Is Your Air Conditioning Leaking Water? Here Are 8 Possible Reasons Why

An air conditioner (AC) keeps your house cool and comfortable by extracting heat and humidity from the air. As the AC extracts humidity from the air, it creates condensate, or water, in your furnace or air handler. This water is normally sent to a drain pan and moved through piping into your home’s drain system.

As a side effect, faulty components or sludge buildup may cause the piping to become blocked. When this happens, water floods the drain pan in your furnace or air handler. It can then spill into your home. This is namely troublesome if your furnace or air handler is located in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In the bulk of homes, local codes necessitate a secondary or safety drain pan that is put underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan has piping that is directed to the outside of the home. Typically, the outlet of the pipe is located above the outside of a window so it’s more noticeable if water is draining from this pipe outlet. It is not normal for this to occur. If you see water draining from piping on the outside of your home, this is often a sign the primary drain is clogged and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most common causes for why your AC is leaking water and how to resolve the issue. Some homes may also have a safety device that will automatically shut off your AC in the event the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling except if the drain is free of any obstructions. Regardless, if you see water leaking, ensure you set your thermostat to "off" to minimize any further water damage and get in touch with a Service Experts Commercial HVAC service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners routinely need professional servicing, which is why we’re here to assist you at Service Experts Commercial HVAC. We proudly deliver Expert air conditioning repair across North America, backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.*

1. Condensate Drain Is Blocked

When hot, humid air reaches the evaporator coil, water collects on the chilled metal surface. Ultimately, the water drains into a pan under the indoor coil inside the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence takes place, the condensate flows out of the pan and into drain piping before the pan becomes full.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris might clog the drain. This stops the water from flowing away properly. Leave the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Commercial HVAC to guarantee it’s completed properly and without causing more damage. Service Experts can also add a safety device that will autonomously turn off your AC if the drain becomes backed up again later on, thus minimizing water damage inside your home. Of course, consistent maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain flushed and unobstructed.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While uncommon, the drain line connection to the drain pan could become loose or disconnected. This may occur if someone is working around the unit or when swapping out the air filter. AC leaks can occur when the drain line disconnects from the pan. Check your AC to see if the drain line is still attached to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we encourage calling an HVAC technician to take care of this issue right away. Arrange an appointment with Service Experts Commercial HVAC today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners require a condensate pump to properly drain the water. These pumps are compulsory when the home’s drain system is located above the AC unit. Even if the drain is unobstructed, water can back up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is inoperable. First, determine that the pump is currently powered. If that’s not the problem, the AC leak could be due to a broken condensate pump. You should call an air conditioning contractor like Service Experts Commercial HVAC to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grubby or Broken

If you see tiny drips in favor of a bigger puddle close to the outside of your furnace or air handler, water may be splashing off the evaporator coil rather than properly moving into the drain pan and condensate line. This can happen if the coils are soiled, or if holes in the insulation surrounding the coils redirect the water. The easiest approach to keep the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Service Experts Commercial HVAC membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you notice a leak and the AC isn't cooling enough, the refrigerant level may be lacking thanks to a leak. Air conditioners require refrigerant to create cold air, so getting it inspected thoroughly during seasonal maintenance is extremely beneficial for the longevity of your unit. Without enough refrigerant, the evaporator coils could freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Opposite of some expectations, your AC does not need to be recharged unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only done when a leak appears in the system. Call Service Experts Commercial HVAC immediately to repair AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter should be changed regularly to encourage adequate airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils may become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to accumulate in the drain pan—sometimes causing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem persists, further repairs may be necessary. Luckily, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Commercial HVAC are willing and able to serve you, ensuring the problem gets resolved.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are built to be used during warm weather. Starting your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or lower could cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and possibly result in an overflow due to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Service Experts Commercial HVAC technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are designed to last, but nothing lasts forever. If you possess an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan could be damaged or corroded after years of normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak could appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Service Experts Commercial HVAC can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working normally.

Our Experts Can Handle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Service Experts Commercial HVAC can fix the problem. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again right away.

Our technicians are well trained, knowledgeable and certified to provide quality work. We have full confidence in our repairs—in fact, we back up everything we perform with a one-year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee!*

We’ll even talk about enrolling in a worry-free membership plan. This could help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, faster so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cooler.

Contact us at 289-201-2346 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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