Is Your Air Conditioning Leaking Water? Here Are 8 Possible Causes

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

Unfortunately, damaged pipes or sludge buildup could cause the piping to become backed up. When this happens, water backs up in the drain pan inside your furnace or air handler. It can then reach your home. This is particularly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is up in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In a majority of homes, local codes demand a secondary or safety drain pan that is found 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 placed 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 leaking from piping on the outside of your home, this is likely evidence the primary drain is backed up and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most frequent causes for why your AC is leaking water and how to take care of the issue. Some homes can also have a safety device that will automatically shut off your AC should the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling unless the drain is cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you notice water leaking, ensure you set your thermostat to "off" to avoid any further water damage and reach out to a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners often demand professional support, which is why we’re here to assist you at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We happily 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 condenses on the chilly 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 fills up.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris can clog the drain. This keeps the water from moving away properly. Leave the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to guarantee it’s done properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also put in a safety device that will autonomously shut off your AC if the drain becomes backed up again in the future, thus preventing water damage within your home. Of course, regular maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clear and open.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While unusual, the drain line connection to the drain pan can become loose or disconnected. This will sometimes occur if someone is working nearby the unit or when replacing the air filter. AC leaks can occur when the drain line is lose from the pan. Check your AC to see if the drain line is still connected 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. Schedule an appointment with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners use a condensate pump to adequately drain the water. These pumps are compulsory when the home’s drain system is placed above the AC unit. Even if the drain is free of obstructions, water could collect in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is not functioning. First, make sure that the pump is still powered. If that’s not the problem, the AC leak may be due to a broken condensate pump. You should contact an air conditioning contractor like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grubby or Damaged

If you see small drips in favor of a larger puddle nearby the outside of your furnace or air handler, water may be splashing off the evaporator coil compared to properly draining into the drain pan and condensate line. This can be the case if the coils are grimy, or if holes in the insulation surrounding the coils redirect the water. The best approach to stop the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you uncover a leak and the AC isn't cooling like it’s supposed to, the refrigerant level may be lacking due to a leak. Air conditioners rely on refrigerant to generate cold air, so getting it inspected consistently during seasonal maintenance is very important for the longevity of your unit. Without adequate refrigerant, the evaporator coils might 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 Heating & Air Conditioning as soon as possible to repair AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter has to be changed regularly to produce 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—potentially creating an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem doesn’t go away, additional repairs may be the best option. Thankfully, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are willing and able to serve you, ensuring the problem gets fixed.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are made to be used during warm weather. Starting your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or lower may cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and may lead to an overflow due to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning 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 use 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 might appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working like it’s supposed to.

Our Experts Can Tackle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can help. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again as soon as possible.

Our technicians are thoroughly trained, knowledgeable and certified to complete 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 recommend a worry-free membership plan. This will sometimes help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, promptly so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cool.

Contact us at 305-440-1505 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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