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

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

A byproduct of this process, damaged pipes or sludge buildup could cause the piping to become clogged. When this happens, water returns to the drain pan in your furnace or air handler. It can then reach your home. This is especially troublesome if your furnace or air handler is up in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In a majority of homes, municipal codes demand a secondary or safety drain pan that is found underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan uses piping that is sent to the outside of the home. In general, the outlet of the pipe is located above the outside of a window so it’s easily noticeable if water begins 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 usually a sign the primary drain is blocked and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most general causes for why your AC is leaking water and how to resolve the issue. Some homes will also possess a safety device that can automatically switch off your AC if the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling except if the drain is cleared of any obstructions. Regardless, if you spot water leaking, be sure to set your thermostat to "off" to stop any further water damage and contact a Epperson Service Experts service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners routinely require professional help, which is why we’re here to assist you at Epperson Service Experts. 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 moves over the evaporator coil, water collects on the chilly metal surface. At the end of the process, the water drains into a pan beneath the indoor coil in 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 moving away properly. Trust the unclogging process to an Expert like Epperson Service Experts to guarantee it’s performed properly and without causing further damage. Service Experts can also add a safety device that will automatically turn off your AC if the drain becomes clogged again later on, thus avoiding water damage within your home. Of course, regular maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain flushed and unhampered.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While unusual, the drain line connection to the drain pan could become loose or disconnected. This will sometimes be the cause if someone is working near the unit or when changing out the air filter. AC leaks can occur when the drain line is disconnected from the pan. Inspect your AC to find out if the drain line is still attached to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we recommend calling an HVAC technician to resolve this issue immediately. Request an appointment with Epperson Service Experts today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners rely on a condensate pump to efficiently drain the water. These pumps are necessary when the home’s drain system is placed above the AC unit. Even if the drain is unobstructed, water might build up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is damaged. First, double-check that the pump is being powered. If that’s not the problem, the AC leak could be due to a broken condensate pump. You should contact an air conditioning contractor like Epperson Service Experts to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grimy or Cracked

If you see tiny drips instead of a larger puddle around the outside of your furnace or air handler, water might be splashing off the evaporator coil rather than properly moving into the drain pan and condensate line. This can happen if the coils are dirty, or if holes in the insulation protecting the coils redirect the water. The smartest approach to keep the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Epperson Service Experts membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you discover a leak and the AC isn't cooling enough, the refrigerant level may be insufficient thanks to a leak. Air conditioners rely on refrigerant to generate cold air, so getting it checked thoroughly during seasonal maintenance is incredibly beneficial for the working condition of your unit. Without a full supply of 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 refilled unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only done when a leak happens in the system. Call Epperson Service Experts 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 can 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 remains, additional repairs may be required. Fortunately, HVAC technicians from Epperson Service Experts are here to serve you, ensuring the problem gets resolved.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are made to run during warm weather. Using your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or colder could cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and potentially create an overflow because of ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Epperson Service Experts 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 due to normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak can appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Epperson Service Experts 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, Epperson Service Experts can fix the problem. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again as soon as possible.

Our technicians are well trained, knowledgeable and certified to complete exemplary 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, more quickly so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house comfortable.

Contact us at 843-619-3781 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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