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 normally collected in a drain pan and routed through piping into your home’s drain system.

As a side effect, damaged pipes or sludge buildup may cause the piping to become backed up. 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 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 require a secondary or safety drain pan that is put underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan possesses piping that is sent to the outside of the home. In general, the outlet of the pipe is placed 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 draining from piping on the outside of your home, this is likely an indication the primary drain is blocked and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most general explanations for why your AC is leaking water and how to take care of the issue. Some homes may also possess a safety device that can automatically switch off your AC in the event the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling until the drain is cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you notice water leaking, make sure to set your thermostat to "off" to minimize any additional water damage and call a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners often do best with professional repairs, which is why we’re here to assist you at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We consistently deliver Expert air conditioning repair across North America, 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 under 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 becomes full.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris could clog the drain. This stops the water from moving away correctly. Leave the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to ensure it’s done properly and without causing further damage. Service Experts can also install a safety device that will quickly turn off your AC in the event the drain becomes backed up again later on, thus avoiding water damage within your home. Of course, regular 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 may become loose or disconnected. This may happen if someone is working around the unit or when changing out the air filter. AC leaks may occur when the drain line is lose from the pan. Take a look inside your AC to see if the drain line is still attached to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we recommend calling an HVAC technician to resolve this issue immediately. Schedule an appointment with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners use a condensate pump to efficiently 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 could build up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is not functioning. First, double-check that the pump is still powered. If that’s not the case, the AC leak could be due to a broken condensate pump. You should call an air conditioning contractor like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Dirty or Damaged

If you see little drips in lieu of a bigger puddle around the outside of your furnace or air handler, water might be bouncing off the evaporator coil rather than properly moving into the drain pan and condensate line. This can occur if the coils are dirty, or if holes in the insulation around the coils redirect the water. The best 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 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 lacking due to a leak. Air conditioners rely on refrigerant to create cold air, so getting it checked regularly during seasonal maintenance is very useful for the longevity of your unit. Without adequate refrigerant, the evaporator coils might freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Contrary to some expectations, your AC does not need to be replenished unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only needed when a leak occurs in the system. Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning as soon as possible to take care of 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 can become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to collect in the drain pan—sometimes starting an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem remains, more repairs might be needed. Fortunately, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are here to serve you, ensuring the problem gets fixed.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are built to provide enough cooling for warm weather. Starting your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or colder may cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and potentially create an overflow due to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are manufactured to last, but nothing lives forever. If you own an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan may 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 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 can help. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again without delay.

Our technicians are highly 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 advise signing up for 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 303-647-5749 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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