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

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

As a side effect, an error or sludge buildup could cause the piping to become clogged. When this happens, water floods the drain pan inside your furnace or air handler. It can then leak into your home. This is especially 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 installed underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan uses piping that is sent to the outside of the home. Most of the time, 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 usually evidence the primary drain is clogged 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 fix the issue. Some homes will also use a safety device that should automatically switch off your AC should 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, ensure you set your thermostat to “off” to stop anymore water damage and call a Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing service provider to correct the issues. 

Leaking air conditioners often require professional support, 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 appears on the cold metal surface. In the end, 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 fills up. 

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris could clog the drain. This stops the water from draining away correctly. Leave the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for the peace of mind it’s handled properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also put in a safety device that will quickly switch off your AC if the drain becomes blocked 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 unobstructed. 

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected 

While uncommon, the drain line connection to the drain pan may become loose or disconnected. This will sometimes be the cause if someone is working near the unit or when replacing the air filter. AC leaks may occur when the drain line is lose 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 right away. Make an appointment with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today. 

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working 

Some air conditioners rely on a condensate pump to adequately drain the water. These pumps are necessary when the home’s drain system is put above the AC unit. Even if the drain is clear, water could back up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is broken. First, make sure 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 call an air conditioning contractor like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to resolve the issue. 

4. Evaporator Coil Is Dirty or Cracked 

If you see tiny drips in favor of a larger puddle near the outside of your furnace or air handler, water might be bouncing off the evaporator coil compared to 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 around 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 find a leak and the AC isn’t cooling enough, the refrigerant level may be insufficient thanks to a leak. Air conditioners depend on refrigerant to generate cold air, so getting it inspected consistently during seasonal maintenance is highly beneficial for the life span 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 needed when a leak appears in the system. Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing immediately to repair AC refrigerant issues quickly. 

6. Dirty Air Filter 

Your air conditioner’s filter has to be changed regularly to encourage enough airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils could become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to collect in the drain pan—sometimes causing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem lasts, more repairs might be the best option. Thankfully, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are happy to serve you, ensuring the problem gets fixed. 

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC 

Air conditioners are made 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 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 survives forever. If you own an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan might be damaged or corroded even with 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 normally. 

Our Experts Can Tackle 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 as soon as possible. 

Our technicians are well trained, knowledgeable and certified to complete exceptional 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 can help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, more quickly 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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