Why is my Air Conditioner Leaking Water?

Posted: August 22, 2012 in A/C leak, Air Conditioner, Algae, Cooling
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We’ve all experienced it: The leaky tub that makes the ceiling on the first floor begin to drip; the car that leaves a puddle of oil in your garage; the AC that just keeps leaking water. It’s so frustrating when you know you have a problem, but you don’t know how to fix it. Well, we not might be the ones the help you with a leaky tub or oil (though we’d be happy to refer you to a trusted company), but we can totally help when it comes to the leaky air conditioner!

Reason #1: Condensation leak. A/Cs create condensation as they pull moisture out of a room to cool it down. Most of this condensation is dispensed from the evaporator into the drain pan. When it is not able to discharge fast enough, it occasionally leaks. When the A/C turns off, the problem usually resolves itself. However, if it continues, it is time to call a certified HVAC technician.

Reason #2: Clogged condensate drain.  This is the most common reason. A clogged condensate drain (from algae) causes water to overflow into the drain pan causing the drain pan to overflow. If you have a float switch connected to the drain, the A/C will shut off before the pan overflows. But that also creates a problem, because then your house won’t cool down properly. If this is happening to you, it’s time to call a professional.

Reason #3:  A dirty coil or air filter may restrict the flow over your indoor evaporator coil. The coil will then ice up and drip water and overflow the condensate drain pan.

Causes of leaks in order of frequency:

  1. Plugged drain
  2. Dirty coil which causes condensate to run outside the pan
  3. Ice that forms on the indoor coil that melts in the off cycle (caused by low air flow or low refrigerant charge)
  4. Leaky joint in the condensate drain system
  5. Crack in the condensate pan under the coil

If the leak is in the piping outside the coil cabinet, a homeowner who is skilled at repairing such piping can often correct the problem.  Any other cause should be looked at by a professional, like Selvey Heating & Cooling.

Whatever the reason, it’s never a good thing for your air conditioner to leak water, so be sure to get it taken care of ASAP before a little problem becomes a big one!

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  1. [...] furnace, there was no condensate. A condensing furnace, however, will require attention to collecting and disposing of condensate before it can freeze and lead to water overflow, which can damage the [...]