During the operation of the air conditioner in cooling mode, moisture from the incoming air condenses on the surface of the evaporator. The resulting moisture flows down the fins of the heat exchanger and accumulates in the condensate pan and then drains.
If the condensate drain fails, water stagnates, which leads to an unpleasant odor in the room. In such cases, there is a risk of overflowing the drainage tank and leakage of liquid into the room. This can cause damage to walls, floors and equipment installed in the room.
You can avoid such situations if, during the design and installation of the air conditioning system, you take care of the device of the drainage system of the air conditioner. If it is problematic to mask such a system, or it is difficult to position the drain hole at a level sufficient to drain the condensate by gravity, it is advisable to use a drainage pump.
Purpose and principle of operation
The condensate pump is designed to efficiently remove liquid from the air conditioner.
The principle of operation of such a device is extremely simple and may differ depending on its type. So, a standard separate pump consists of:
- containers with a float that plays the role of a water level sensor;
- tubes for draining fluid.
As it fills with water, the float rises to the maximum level. This provokes a contact closure and helps turn on the device. The device starts to pump out the accumulated liquid until it receives another signal from the level sensor.
In some units, heat-sensitive sensors are used instead of floats, which react when touched with water and when the storage tank dries.
There are many different types of drainage pumps on the market. Each of them is designed for a specific air conditioner. Most of them have a similar device:
- condensate collection tray;
- drainage route for liquid transportation;
- drain pump for the air conditioner, designed for pumping liquid.
Devices equipped with a special container for condensate, equipped with a pump and a level sensor, are called “bulk”. They are a block with a level sensor installed and can work autonomously as the tank is filled.
In bulk (accumulative) pumps, the liquid flows by gravity, so they must be installed in any convenient place slightly below the level of the drain tank.
One such device can be used to service several air conditioners located close to each other. Equipped with large storage tanks.
Peristaltic called devices capable of pumping water directly from the fan coil drainage tank.
Such devices use powerful pumps that can lift liquid from a level lower than the unit itself. Such devices are called “membrane” or “peristaltic”.
separate called pumps, consisting of several compartments, interconnected by control lines and pipelines. They consist of a pump, a water level sensor connected to a storage tank and, in some cases, a control device. Some devices are not equipped with a level sensor and to turn it on, you must use the “cold” mode on the air conditioner.
Separate pumps, due to their unusual design, provide more options for their placement. So, they can be installed on a hose, drain pipe or inside storage trays.
The standard place for its installation is considered to be a separate unit that communicates with a flexible tube or storage tray.
Inline pumps are an indispensable element of the standard structure of a cassette or channel split system and air conditioners from leading manufacturers.
They are installed directly inside the drain tank on the drain hose for the air conditioner or the outlet pipe. The composition of such a pump includes a control device, a level sensor and a pump located at the water level or slightly lower.
Technical characteristics of drainage pumps
When choosing equipment, its technical characteristics should be taken into account. So, it is necessary that the pump capacity exceed the rate of condensate formation in the air conditioner. This capacity is expressed in l/h. Also, when buying, you should pay attention to the level of water lifting capabilities, the noise level and much more.
The performance of separate pumps is 8–60 l / h — this power is enough for most modern air conditioners. They are able to lift the liquid to a height of 3–14 meters. If it is necessary to raise the liquid to a higher level, it is better to use a different type of device.
High power filling pumps. The minimum productivity of such devices is 80 l / h, the maximum is 1500 l / h. It is possible to lift the liquid to a height of 3 to 6 meters.
Such devices are not designed to serve outdoor areas of multi-split systems and should not raise water to a great height. All condensate from such systems is discharged only into the sewer, where there are no elevation changes.
The performance of built-in pumps varies from 5–170 l / h. Their power is sufficient to ensure the normal functioning of the split system.
Peristaltic pumps can be used in cases where you need to raise the liquid to a height of 10–15 meters. Their productivity is relatively small — about 10 l / h.
All types of drainage pumps operate extremely quietly. The fact that the system is working can only be signaled by the sound of fluid movement or a trickle of water flowing from the outer compartment of the split system.
Drainage pumps are equipment with a long service life. In most cases, such a device is purchased only once in a lifetime. Timely preventive maintenance will help to increase the life of the device. If pumps are not inspected regularly, dirt and harsh chemicals can accumulate.
The device of the air conditioner and the drainage pump allows you to install the drainage system in several different ways. See the accompanying documentation for basic hardware installation recommendations.
Depending on the type of air conditioner, a storage tank with a level sensor can be installed in a drain bath, or on any section of the drainage pipeline in the air conditioner housing.
It can be placed in any convenient place, while respecting the allowable distance and height difference between the level of the pump and the drainage bath. So, it can be installed in a niche in the inside of the air conditioner housing, in a false ceiling or in a communication box.
The pump reservoir should be installed strictly horizontally. It must be kept in this position at all times.
Connection of all electrical parts of the pump must be carried out in accordance with the standard scheme and using a wire of the recommended cross section.
All horizontal parts of the pipeline must be placed at a slope in the direction of fluid flow.
How to install a pump for an air conditioner, you can see in the following video:
Price and choice
One of the leading manufacturers of drainage pumps is Aspen Pumps. The company has been producing equipment for air conditioners since 1992 and distributes its products to the markets of 75 European countries.
This manufacturer has a wide range of drainage pumps of all types and models:
- Mini Orange
- Mini Aqua Silent+
- Mini Lime
- Hot Water Economy
- Maxi Orange
- Mini-Blanc Deluxe
- Hi Flow 2L
The cost of products of this company varies from 4000 to 65$.
The high quality of the manufactured products is Sauermann company. All equipment passes quality control in many laboratories.
The company mainly produces piston and centrifugal pumps:
It should be borne in mind that regardless of the manufacturer, the highest cost peristaltic pumps.
Among all manufacturers The most environmentally friendly devices are manufactured by Siccom. Thanks to the latest developments, it is possible to significantly reduce the energy consumption of the pump and increase the energy efficiency of the pump.
The most widely used pump is the Mini Flowatch. Designed for air conditioners up to 10 kW. Its cost varies between 3500–40 dollars.
When choosing a drainage pump, you should pay attention to many factors. So, a lot depends on the indoor unit of the fan coil, the design of the ceiling and walls of the room, the availability of a place for draining condensate. Also, when choosing, you should take into account the type and power of the air conditioner — it is extremely important that the performance of the pump exceeds its power.