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 typically collected in a drain pan and routed through piping into your home’s drain system. 

Unfortunately, a malfunction or sludge buildup could cause the piping to become blocked. When this happens, water backs up in the drain pan within your furnace or air handler. It can then reach your home. This is namely troublesome if your furnace or air handler is installed in the attic or above a finished ceiling. 

In the bulk of homes, building codes necessitate a secondary or safety drain pan that is located underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan possesses piping that is sent to the outside of the home. Most of the time, the outlet of the pipe is found above the outside of a window so it’s easily 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 usually evidence the primary drain is clogged and water is now draining from the safety drain pan. 

Here are the most general explanations for why your AC is leaking water and how to repair the issue. Some homes could also use a safety device that can automatically turn off your AC in the event the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling except if the drain is cleared of any obstructions. Regardless, if you find water leaking, make sure to set your thermostat to “off” to prevent anymore water damage and call a Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing service provider to correct the issues. 

Leaking air conditioners frequently do best with professional servicing, which is why we’re here to assist you at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We consistently deliver Expert air conditioning repair across the U.S., backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.* 

1. Condensate Drain Is Blocked 

When hot, humid air moves over the evaporator coil, water forms on the chilly metal surface. At the end of the process, 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 overflows. 

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris can clog the drain. This stops the water from draining away like it’s supposed to. Leave the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for the peace of mind it’s performed properly and without causing further damage. Service Experts can also add a safety device that will autonomously shut off your AC just in case the drain becomes blocked again in the future, thus preventing water damage within your home. Of course, scheduling maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clean and unobstructed. 

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected 

While uncommon, the drain line connection to the drain pan can become loose or disconnected. This can occur 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 determine if the drain line is still connected to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we suggest calling an HVAC technician to resolve this issue as soon as possible. Arrange an appointment with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing 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 can back up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is faulty. First, make sure that the pump is currently powered. If that’s not the root cause, the AC leak might be due to a broken condensate pump. You should check with an air conditioning contractor like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to resolve the issue. 

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grubby or Broken 

If you see tiny drips rather than a bigger puddle around the outside of your furnace or air handler, water may be dripping off the evaporator coil instead of properly draining into the drain pan and condensate line. This can take place if the coils are soiled, or if holes in the insulation easiest 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 & Plumbing 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 low because of a leak. Air conditioners rely on refrigerant to create cold air, so getting it looked at thoroughly during seasonal maintenance is highly useful for the health of your unit. Without enough refrigerant, the evaporator coils may freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Opposite of some expectations, your AC does not need to be replenished unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only necessary when a leak appears within the system. Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing as soon as possible to repair AC refrigerant issues quickly. 

6. Dirty Air Filter 

Your air conditioner’s filter needs to be changed regularly to ensure enough airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils may become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to fill in the drain pan—sometimes producing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem persists, additional repairs will sometimes be necessary. Luckily, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are willing and able 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. Starting your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or below will sometimes cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and possibly result in an overflow thanks to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem. 

8. Damaged Drip Pan 

Air conditioners are built to last, but nothing survives forever. If you own an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan could be damaged or corroded even with normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak can appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working like it’s supposed to. 

Our Experts Can Meet All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs 

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help. 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 provide exceptional 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 advise signing up for a worry-free membership plan. This will sometimes help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, faster so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house comfortable. 

Contact us at 866-397-3787 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today! 

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