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

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

Unfortunately, damaged pipes or sludge buildup may cause the piping to become clogged. When this happens, water returns to the drain pan in 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 the bulk of homes, local codes require a secondary or safety drain pan that is located underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan uses piping that is directed 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 quickly noticeable if water starts draining from this pipe outlet. It is not normal for this to occur. If you see water spilling from piping on the outside of your home, this is often a sign the primary drain is backed up 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 take care of the issue. Some homes may also have a safety device that should automatically shut off your AC in the event the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling until the drain is cleared of any obstructions. Regardless, if you spot water leaking, be sure to set your thermostat to "off" to stop any additional water damage and contact a Midway Services service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners frequently require professional help, which is why we’re here to assist you at Midway Services. We happily deliver Expert air conditioning repair across North America, backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.*

1. Condensate Drain Is Blocked

When hot, humid air moves over the evaporator coil, water forms on the chilly 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 takes place, the condensate flows out of the pan and into drain piping before the pan becomes full.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris can clog the drain. This keeps the water from moving away properly. Entrust the unclogging process to an Expert like Midway Services to guarantee it’s completed properly and without causing more damage. Service Experts can also add a safety device that will autonomously turn off your AC if the drain becomes blocked again sometime after, thus preventing water damage in 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 could become loose or disconnected. This will sometimes be the cause if someone is working around the unit or when swapping out the air filter. AC leaks can occur when the drain line is lose from the pan. Inspect your AC to see if the drain line is still fully connected to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we recommend calling an HVAC technician to take care of this issue right away. Arrange an appointment with Midway Services today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners require a condensate pump to adequately drain the water. These pumps are necessary when the home’s drain system is located above the AC unit. Even if the drain is free of obstructions, water may build up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is faulty. 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 contact an air conditioning contractor like Midway Services to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grimy or Broken

If you see small drips in lieu of a bigger puddle near the outside of your furnace or air handler, water might be bouncing off the evaporator coil instead of 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 smartest approach to prevent the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Midway Services membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you discover a leak and the AC isn't cooling like it’s supposed to, the refrigerant level may be low due to a leak. Air conditioners rely on refrigerant to create cold air, so getting it inspected thoroughly during seasonal maintenance is very important for the life span of your unit. Without a full supply of refrigerant, the evaporator coils can freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Opposite of 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 occurs within the system. Call Midway Services immediately to take care of AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter should 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 accumulate in the drain pan—potentially starting an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem remains, additional repairs might be necessary. Luckily, HVAC technicians from Midway Services are happy to serve you, ensuring the problem gets solved.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are built to be used during warm weather. Using 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 may lead to an overflow thanks to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Midway Services technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are designed to last, but nothing lasts forever. If you have an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan might be damaged or corroded due to normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak could appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Midway Services 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, Midway Services can repair the damage. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again right away.

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 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 comfortable.

Contact us at 727-219-2471 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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