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

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

Unfortunately, a malfunction or sludge buildup may cause the piping to become backed up. When this happens, water floods the drain pan in your furnace or air handler. It can then spill into your home. This is namely troublesome if your furnace or air handler is located 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 possesses piping that is sent to the outside of the home. Usually, the outlet of the pipe is found above the outside of a window so it’s more noticeable if water starts draining from this pipe outlet. It is not normal for this to occur. If you see water dripping from piping on the outside of your home, this is likely evidence the primary drain is clogged and water is now draining from the safety drain pan. 

Here are the most common explanations for why your AC is leaking water and how to take care of the issue. Some homes can also possess a safety device that should automatically turn off your AC should 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, make sure to set your thermostat to “off” to avoid any further water damage and call a Stevenson Service Experts service provider to correct the issues. 

Leaking air conditioners frequently require professional repairs, which is why we’re here to assist you at Stevenson Service Experts. We proudly deliver Expert air conditioning repair across Columbus, backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.* 

1. Condensate Drain Is Blocked 

When hot, humid air moves over the evaporator coil, water forms on the chilled metal surface. Ultimately, the water drains into a pan under 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 can clog the drain. This stops the water from flowing away properly. Trust the unclogging process to an Expert like Stevenson Service Experts to guarantee it’s completed properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also put in a safety device that will quickly shut off your AC in the event the drain becomes clogged again sometime after, thus minimizing water damage within your home. Of course, regular maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clear and unhampered. 

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected 

While not very common, the drain line connection to the drain pan could become loose or disconnected. This will sometimes occur if someone is working near the unit or when changing out the air filter. AC leaks may occur when the drain line disconnects from the pan. Take a look inside your AC to find out if the drain line is still leading to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we encourage calling an HVAC technician to take care of this issue immediately. Arrange an appointment with Stevenson Service Experts 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 located above the AC unit. Even if the drain is free of obstructions, water might back up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is not functioning. First, determine that the pump is currently powered. If that’s not the root cause, the AC leak might be due to a broken condensate pump. You should call an air conditioning contractor like Stevenson Service Experts to resolve the issue. 

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grimy or Cracked 

If you see little drips in favor of a bigger puddle nearby the outside of your furnace or air handler, water could be bouncing off the evaporator coil rather than properly flowing into the drain pan and condensate line. This can occur if the coils are soiled, or if holes in the insulation smartest approach to prevent the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Stevenson Service Experts 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 insufficient due to a leak. Air conditioners use refrigerant to create cold air, so getting it looked at thoroughly during seasonal maintenance is incredibly useful for the longevity of your unit. Without a full supply of refrigerant, the evaporator coils could 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 inside the system. Call Stevenson Service Experts as soon as possible 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 collect in the drain pan—potentially creating an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem persists, more repairs will sometimes be needed. Thankfully, HVAC technicians from Stevenson Service Experts are here to serve you, ensuring the problem gets resolved. 

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC 

Air conditioners are designed to be used during warm weather. Running 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 possibly result in an overflow because of ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Stevenson 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 survives forever. If you own an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan could 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. Stevenson Service Experts can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working properly. 

Our Experts Can Meet All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs 

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Stevenson 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 well trained, knowledgeable and certified to provide 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 suggest a worry-free membership plan. This could help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, faster so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cool. 

Contact us at 614-334-3192 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today! 

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