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

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 kept in 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 backed up. When this happens, water backs up in the drain pan within your furnace or air handler. It can then reach 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, local codes necessitate 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. Typically, the outlet of the pipe is found above the outside of a window so it’s more noticeable if water begins 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 a sign the primary drain is blocked and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most frequent causes for why your AC is leaking water and how to resolve the issue. Some homes could also have a safety device that should automatically switch off your AC in the event the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling unless the drain is cleared of any obstructions. Regardless, if you find water leaking, be sure to set your thermostat to "off" to avoid any additional water damage and reach out to a Roy Inch & Sons Home Services by Enercare service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners frequently need professional help, which is why we’re here to assist you at Roy Inch & Sons Home Services by Enercare. 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 reaches the evaporator coil, water forms on the cold metal surface. Ultimately, the water drains into a pan beneath 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 overflows.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris could clog the drain. This keeps the water from draining away properly. Trust the unclogging process to an Expert like Roy Inch & Sons Home Services by Enercare to guarantee it’s completed properly and without causing more damage. Service Experts can also add a safety device that will automatically shut off your AC just in case the drain becomes clogged again later on, thus minimizing water damage within your home. Of course, consistent maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clear and open.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While unusual, the drain line connection to the drain pan could 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. Take a look inside your AC to find out 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 immediately. Schedule an appointment with Roy Inch & Sons Home Services by Enercare today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners need a condensate pump to efficiently drain the water. These pumps are compulsory when the home’s drain system is found above the AC unit. Even if the drain is unobstructed, water may collect in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is not functioning. First, determine that the pump is still powered. If that’s not the case, the AC leak may be due to a broken condensate pump. You should call an air conditioning contractor like Roy Inch & Sons Home Services by Enercare to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grimy or Broken

If you see tiny drips instead of a larger puddle nearby the outside of your furnace or air handler, water could be dripping off the evaporator coil rather than properly flowing into the drain pan and condensate line. This can occur if the coils are dirty, or if holes in the insulation surrounding 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 Roy Inch & Sons Home Services by Enercare membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you find a leak and the AC isn't cooling well, the refrigerant level may be insufficient because of a leak. Air conditioners require refrigerant to generate cold air, so getting it looked at consistently during seasonal maintenance is very important for the health of your unit. Without adequate refrigerant, the evaporator coils could 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 required when a leak happens within the system. Call Roy Inch & Sons Home Services by Enercare as soon as possible to resolve 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 may become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to accumulate in the drain pan—possibly starting an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem sticks around, additional repairs might be necessary. Thankfully, HVAC technicians from Roy Inch & Sons Home Services by Enercare are happy 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. Starting your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or lower will sometimes cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and may lead to an overflow due to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Roy Inch & Sons Home Services by Enercare technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are manufactured to last, but nothing survives forever. If you own an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan may be damaged or corroded after years of normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak may appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Roy Inch & Sons Home Services by Enercare 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, Roy Inch & Sons Home Services by Enercare can solve the issue. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again right away.

Our technicians are thoroughly trained, knowledgeable and certified to complete exemplary 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 cooler.

Contact us at 226-270-1164 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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