No Aux drain?

Would anyone call this out as having no Aux drain pan?
3rd floor condo.
FBC yes
IRC no


Is that an overflow cutoff switch I see in the pan?

If so, not as a defect.

Would I recommend one because it is a good thing to have? Yes.

Thanks Blaine, I am with you on wanting the pan. Thats the way I always installed them years ago, I have seen too many switchs and floats stick over time.

Here’s a related one, an example of which we came across several days ago in a much older home with a brand-new attic A/C install. Pan was present, as was cutoff switch, but no drain installation to the exterior on the auxiliary pan. Would you recommend one of these as well??


The c— allows the aux pan to not be piped if there is an over flow float. I would still write it up as a safty upgrade and also recommend that the cond. pump be put in the aux pan as well.

If you have ever dealt with the mess that water can make, well the safer the better.

The point is, air conditioners make water, air conditioners leak all over the place, water flows downhill, someone lives below you, you’re liable for their damage!

Code requirement has nothing to do with anything. Use your common sense and call it out.

As for the photograph Christopher posted, the condensate pump should have been installed inside the pain (in my opinion, not code requirements). Pumps will fail, pumps will leak, water flows downhill etc. There is a drain pan safety switch and the safety switch on the pump was properly wired. There is enough room in the drain pan for the pump, in the event the pump switch fails, the pans switch may then back it up.

Just my opinion. Don’t get hung up on this code requirement stuff. Use your common sense judgment and if you feel there is an issue, express yourself. You’re not required to document proof of your opinion.

I am not on the other side of the fence concerning building code. I do quote and reference building code issues when necessary. However, there are many things that I see on my home inspections that are not covered by a building code. I still call them out!

The only time I will list the building code is when I realize before hand that I will be fighting someone about the condition. When the condition becomes a serious safety hazard, when the condition was brought on by an after construction subcontractor who violated the existing code at the time of his repair/remodel, or when inspecting new construction. The rest of the time I just write up what I personally feel.

As a guide, model codes do require a secondary drain pan below evaporative cooling coils where an overflow or problem with the primary pan may cause damage to building components (e.g. finished ceilings below).

This secondary overflow pan can either have a drain line piped to a clearly visible location (so the flow will be noticeable to indicate there is a problem), or the secondary pan can have an overflow float switch to shut down the unit on activation.

Installing an in-line float switch on the primary drain (or at least what appears to be one in the pic) does not alleviate the need for the secondary pan (e.g. the primary pan could leak or the inlet could get clogged) … although it is a good idea.

For finished spaces below, I would write up a missing secondary pan as a concern and point out the potential consequences of an overflow. At least then you are covered. I had a similar situation where it was recommended not to run the AC system until a secondary pan with a float switch or drain to daylight was installed. They of course ran the system without that, and overnight an overflow that didn’t trigger the primary drain cut-out switch caused thousands of dollars in damage to ceilings and a wood floor below … :shock:

JMO & 2-nickels … :wink:

Nice save Robert, you know when all else fails there is always common sense.
Found this one on yesterdays inspection, so yes there some that put it in in the proper fashion.