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

An air conditioner (AC) keeps your house cool and comfortable by pulling 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 collected in a drain pan and sent through piping into your home’s drain system. 

A byproduct of this process, an error or sludge buildup could cause the piping to become clogged. When this happens, water backs up in the drain pan inside your furnace or air handler. It can then spill into your home. This is decidedly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is located in the attic or above a finished ceiling. 

In most homes, building codes necessitate a secondary or safety drain pan that is installed underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan has piping that is sent to the outside of the home. Most of the time, 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 likely an indication the primary drain is backed up and water is now draining from the safety drain pan. 

Here are the most common explanations for why your AC is leaking water and how to fix the issue. Some homes may also have a safety device that will 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 free of any obstructions. Regardless, if you spot water leaking, make sure to set your thermostat to “off” to minimize any additional water damage and get in touch with a Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing service provider to correct the issues. 

Leaking air conditioners routinely do best with professional help, which is why we’re here to assist you at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We consistently 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 cold metal surface. At the end of the process, the water drains into a pan beneath the indoor coil inside the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence occurs, 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 stops the water from moving away properly. Trust the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for the peace of mind it’s done properly and without causing further damage. Service Experts can also put in a safety device that will quickly switch off your AC if the drain becomes backed up again later on, thus minimizing water damage within your home. Of course, regular maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clear and unhampered. 

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected 

While somewhat rare, the drain line connection to the drain pan may 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 disconnects from the pan. Take a look inside your AC to find out if the drain line is still connected to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we recommend calling an HVAC technician to resolve 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 properly drain the water. These pumps are compulsory when the home’s drain system is located above the AC unit. Even if the drain is free of obstructions, water could back up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is faulty. First, determine 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 check with 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 little drips rather than a larger puddle nearby the outside of your furnace or air handler, water might be dripping off the evaporator coil compared to properly flowing into the drain pan and condensate line. This can take place if the coils are grimy, or if holes in the insulation smartest 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 like it’s supposed to, the refrigerant level may be insufficient due to a leak. Air conditioners count on refrigerant to produce cold air, so getting it inspected consistently during seasonal maintenance is extremely useful for the working condition of your unit. Without adequate refrigerant, the evaporator coils can 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 appears in the system. Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing right away to take care of AC refrigerant issues quickly. 

6. Dirty Air Filter 

Your air conditioner’s filter needs to be changed regularly to produce adequate airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils can become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to collect in the drain pan—potentially creating an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem remains, additional repairs will sometimes be the best option. Luckily, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are willing and able 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. Running your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or below may cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and possibly result in 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 built 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 may 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 help. 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 perform 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 recommend a worry-free membership plan. This will sometimes help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, more quickly so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cooler. 

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

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