Is Your Air Conditioning Leaking Water? Here Are 8 Possible Reasons Why

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 creates 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.

As a side effect, damaged pipes or sludge buildup can cause the piping to become backed up. When this happens, water floods the drain pan within your furnace or air handler. It can then reach your home. This is particularly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is located in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In the bulk of homes, local codes demand a secondary or safety drain pan that is put underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan possesses piping that is routed to the outside of the home. Usually, the outlet of the pipe is found 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 dripping from piping on the outside of your home, this is likely an indication the primary drain is backed up and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most general causes for why your AC is leaking water and how to fix the issue. Some homes could also have a safety device that can automatically shut 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 discover water leaking, make sure to set your thermostat to "off" to stop any further water damage and get in touch with a Golden Seal Service Experts service provider to correct the issues.

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

1. Condensate Drain Is Blocked

When hot, humid air runs along the evaporator coil, water appears on the cold metal surface. Ultimately, the water drains into a pan beneath the indoor coil in the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence continues, the condensate flows out of the pan and into drain piping before the pan overflows.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris could clog the drain. This keeps the water from flowing away like it’s supposed to. Entrust the unclogging process to an Expert like Golden Seal Service Experts for the peace of mind it’s handled properly and without causing more damage. Service Experts can also add a safety device that will automatically turn off your AC in the event the drain becomes blocked again later on, thus minimizing water damage inside your home. Of course, scheduling maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clean and open.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While somewhat rare, the drain line connection to the drain pan can become loose or disconnected. This can be the cause if someone is working near the unit or when swapping out the air filter. AC leaks may occur when the drain line disconnects from the pan. Check 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 resolve this issue immediately. Schedule an appointment with Golden Seal Service Experts today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners need a condensate pump to adequately drain the water. These pumps are needed when the home’s drain system is placed above the AC unit. Even if the drain is free of obstructions, water could collect in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is damaged. First, determine that the pump is being 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 Golden Seal Service Experts to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grubby or Cracked

If you see small drips in lieu of a more substantial puddle around the outside of your furnace or air handler, water might be dripping off the evaporator coil rather than properly flowing 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 easiest approach to stop the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Golden Seal Service Experts membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you notice a leak and the AC isn't cooling well, the refrigerant level may be low due to a leak. Air conditioners require refrigerant to generate cold air, so getting it checked thoroughly during seasonal maintenance is extremely important for the health 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. Despite some expectations, your AC does not need to be refilled unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only done when a leak occurs within the system. Call Golden Seal Service Experts as soon as possible to repair AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter should be changed regularly to encourage adequate airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils could become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to collect in the drain pan—possibly causing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem remains, additional repairs might be necessary. Luckily, HVAC technicians from Golden Seal Service Experts are happy to serve you, ensuring the problem gets fixed.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are made to be used during warm weather. Starting your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or lower can cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and potentially create an overflow thanks to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Golden Seal Service Experts technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are manufactured to last, but nothing lasts forever. If you possess 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 may appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Golden Seal Service Experts can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working normally.

Our Experts Can Tackle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Golden Seal Service Experts can fix the problem. 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 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 advise signing up for 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 comfortable.

Contact us at 630-246-2698 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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