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

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

As a side effect, an error or sludge buildup can cause the piping to become backed up. When this happens, water floods the drain pan in your furnace or air handler. It can then reach your home. This is especially troublesome if your furnace or air handler is placed in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In most homes, municipal codes demand a secondary or safety drain pan that is found underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan possesses piping that is routed to the outside of the home. In general, the outlet of the pipe is found above the outside of a window so it’s quickly noticeable if water begins 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 a sign the primary drain is blocked and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most frequent explanations for why your AC is leaking water and how to resolve the issue. Some homes may also have a safety device that can automatically turn off your AC if the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling except if the drain is cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you notice water leaking, be sure to set your thermostat to "off" to stop any additional water damage and get in touch with a Bob Brown Service Experts service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners often demand professional support, which is why we’re here to assist you at Bob Brown Service Experts. We proudly 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 chilled 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 can clog the drain. This keeps the water from draining away like it’s supposed to. Trust the unclogging process to an Expert like Bob Brown Service Experts for the peace of mind it’s performed properly and without causing more damage. Service Experts can also put in a safety device that will autonomously shut off your AC if the drain becomes blocked again later on, thus minimizing water damage inside your home. Of course, scheduling maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clean and open.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While unusual, the drain line connection to the drain pan may become loose or disconnected. This can be the cause if someone is working close to the unit or when swapping out the air filter. AC leaks might occur when the drain line disconnects from the pan. Inspect your AC to determine 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 repair this issue immediately. Make an appointment with Bob Brown Service Experts today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners require a condensate pump to efficiently drain the water. These pumps are required when the home’s drain system is located 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 faulty. First, double-check that the pump is being powered. If that’s not the case, the AC leak may be due to a broken condensate pump. You should contact an air conditioning contractor like Bob Brown Service Experts to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grimy or Damaged

If you see little drips in favor of a more substantial puddle nearby the outside of your furnace or air handler, water may be bouncing off the evaporator coil compared to properly draining into the drain pan and condensate line. This can occur if the coils are soiled, or if holes in the insulation around the coils redirect the water. The best approach to prevent the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Bob Brown Service Experts membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you find a leak and the AC isn't cooling well, the refrigerant level may be low due to a leak. Air conditioners depend on refrigerant to produce cold air, so getting it inspected regularly during seasonal maintenance is incredibly important for the health of your unit. Without a full supply of refrigerant, the evaporator coils might freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Despite 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 happens in the system. Call Bob Brown Service Experts right away to resolve AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter has to be changed regularly to produce adequate airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils could become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to accumulate in the drain pan—possibly causing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem remains, further repairs may be required. Luckily, HVAC technicians from Bob Brown Service Experts are happy to serve you, ensuring the problem gets resolved.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are designed to provide enough cooling for warm weather. Running your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or below 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 Bob Brown Service Experts technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are designed to last, but nothing lives forever. If you use 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 may appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Bob Brown Service Experts can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working like it’s supposed to.

Our Experts Can Tackle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Bob Brown Service Experts can solve the issue. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again as soon as possible.

Our technicians are highly trained, knowledgeable and certified to perform 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 could help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, more quickly so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house comfortable.

Contact us at 623-243-4517 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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