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Trane air handlers leaking water

We are having an issue with the Trane TWE (the odyssey model) air handler. 7.5 and 10 ton models. The issue is the water is falling directly down off of the evaporator coil, rather then following
the coil down and into the drain pan. I know this Normally means that the coil needs to be cleaned, but the units are less then 6 months old, and the coils are spotless they were installed over the winter and now that it is summer, they are leaking water. We installed six of these, and three are leaking. The drain lines are clear, and the traps are primed and deep enough. You can see water flowing through the condensate line. The unit is draining, it’s just that the water is falling off the coil. Any assistance would be much appreciated. Thanks to all.

Comments

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,544
    edited July 2020
    When they say clean the coil it means of oil left behind from manufacturing. Not really dirt from use.

    I would try cleaning them really well.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    ratiozepfan
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 3,332
    zepfan said:

    The drain lines are clear, and the traps are primed and deep enough.\

    Checked by Eye or static pressure?

  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 2,804
    Are these air handlers horizontal or vertical ? I know on some carrier units in vertical applications the pan can be pitched by removing two screws allowing the pan to be slightly pitched. If horizontal are the unit level or slightly pitched towards the drain. How is the air flow ? As other have stated in the past it may be a small layer of manufacturing oils on the coil not lettting the condensate adhere to the coil and drop off . Are these single or two stage units if 2 stage where the coils piped correctly 1 stage lower coil 2 Nd stage top I ve seen in the past where they where set up oppisite and had this issues more so w vertical units then horizontal set units but have seen it happen . Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • zepfan
    zepfan Member Posts: 349
    Thanks for all the responses. The air handlers are all horizontal. Yes we have checked the traps both by eye and static pressure. They each go into their own condensate pump which you can see the water level in the pump rising fast while the unit is running, and also see water leaving the drain pan. It’s just that some of the condensate falls directly down off the coil. I have a video of the condition, but for some reason I can not upload to this post. Thanks to all
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 19,935
    ChrisJ said:

    When they say clean the coil it means of oil left behind from manufacturing. Not really dirt from use.



    I would try cleaning them really well.

    Brake clean?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    zepfan
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,544

    ChrisJ said:

    When they say clean the coil it means of oil left behind from manufacturing. Not really dirt from use.



    I would try cleaning them really well.

    Brake clean?
    I'd use foaming evaporator cleaner made for aluminum evaporators assuming that's what it is.

    I suspect brake clean wouldn't smell very good indoors.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    zepfanmattmia2
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,778
    Low air flow or low charge. Not enough air to keep the water on the coil. Not enough charge leaves the bottom of the coil dry and the water just drops off.
    zepfan
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,038
    For me, a problem like this was solved by spraying a soapy mixture of Dawn dishwasher soap and water on the both sides of the coil.
    This gives you "wetter water" and it tends to cling to surfaces.
    May also remove any oils.

    Might work, cheap to try.
    No smelly chemicals or rinsing.
    zepfan
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,637
    Are the AHUs 2 stage cooling or single stage?

    The first stage has to be pipe to the lower coil unless they are intertwined coils
    zepfan
  • zepfan
    zepfan Member Posts: 349
    Thanks to all that responded. The 10 ton units are two stage with intertwined copper coils, first stage piped to the bottom. The 7.5 are single stage, one circuit
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,284
    I use one of these, aerosol for a small job, pump sprayer for a larger job.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,544
    ratio said:

    I use one of these, aerosol for a small job, pump sprayer for a larger job.

    This is the one I used.
    Seemed ok.....

    https://www.nucalgon.com/products/coil-cleaners-sprayers/evaporator-cleaners/evap-foam-no-rinse/

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,284
    That one's closer to the door at Johnstone, so I end up with that one pretty often, too. :smiley:
  • hvacfreak2
    hvacfreak2 Member Posts: 500
    I had a problem last year with these ahu's doing this as well. They do make a drain pan " accessory " for this but we found that they would drain correctly if we increased the fan speed. Heck of a way to to balance a system ... increase airflow until water stops falling out of the unit.
    hvacfreak

    Mechanical Enthusiast

    Burnham MST 396 , 60 oz gauge , Tigerloop , Firomatic Check Valve , Mcdonnell Miller 67 lwco , Danfoss RA2k TRV's

    Easyio FG20 Controller

  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,284

    I had a problem last year with these ahu's doing this as well. They do make a drain pan " accessory " for this but we found that they would drain correctly if we increased the fan speed. Heck of a way to to balance a system ... increase airflow until water stops falling out of the unit.

