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

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 typically sent to a drain pan and sent through piping into your home’s drain system.

As a side effect, an error or sludge buildup could cause the piping to become blocked. When this happens, water backs up in the drain pan inside your furnace or air handler. It can then leak into your home. This is especially troublesome if your furnace or air handler is placed in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In a majority of homes, municipal codes require a secondary or safety drain pan that is installed underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan has piping that is directed 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 quickly noticeable if water is draining from this pipe outlet. It is not normal for this to occur. If you see water spilling 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 general 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 switch off your AC if the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling until the drain is cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you find water leaking, make sure to set your thermostat to "off" to minimize any further water damage and get in touch with a Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners often do best with professional support, which is why we’re here to assist you at Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air. 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 runs along the evaporator coil, water collects on the chilly metal surface. Ultimately, the water drains into a pan beneath the indoor coil in the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence continues, 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 moving away properly. Leave the unclogging process to an Expert like Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air for the peace of mind it’s completed properly and without causing further damage. Service Experts can also install a safety device that will quickly shut off your AC just in case the drain becomes clogged again sometime after, thus avoiding water damage inside your home. Of course, regular maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain flushed and unhampered.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While not very common, the drain line connection to the drain pan could become loose or disconnected. This may happen if someone is working nearby the unit or when swapping out the air filter. AC leaks may occur when the drain line disconnects from the pan. Inspect your AC to see 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 take care of this issue immediately. Arrange an appointment with Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners need a condensate pump to properly drain the water. These pumps are needed when the home’s drain system is put above the AC unit. Even if the drain is clear, water could collect in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is inoperable. First, make sure that the pump is being powered. If that’s not the root cause, the AC leak could be due to a broken condensate pump. You should contact an air conditioning contractor like Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grimy or Damaged

If you see tiny drips in lieu of a bigger puddle near the outside of your furnace or air handler, water may be dripping off the evaporator coil rather than properly flowing into the drain pan and condensate line. This can take place if the coils are soiled, or if holes in the insulation surrounding the coils redirect the water. The easiest approach to stop the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you uncover a leak and the AC isn't cooling properly, the refrigerant level may be insufficient because of a leak. Air conditioners rely on refrigerant to create cold air, so getting it looked at regularly during seasonal maintenance is highly useful for the life span of your unit. Without enough refrigerant, the evaporator coils may freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Despite 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 within the system. Call Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air as soon as you can to take care of AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter should be changed regularly to encourage enough airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils can become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to fill in the drain pan—sometimes starting an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem sticks around, additional repairs may be the best option. Thankfully, HVAC technicians from Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air are here to serve you, ensuring the problem gets fixed.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are designed to be used during warm weather. Running 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 thanks to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air 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 use an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan might be damaged or corroded after years of normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak can appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working like it’s supposed to.

Our Experts Can Handle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air can solve the issue. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again without delay.

Our technicians are highly trained, knowledgeable and certified to perform 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 can help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, sooner so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cooler.

Contact us at 210-404-4233 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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