The inside of your gPod needs to be dry to ensure that you get the best crop and the longest life out of your equipment.
Water in the unit anywhere except inside the condensate drain pan underneath the cooling coil is cause for concern. Normally a wet unit means that water is somehow getting out of that pan.
The water may start to rust some of the internal parts of your gPod. Even worse, water inside the gPod creates a favorable environment for mold growth. If enough water leaves the drain pan it may eventually run out of the unit and onto the floor.
Possible Causes of Leaks and How to Fix Them
If you detect water inside the cabinet of your gPods, take immediate action.
First, check that the unit is mounted evenly in all directions. Adjust the unit as necessary to make it perfectly level both from front to back and from left to right. The water is supposed to be collected by the pan and which then immediately runs out the drain hole at one end of the pan. If the unit isn’t level the water will build up in one corner and spill out of the pan into the unit.
Next, make sure that your condensate drain pipe diameter is the correct size. In no case should the drain line from any single unit be smaller than ¾” diameter. That size is determined by the plumbing code so your inspector should catch this. When the ¾” condensate drain lines from multiple gPods are tied together into a single common drain line, the pipe diameter of the common line needs to be larger than ¾”. Where the second gPod is tied in, the common drain line will be handling twice as much water, so it needs to be bigger. Here is the chart that is usually used to size those pipes. Please note that your local codes may differ, and you should always follow your local code.
Get Trapped the Right Way with a P-trap
Every gPod needs a P-trap on the outlet of the coil drain pan. The supply fan in the unit pulls a negative pressure on the condensate drain line. Without a trap, the fan will suck air backwards through the drain line and up through the drain pan outlet where the water is supposed to drain out of the pan. This continuous flow of air coming up through the drain hole prevents the water from entering the drain line and leaving the pan.
When the fan runs it pulls the water in the trap up the drain pipe, like sucking on a straw pulls liquid up the straw. The fan is only strong enough to suck the water a few inches up the drain line. The P-trap is designed to make sure that when the fan is sucking as hard as it can, there is still enough water in the U-shaped bottom of the trap to keep air from getting past the column of water. When the fan is pulling as hard as it can, if there is still water in the bottom of the trap, air can’t get past and the water will drain out of the pan.
Getting the P-trap Dimensions Right
Once you know the drain is the correct pipe size, check the dimensions of the P-trap on the condensate drain.
The dimensions required for the trap to hold enough water are calculated based on the installation and the strength of the fan in the unit. Dimensions have been added to the drawings below to give you an idea of what your traps should look like. The drawing on the left is for units with bottom drain connections. The drawing on the right is for units with side drain connections.
The dimensions shown below will allow your gPods to drain on virtually any project. Shorter dimensions may work, but a trap with dimensions less than 4 inches is probably asking for trouble.
The small dimension is equally as important as the big dimension. The small dimension must be no less than the big dimension minus one inch, divided by 2. Contact your gPod representative and he can consult with the gPod engineering department to determine the precise dimensions your traps need.
Other Unlikely, but Possible, Causes of Water Getting Out of the Drain Pan
There could be a leak in one of the corners of the drain pan. The pan’s corners are welded and then sealed with silicone. But, on rare occasions, a drain pan may develop a leak. The fix is to remove all the old silicone sealer, dry the pan thoroughly, and apply new sealer to the leaking corner.
Finally, and least likely, the fan may be turning so fast that it sucks the condensate right off the cooling coil before it has a chance to run down the coil fins and into the pan. gPods are specifically designed to prevent this so try everything else first. If that doesn’t solve the problem, please call the Data Aire Service Department or your local gPod representative for help.
Mike oversees the company’s go-to-market sales strategy. As a member of ASHRAE, AFCOM, and 7 X 24 he regularly attends their conferences for continuing education on process cooling and how to apply that to and enhance gPod’s unique design. He has over 30 years of experience working in the commercial air conditioning industry. This gives him an understanding of the complete building HVAC system and allows him to engage in meaningful conversations with cultivators, consulting engineers, contractors and investors who want to optimize the design of an indoor grow facility.
His primary focus is to bring innovative ideas from customers and representatives to the Data Aire engineering staff for development into the cutting edge products of the future.