Most condensate pans are made of galvanized sheet metal. Although resistant to rust, galvanized metal will eventually rust, especially in the constant water immersion and exposure to oxygen environment of the AHU. Leaking pans generate multiple maintenance problems – from water in the mechanical rooms, (or some small units are overhead in public spaces) – to leaking through the underside of the unit into important spaces below (sometimes rental space, sometimes hospital operating rooms!)
Replacing the pans can usually only be done by dismantling the AHU, opening the sides and removing the cooling coils. This process takes many days, many man-hours and much money. The AHU must be out of service much longer than most facilities can tolerate.