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

An air conditioner (AC) keeps your house cool and comfortable by extracting 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. 

As a side effect, damaged pipes 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 namely troublesome if your furnace or air handler is installed in the attic or above a finished ceiling. 

In a majority of homes, local codes demand a secondary or safety drain pan that is located underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan uses piping that is routed to the outside of the home. Usually, the outlet of the pipe is located above the outside of a window so it’s easily noticeable if water starts draining from this pipe outlet. It is not normal for this to occur. If you see water dripping from piping on the outside of your home, this is often a sign the primary drain is clogged 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 may also have a safety device that can automatically switch off your AC if the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling unless the drain is cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you spot water leaking, make sure to set your thermostat to “off” to prevent any additional water damage and contact 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 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 condenses on the cold metal surface. In the end, 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 prevents the water from moving away like it’s supposed to. Trust the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to ensure it’s performed properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also put in a safety device that will autonomously turn off your AC just in case the drain becomes clogged again later on, thus minimizing water damage in your home. Of course, routine maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clean and unhindered. 

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected 

While uncommon, the drain line connection to the drain pan can become loose or disconnected. This may occur if someone is working nearby the unit or when changing out the air filter. AC leaks can occur when the drain line disconnects from the pan. Take a look inside your AC to find out if the drain line is still leading to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we encourage calling an HVAC technician to repair this issue right away. Make 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 located above the AC unit. Even if the drain is clear, water might build up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is inoperable. First, double-check that the pump is currently 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 & Plumbing to resolve the issue. 

4. Evaporator Coil Is Dirty or Broken 

If you see small drips in favor of a larger puddle around the outside of your furnace or air handler, water may be splashing off the evaporator coil instead of properly moving into the drain pan and condensate line. This can take place 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 discover a leak and the AC isn’t cooling properly, the refrigerant level may be insufficient due to a leak. Air conditioners depend on refrigerant to create cold air, so getting it checked regularly during seasonal maintenance is very beneficial for the longevity of your unit. Without enough 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 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 & Plumbing immediately to take care of AC refrigerant issues quickly. 

6. Dirty Air Filter 

Your air conditioner’s filter has to be changed regularly to encourage proper 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—possibly causing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem remains, additional repairs may be the best option. Luckily, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are happy to serve you, ensuring the problem gets solved. 

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC 

Air conditioners are designed to be used during warm weather. Using 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 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 made to last, but nothing lives forever. If you have 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 could 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 properly. 

Our Experts Can Handle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs 

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can repair the damage. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again right away. 

Our technicians are well trained, knowledgeable and certified to provide dependable 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, promptly so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cool. 

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

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