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 generates condensate, or water, in your furnace or air handler. This water is usually sent to a drain pan and moved through piping into your home’s drain system. 

Unfortunately, a malfunction or sludge buildup can cause the piping to become backed up. When this happens, water floods the drain pan in your furnace or air handler. It can then reach your home. This is particularly 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 put underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan uses piping that is routed to the outside of the home. Typically, 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 likely a sign 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 repair the issue. Some homes can also use a safety device that should 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 cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you find water leaking, be sure to set your thermostat to “off” to stop any additional water damage and call a Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing service provider to correct the issues. 

Leaking air conditioners frequently demand professional servicing, which is why we’re here to assist you at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We happily deliver Expert air conditioning repair across the U.S., 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 underneath 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 could clog the drain. This keeps the water from flowing away like it’s supposed to. Trust the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to guarantee it’s handled properly and without causing more damage. Service Experts can also install a safety device that will autonomously switch off your AC just in case the drain becomes backed up again in the future, thus minimizing water damage inside your home. Of course, consistent 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 could become loose or disconnected. This will sometimes be the cause if someone is working around the unit or when swapping out the air filter. AC leaks might occur when the drain line disconnects from the pan. Take a look inside your AC to find out if the drain line is still attached to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we suggest calling an HVAC technician to repair 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 require a condensate pump to adequately drain the water. These pumps are needed when the home’s drain system is placed above the AC unit. Even if the drain is unobstructed, water may build up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is faulty. First, double-check that the pump is currently powered. If that’s not the case, the AC leak may be due to a broken condensate pump. You should contact an air conditioning contractor like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to resolve the issue. 

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grubby or Cracked 

If you see little drips in favor of a bigger puddle nearby the outside of your furnace or air handler, water may be splashing off the evaporator coil instead of properly draining into the drain pan and condensate line. This can occur if the coils are soiled, or if holes in the insulation best approach to keep 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 properly, the refrigerant level may be insufficient because of a leak. Air conditioners depend on refrigerant to generate cold air, so getting it looked at consistently during seasonal maintenance is extremely beneficial for the life span of your unit. Without a full supply of refrigerant, the evaporator coils could freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Contrary to 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 appears in the system. Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing immediately to take care of AC refrigerant issues quickly. 

6. Dirty Air Filter 

Your air conditioner’s filter should be changed regularly to ensure adequate airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils could 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 lasts, further repairs may be required. Thankfully, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are happy to serve you, ensuring the problem gets resolved. 

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC 

Air conditioners are built to run during warm weather. Using your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or colder can 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 & Plumbing 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 own 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. 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 fix the problem. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again without delay. 

Our technicians are well 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 talk about enrolling in a worry-free membership plan. This could help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, promptly 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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