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

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

Unfortunately, faulty components or sludge buildup may cause the piping to become clogged. When this happens, water returns to the drain pan inside your furnace or air handler. It can then leak into your home. This is decidedly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is up in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In a majority of homes, building codes demand a secondary or safety drain pan that is put underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan possesses piping that is directed to the outside of the home. Usually, the outlet of the pipe is found 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 draining from piping on the outside of your home, this is usually evidence the primary drain is blocked and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most frequent explanations for why your AC is leaking water and how to fix the issue. Some homes will also possess 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 unless the drain is cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you spot water leaking, be sure to set your thermostat to "off" to avoid anymore water damage and get in touch with a Strand Brothers Service Experts service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners often need professional repairs, which is why we’re here to assist you at Strand Brothers 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 reaches the evaporator coil, water forms on the cold metal surface. In the end, the water drains into a pan underneath 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 fills up.

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 Strand Brothers Service Experts to make sure it’s handled properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also install a safety device that will automatically shut off your AC if the drain becomes backed up again later on, thus minimizing water damage within your home. Of course, consistent 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 could become loose or disconnected. This can occur if someone is working around the unit or when replacing the air filter. AC leaks might occur when the drain line is disconnected from the pan. Inspect your AC to determine if the drain line is still fully connected to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we encourage calling an HVAC technician to repair this issue as soon as possible. Arrange an appointment with Strand Brothers Service Experts today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners require a condensate pump to adequately drain the water. These pumps are compulsory when the home’s drain system is placed above the AC unit. Even if the drain is clear, water can build up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is faulty. 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 Strand Brothers Service Experts to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grubby or Damaged

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

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you notice a leak and the AC isn't cooling well, the refrigerant level may be lacking thanks to a leak. Air conditioners require refrigerant to generate cold air, so getting it inspected thoroughly during seasonal maintenance is very important for the working condition of your unit. Without adequate 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 replenished unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only required when a leak occurs in the system. Call Strand Brothers Service Experts right away to take care of AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter has to be changed regularly to ensure proper airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils may become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to collect in the drain pan—potentially producing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem persists, additional repairs might be necessary. Luckily, HVAC technicians from Strand Brothers Service Experts 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 be used during warm weather. Running your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or lower could cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and possibly result in an overflow because of ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Strand Brothers 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 lives forever. If you have an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan may be damaged or corroded due to normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak might appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Strand Brothers Service Experts can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working properly.

Our Experts Can Tackle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

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

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

Contact us at 512-592-3072 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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