with that risk/reward ratio, go for it; but in my book the correct call is to replace a damaged pan.
    Kind of like your termite theory, I am not going to look into my crystal ball and tell you how far the rust has eaten through the pan. A galvanized drain pan has ceased to function as intended once it is no longer protected by galvanization.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  8. #8
    David Bell's Avatar
    David Bell Guest

    Default Re: rusty secondary pan

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    Only an idiot (or an HVAC tech) would take it out of the attic to perform this simple task.
    Yeah, We so stupid we stay in a 140 degree attic and scrape and spray a $35 galvanized pan. Thanks but I'd be more concerned as to why a pan with a drain held water long enough to rust as bad as it has. Either the cased coil pan is rotted or the drains have been clogged. A pan switch is called for to alert the homeowner to any ongoing problems and to properly diagnose drainage issues.


  9. #9
    RANDY NICHOLAS's Avatar
    RANDY NICHOLAS Guest

    Default Re: rusty secondary pan

    RUST NEVER SLEEPS.

    REPLACE PAN


  10. #10
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    Default Re: rusty secondary pan

    The condensate system had been worked on. I saw the remnants of the materials that were used for repairs. The secondary pan had a secondary drain line and a float style kill switch. The primary condensate line was moving water like it should.


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