Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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How Does a Condensate Pump Work?

Condensate pumps are integral to HVAC systems, condensing boiler furnaces, steam systems, and many other systems common in New York City properties, serving to remove or recycle condensate.

How does a condensate pump work to eliminate water from specific systems? Discover condensate basics and the signs a pump needs repair to ensure your heating and cooling systems work efficiently.

How Does a Condensate Pump Work?

Condensate Basics

Condensate is water that forms when warm, moist air comes into contact with a cooler surface — such as when water droplets form on a cold glass on a hot day. This process can occur in two different ways in your building’s heating and cooling systems.

First, in an air conditioning system, condensate typically forms around the evaporator coil. The coil uses refrigerant to chill the air passing over it, so as the warm air is cooled, moisture condenses, creating water droplets.

Second, the condensate may form within the pipes and radiators in a steam heat system. As the warm air produced in the boiler travels through the pipes and radiators throughout the building, the air cools, forming water droplets. In a steam system, the excess water typically travels back to a reservoir tank for reheating.

Condensate cannot remain in either system because it can cause problems. In an AC system, excess condensate can overflow in pans, causing leaks and reduced efficiency. Steam heating systems with excess condensate in the pipes and radiators may experience water hammer, corrosion, and reduced efficiency. Condensate pumps guard against these issues by removing excess moisture from the systems.

Pump Components

How a condensate pump works is through the cooperation of five components. The reservoir is one of the most important components of the pump. It acts as a holding tank for condensate. The size of the reservoir depends on the system’s needs, but it should be large enough to handle heavy condensate flows. Most reservoirs are around one gallon.

Each reservoir has a float switch that operates the pump’s on-and-off mechanism. The device is two-pronged, with a buoyant float and a trigger. As the water in the reservoir rises, the float rises with it. Once the float reaches a predetermined level, it triggers a switch, activating the pump motor.

A condensate pump motor doesn’t require a lot of horsepower. Most condensate pumps use motors rated at a fraction of a horsepower, generally 1/30 hp to 1/50 hp for residential purposes and 1/3 hp for commercial applications. This small motor is still powerful enough to move water from the reservoir to a discharge point.

Most condensate pumps have a discharge line. The line is a tube or pipe that carries condensate away from the pump. Typically, a discharge line routes condensate to a sink a, floor drain, or an outdoor location. The line size depends on the expected discharge volume, but it should be large enough to handle heavy flows without clogging.

Pump Operation

A condensate pump works intermittently, or it should. The design of these pumps cannot handle nonstop operations. Too much use will lead to premature wear and eventual pump failure.

A condensate pump operating typically cycles on and off between four and several dozen times per day. The frequency of the cycles depends on several factors:

  • Relative humidity levels
  • Location of HVAC equipment
  • Size of pump and system

For example, a high-efficiency furnace can produce up to one gallon of condensate per hour. With this type of system, it’s normal for a condensate pump to cycle on every 20 to 30 minutes. Knowing the typical operating cycle of your pump can help you identify problems and call for early inspections and repairs.

What Are the Signs Your Pump Needs Repair?


One of the most common problems with a condensate pump is leaks. These can occur for several reasons. More often than not, condensate pump leaks stem from clogs in the drainage line or reservoir that occur because of dust, dirt, mold, algae, or rust. You can limit clogs by performing regular maintenance, including cleaning the pump, its drain line, and the condensate pan.

Constant Running

A condensate pump should work in cycles. If your pump is running continuously, there are several potential causes. First, a clogged drain line may prevent water from emptying from the reservoir. Second, the float switch might be stuck or broken, causing the system to turn on even when the reservoir is empty. The pump itself might also be broken, or the reservoir may have a clog near the drain opening.


While condensate pumps are quieter than other types of pumps thanks to their small motors, they still make some noise. If your pump is excessively loud, there might be problems with the system.

Vibrations might throw a pump out of balance so it requires rebalancing. A buildup of debris, sediment, and other substances can lead to improper or difficult functioning, resulting in louder operations. Worn-out bearings can also lead to a nosier system, as can a pump that is not seated correctly.

