Why do we need drainage pumps for the air conditioner?

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Air conditioner

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.

Drain pump for air conditionerThe 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;
  • pumps;
  • 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.

Pump types

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 pumpsPeri­staltic 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.

Piston and storage pumps Sauermann Si-10Inline 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.

air conditioner drain hoseHigh 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.

Installation Features

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.

Pump installation diagram

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.

Aspen PumpsThis 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.

sauermann si 2750

Drainage pump Sauer­mann Si-2750

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.


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