    Thanks, I'll keep this in mind, as we install Tranes from time to time.

    @zepfan, was an air balance done? Is the unit at design airflow, or under?

  • zepfan
    zepfan Member Posts: 349
    Thanks again for all the responses. No a certified balance was not done, this is a replacement job, but we own a balance cone and I think I need to go back to the job with it.
  • eancelet
    eancelet Member Posts: 1
    edited April 2021
    Did you ever solve this issue? We had a Trane installed and have the exact same problem. We even had the coils replaced recently because cleaning them didn’t work, and it’s still dripping water. We hear it every time it happens and it’s driving us crazy. We are even getting irritated with the installer because nobody wants to take responsibility for this either faulty unit, or know how to actually fix this problem. 
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,637
    Cleaning the coils is the first step.

    Usually the problem is too much air velocity pulling the water off the coil. If you go over 500fpm the water will come off any mfgs coil

    But if I understand your question that isn't the problem your having.

    I would also check the air flow


    Then call Trane
    patrickl
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,762
    Can you post some pics showing the air handler and as much of the duct system as possible?
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 3,332
    have a have any Static Pressure Readings been taken?

    TESP will tell you where the duct issues are. 
  • patrickl
    patrickl Member Posts: 3
    Mix some diluted water and Borax into a pump up sprayer and wash down the impact side of the coil. Works every time as long as proper airflow, total external static and blower curves are observed.
    43 years experience is the voice of reason!
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,544
    What's diluted water?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 19,935
    eancelet said:

    Did you ever solve this issue? We had a Trane installed and have the exact same problem. We even had the coils replaced recently because cleaning them didn’t work, and it’s still dripping water. We hear it every time it happens and it’s driving us crazy. We are even getting irritated with the installer because nobody wants to take responsibility for this either faulty unit, or know how to actually fix this problem. 

    Stop blaming the air handler. All air handlers which cool air will produce water in varying amounts (look under your car on a hot day if you have A/C). The trick is what is done with it. And that, as has been said, involves low enough face velocities to keep it from being entrained and, usually, a drip catcher and drain arrangement.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • patrickl
    patrickl Member Posts: 3
    What's diluted water?

    Finish reading the sentence. It’s obvious.
    ChrisJ
  • Hollywood111
    Hollywood111 Member Posts: 6
    zepfan said:

    We are having an issue with the Trane TWE (the odyssey model) air handler. 7.5 and 10 ton models. The issue is the water is falling directly down off of the evaporator coil, rather then following

    the coil down and into the drain pan. I know this Normally means that the coil needs to be cleaned, but the units are less then 6 months old, and the coils are spotless they were installed over the winter and now that it is summer, they are leaking water. We installed six of these, and three are leaking. The drain lines are clear, and the traps are primed and deep enough. You can see water flowing through the condensate line. The unit is draining, it’s just that the water is falling off the coil. Any assistance would be much appreciated. Thanks to all.
    Have you contacted Trane as to if there if a Baffle and or a deflector shield to divert the over spray into the lower drain pan? Be sure. sometimes they do NOT ship with the unit and it is not your fault. They can help or at least tell you is it is needed. MPT... Please let me know how you make out.
  • zepfan
    zepfan Member Posts: 349
    Thanks for everyone that responded to this. We ended up installing the factory made accessory drip kit for these air handlers and that resolved the issue. I don't know why they do not ship the unit with this already installed, but it has to be purchased separately
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 4,237
    zepfan said:

    Thanks for everyone that responded to this. We ended up installing the factory made accessory drip kit for these air handlers and that resolved the issue. I don't know why they do not ship the unit with this already installed, but it has to be purchased separately

    And it only takes 2 years to get it right!



    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org

  • zepfan
    zepfan Member Posts: 349
    No it did not take two years to get it right. We corrected the issue two years ago, and have installed the same kit on each of these air handlers since then, with no issues. When I saw someone had asked about this unit earlier this month, September 2022. I simply passed along how we resolved the issue, two years ago.
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,544
    zepfan said:
    No it did not take two years to get it right. We corrected the issue two years ago, and have installed the same kit on each of these air handlers since then, with no issues. When I saw someone had asked about this unit earlier this month, September 2022. I simply passed along how we resolved the issue, two years ago.
    Thank you for adding to the thread for others that come along looking for a solution.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    zepfanErin Holohan Haskell