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

An air conditioner (AC) keeps your house cool and comfortable by pulling 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 typically sent to a drain pan and moved through piping into your home’s drain system. 

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

In most homes, local codes require a secondary or safety drain pan that is installed underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan uses piping that is routed to the outside of the home. Usually, the outlet of the pipe is located above the outside of a window so it’s quickly noticeable if water is 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 often 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 repair the issue. Some homes can also have a safety device that should automatically switch off your AC in the event the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling unless the drain is cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you notice water leaking, ensure you set your thermostat to “off” to minimize any additional water damage and contact a Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing service provider to correct the issues. 

Leaking air conditioners frequently demand professional help, which is why we’re here to assist you at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We consistently deliver Expert air conditioning repair across the U.S., backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.* 

1. Condensate Drain Is Blocked 

When hot, humid air moves over the evaporator coil, water collects on the chilled metal surface. Ultimately, the water drains into a pan underneath 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 correctly. Entrust the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to guarantee it’s handled properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also put in a safety device that will quickly switch off your AC in the event the drain becomes backed up again later on, thus avoiding water damage inside your home. Of course, regular maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clean and unobstructed. 

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected 

While somewhat rare, the drain line connection to the drain pan can become loose or disconnected. This may happen if someone is working nearby the unit or when replacing the air filter. AC leaks might occur when the drain line is lose from the pan. Check your AC to find out if the drain line is still leading to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we suggest calling an HVAC technician to repair this issue right away. Arrange an appointment with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing 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 put above the AC unit. Even if the drain is unobstructed, water can back up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is broken. First, make sure that the pump is still powered. If that’s not the problem, the AC leak could be due to a broken condensate pump. You should call an air conditioning contractor like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to resolve the issue. 

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grubby or Damaged 

If you see small drips in favor of a larger puddle around the outside of your furnace or air handler, water might be bouncing off the evaporator coil rather than properly draining into the drain pan and condensate line. This can be the case if the coils are dirty, or if holes in the insulation smartest approach to keep the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing membership. 

5. Low Refrigerant Level 

If you notice a leak and the AC isn’t cooling properly, the refrigerant level may be insufficient due to a leak. Air conditioners rely on refrigerant to create cold air, so getting it inspected thoroughly during seasonal maintenance is very useful for the life span 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. Contrary to some expectations, your AC does not need to be replenished unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only done when a leak appears within the system. Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing 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 encourage proper airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils could 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 doesn’t go away, additional repairs might be required. Thankfully, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are willing and able to serve you, ensuring the problem gets resolved. 

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC 

Air conditioners are designed to run during warm weather. Running 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 & Plumbing 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 use 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 might appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing 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 & Plumbing can fix the problem. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again as soon as possible. 

Our technicians are thoroughly 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 suggest a worry-free membership plan. This may help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, faster so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cooler. 

Contact us at 866-397-3787 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today! 

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