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

Unfortunately, an error or sludge buildup could cause the piping to become clogged. When this happens, water floods the drain pan inside your furnace or air handler. It can then reach your home. This is decidedly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is installed in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In most homes, local 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 sent to the outside of the home. Usually, the outlet of the pipe is placed above the outside of a window so it’s easily 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 an indication the primary drain is clogged and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most common causes for why your AC is leaking water and how to resolve the issue. Some homes could also possess a safety device that should automatically switch off your AC if the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling until the drain is cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you discover water leaking, ensure you set your thermostat to "off" to stop any further water damage and call a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners routinely demand professional servicing, which is why we’re here to assist you at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. 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. In the end, the water drains into a pan underneath 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 becomes full.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris can clog the drain. This stops the water from draining away properly. Entrust the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to guarantee it’s handled properly and without causing more damage. Service Experts can also install a safety device that will quickly switch off your AC just in case the drain becomes blocked again sometime after, thus minimizing water damage in your home. Of course, regular maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clean and unobstructed.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While not very common, the drain line connection to the drain pan could become loose or disconnected. This can occur if someone is working near the unit or when changing out the air filter. AC leaks may occur when the drain line is disconnected from the pan. Take a look inside your AC to determine 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. Make an appointment with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners require a condensate pump to properly drain the water. These pumps are compulsory when the home’s drain system is found above the AC unit. Even if the drain is free of obstructions, water can collect in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is inoperable. First, make sure 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 contact an air conditioning contractor like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grubby or Broken

If you see little drips in lieu of a more substantial puddle around the outside of your furnace or air handler, water could be bouncing off the evaporator coil compared to properly moving into the drain pan and condensate line. This can be the case if the coils are soiled, or if holes in the insulation protecting 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 Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you find a leak and the AC isn't cooling like it’s supposed to, the refrigerant level may be low thanks to a leak. Air conditioners rely on refrigerant to produce cold air, so getting it inspected regularly during seasonal maintenance is highly useful for the life span of your unit. Without enough 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 replenished unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only needed when a leak appears inside the system. Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning as soon as you can to repair AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter has to be changed regularly to produce proper airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils can become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to fill in the drain pan—possibly creating an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem sticks around, more repairs might be the best option. Thankfully, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are ready to serve you, ensuring the problem gets fixed.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are designed to provide enough cooling for warm weather. Using your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or colder can cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and potentially create an overflow due to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are built to last, but nothing lives forever. If you have an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan might be damaged or corroded even with normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak could appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning 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, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can solve the issue. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again without delay.

Our technicians are well 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 cool.

Contact us at 561-629-1826 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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