Is Your Air Conditioning Leaking Water? Here Are 8 Possible Reasons Why

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 kept in a drain pan and routed 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 returns to the drain pan within your furnace or air handler. It can then spill into your home. This is particularly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is installed in the attic or above a finished ceiling. 

In a majority of homes, municipal 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 directed to the outside of the home. Usually, 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 often an indication the primary drain is blocked and water is now draining from the safety drain pan. 

Here are the most general reasons for why your AC is leaking water and how to take care of the issue. Some homes could also have a safety device that should automatically shut off your AC in the event the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling until the drain is free of any obstructions. Regardless, if you see water leaking, be sure to set your thermostat to “off” to avoid any additional water damage and contact a Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing service provider to correct the issues. 

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

1. Condensate Drain Is Blocked 

When hot, humid air runs along the evaporator coil, water forms on the chilly metal surface. Ultimately, the water drains into a pan underneath the indoor coil within 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 could clog the drain. This keeps the water from flowing away properly. Leave the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to make sure it’s performed properly and without causing more damage. Service Experts can also put in a safety device that will automatically switch off your AC just in case the drain becomes blocked again later on, thus preventing water damage in your home. Of course, regular maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clear and unhindered. 

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected 

While somewhat rare, the drain line connection to the drain pan can become loose or disconnected. This may occur if someone is working around the unit or when swapping out the air filter. AC leaks might occur when the drain line breaks free from the pan. Inspect your AC to determine 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 resolve this issue immediately. Schedule an appointment with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today. 

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working 

Some air conditioners need a condensate pump to adequately drain the water. These pumps are necessary when the home’s drain system is placed above the AC unit. Even if the drain is clear, water might back up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is damaged. First, determine that the pump is being powered. If that’s not the case, the AC leak might be due to a broken condensate pump. You should call 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 small drips in lieu of a more substantial puddle around the outside of your furnace or air handler, water might be bouncing off the evaporator coil rather than properly draining into the drain pan and condensate line. This can happen if the coils are grimy, 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 find a leak and the AC isn’t cooling enough, the refrigerant level may be lacking because of a leak. Air conditioners use refrigerant to produce cold air, so getting it looked at regularly during seasonal maintenance is incredibly important for the life span of your unit. Without a full supply of refrigerant, the evaporator coils can 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 occurs inside the system. Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing immediately to resolve AC refrigerant issues quickly. 

6. Dirty Air Filter 

Your air conditioner’s filter has 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 accumulate in the drain pan—potentially creating an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem lasts, further repairs might be required. Thankfully, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are willing and able to serve you, ensuring the problem gets fixed. 

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC 

Air conditioners are built to be used during warm weather. Using your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or below could cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and potentially create 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 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 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 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 solve the issue. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again without delay. 

Our technicians are thoroughly 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 may help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, more quickly 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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