Sheet metal condensate drain pans have a variety of uses, but have one main purpose--to prevent condensate water from dripping into areas where it is not desired. The condensate pans are used in home air conditioning systems, under vertical duct risers that run to the roof and even under water heaters that are mounted in attics or crawlspaces. Although condensate pans are fairly simple to fabricate, you will need to have basic knowledge of cutting and bending sheet metal, as well as soldering or welding to make the corners water-tight.
- Tape measure
- Sheet metal
- Marking pen
- Sheet metal brake
- Solder, soldering iron or welder
- 1/2-inch drill bit
- 1/2-inch pipe flange with gasket
- Bolts and nuts
- Adjustable wrench
Measure the size condensate pan you need and add 2 inches to that measurement. For example, if you need a 30 by 30 inch condensate pan, increase the size to 32 by 32 inch. This will be your cut size for your sheet metal.
Cut a piece of sheet metal at the above increased measurement. Make sure all the corners are square.
Notch a 1-inch square out from each corner. To do this, measure in from each corner from both directions 1 inch. By doing this, you will create a 1-inch square at each corner. Cut this out with your snips. Notching out the corner will allow you to bend each side up to make the condensate pan.
Slide your piece of sheet metal into your brake until 1 inch is left sticking out. Clamp it down and pull up on the arm to bend the protruding material up 90 degrees. Repeat this process for the following three sides and you will be left with a pan with 1 inch tall sides.
Solder or weld the corners on the pan to make it water-tight. Soldering is preferred for light-gauge pans while welding works great on heavier-gauge pans.
Drill a 1/2 inch hole in the bottom of you condensate pan where you want the drain pipe to connect to. Bolt a 1/2 inch pipe flange and gasket to the bottom of the drain pan to allow for a drain connection.
- Timothy Gonyo; Sheet Metal Workers Local #18; Milwaukee, WI
How to Make a Condensate Drain Pan
Condensation is the natural process of humidity in the air cooling when it enters an air conditioning unit's cooling coil. The condensation...
How do I Fabricate a Sheet Metal Dust Pan?
A dustpan is a handy tool for tidying up around the shop after a day of hard work, or for sweeping at...
How to Make a Roll Pan
A roll pan is a rounded rear fender with a seamless design. It installs on the rear end with cut outs for...
How to Make a Concrete Shower Pan
We first need to frame in the shower pan with 2x10 lumber around the bottom of the floor and regular 2x4 studs...
How to Prevent Condensation in Metal Sheds
There are several benefits to having a metal shed as opposed to a wooden one, the main benefit being that a metal...
How to Make a Metal Pan
Working with sheet metal can be as frustrating as it is rewarding. Practice and patience are required to perfect your bending and...
Where Is the Pan That You Need to Drain on an Air Conditioning Unit?
Air conditioners not only cool a room, they also remove humidity from the air. Central air conditioners or heat pumps have a...
Pan & Box Brake Vs. Sheet Metal Brake
Hand brakes are used to make tight straight bends of varying degrees in sheet metal. There are two common hand brakes used...
How to Make a Sheet Metal Box
Metal lock boxes can be used for a variety of tasks, from storing ammunition to hauling cargo over rugged terrain or even...
How to Clean a Condensate Drain
Clogged air conditioning condensate drains are the most common reason service technicians are called. This problem can often be solved by the...