Alarms or Error Messages (on Select Pumps)

Some newer condensate pumps have built-in alarms or error message screens or lights to inform owners when repairs are necessary. Sometimes a pump only needs a simple cleaning or reset to fix an alarm or error code. However, if the alarm is continuous or the error message won’t go away, call a repair technician from Antler Pumps.

Antler Pumps Knows How Condensate Pumps Work

Regular Pump Maintenance Reduces Failure Risk

How does a condensate pump work? Our pump professionals know the ins and outs of pump operation and the routine maintenance and inspections this important equipment requires. Call Antler Pumps at 212-534-2500 to learn more about our annual service contract and schedule a consultation or assessment of your condensate pump.

Our Privacy Policy

Omnia Mechanical Group(the “Company”) strives to ensure the highest standards for property listings and customer information privacy. Please review the following statement to learn about our company practices and policies. Please be aware that our Privacy Policy is subject to change at any time.

1. Purpose.

This Privacy Policy (“the Policy”) provides information on how the Company uses your personal information. By agreeing to the Policy, you agree to our collection and use of your personal information as described in the Policy. This Privacy Policy is effective for all new users of

2. Personal Information.

You can browse some areas of (“the Website”) without being a registered user. However, certain activities do require registration. (You consent to the transfer and storage of your information by registering with We may collect and store the following personal information:

  • Name, email, address, telephone number, and (depending on the service used), move-in dates;
  • Transactional information (such as lease terms, lease parties);
  • Computer sign-on data, statistics on page views, and traffic to and from the Website; and
  • Other information, including IP address and other web log information.

3. Use of Information.

Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe and user-friendly experience. For example, the Company may use your personal information to:

  • Improve our services and the Website’s content and layout;
  • Provide the services and necessary customer support you request;
  • Resolve disputes, collect fees, and troubleshoot problems;
  • Track and record customer satisfaction with our services;
  • Protect the Company against error and fraud;
  • Inform you of special promotions and announcements;
  • Enforce our agreements, terms, conditions, and policies; and
  • As otherwise described to you at the time of collection.

We may occasionally ask you to complete optional surveys. These surveys are used to improve and customize your experience with

The Company always provides you the ability to opt-out of further communication such as promotions and surveys; see the Opt-Out section below.

The Company does not share any of your personal information with outside organizations, companies, individuals, etc. The only exception to this standard is if such a disclosure is reasonably necessary to respond to any and all legal processes.

4. Links to Other Sites.

The Website may have links to other websites that may collect personally identifiable information about you. The Company is not responsible for the privacy practices of the content of those linked websites.

5. Safety & Security Precautions.

The Website has strict security measures in place to protect you and your information from fraud. Once your information is provided to Antler Pump & Motor Corporation, we strive to ensure the confidentiality of your identity and information.

6. Opt-Out.

The Company provides you with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving promotional and other non-essential, marketing-related communications from Antler Pump & Motor Corporation. If you would like to opt-out of these select communications, please see any of the Company’s email communications and follow the directions indicated.

7. Account Protection.

Your password ensures the security of your account. When choosing a password, the Company suggests using various characters. It is highly recommended that you do not disclose your password to anyone. (If you do disclose your password or your personal information with others, you are responsible for all actions taken in the name of your account.) If the security of your password is compromised for any reason, please contact the Company immediately.

8. Accuracy of Information

The Company does not guarantee the accuracy of information for any and all of its properties on the Website, and is not responsible for any errors or misrepresentations (made by Renters, the Client, or otherwise).

9. Cookies

The Company may place a small cookie on your computer’s hard drive. This allows us to personalize your use on the Website. In order to maximize the functionality and usability of the Website, you must set your browser’s preferences to allow both permanent and temporary cookies.

10. Changing Your Personal Information.

Should your personal information change, please immediately update your information on the Website. This will ensure the accuracy of our records. The Company does retain personal information from closed accounts in order to comply with law and collect and disburse any fees owed.

11. Third Parties

This Privacy Policy addresses only the use of information we collect from you. Since does not control the privacy policies of third parties, you are subject to the privacy policies of those third parties. It is advisable that you consult with the management of third parties before you disclose your personal information to others.

12. General

We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended terms on the Website. All amended terms are immediately effective after they are initially posted on the Website.

13. Privacy Policy Questions & Concerns

Questions and/or concerns regarding the Policy should be emailed to the following email address: