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

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 typically collected in a drain pan and routed through piping into your home’s drain system.

As a side effect, a malfunction or sludge buildup can cause the piping to become clogged. When this happens, water returns to the drain pan inside your furnace or air handler. It can then leak into your home. This is namely troublesome if your furnace or air handler is installed in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In a majority of homes, building codes demand a secondary or safety drain pan that is put underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan has piping that is sent to the outside of the home. Typically, the outlet of the pipe is found above the outside of a window so it’s more 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 usually an indication the primary drain is backed up 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 could also possess a safety device that will automatically turn off your AC should the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling except if the drain is cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you find water leaking, be sure to set your thermostat to "off" to prevent any further water damage and get in touch with a Freschi Service Experts service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners routinely do best with professional help, which is why we’re here to assist you at Freschi Service Experts. 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 appears on the cold metal surface. At the end of the process, the water drains into a pan underneath the indoor coil within 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 becomes full.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris might clog the drain. This prevents the water from draining away correctly. Leave the unclogging process to an Expert like Freschi Service Experts to ensure it’s handled properly and without causing further damage. Service Experts can also install a safety device that will autonomously switch off your AC in the event the drain becomes blocked again later on, thus avoiding water damage in your home. Of course, routine maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clear and open.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While somewhat rare, the drain line connection to the drain pan could become loose or disconnected. This will sometimes be the cause if someone is working near the unit or when changing out the air filter. AC leaks might occur when the drain line disconnects 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 suggest calling an HVAC technician to repair this issue immediately. Request an appointment with Freschi Service Experts today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners use a condensate pump to properly drain the water. These pumps are necessary when the home’s drain system is located 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 inoperable. First, make sure that the pump is still powered. If that’s not the problem, the AC leak might be due to a broken condensate pump. You should check with an air conditioning contractor like Freschi Service Experts to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grimy or Damaged

If you see tiny drips instead of a larger puddle close to the outside of your furnace or air handler, water might be dripping off the evaporator coil instead of properly moving into the drain pan and condensate line. This can happen if the coils are dirty, or if holes in the insulation protecting the coils redirect the water. The easiest approach to prevent the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Freschi Service Experts membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you uncover a leak and the AC isn't cooling well, the refrigerant level may be lacking thanks to a leak. Air conditioners depend on refrigerant to produce cold air, so getting it checked thoroughly during seasonal maintenance is extremely beneficial for the life span of your unit. Without a full supply of refrigerant, the evaporator coils might freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Contrary to some expectations, your AC does not need to be refilled unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only needed when a leak occurs within the system. Call Freschi Service Experts immediately to resolve AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter has to be changed regularly to ensure proper 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 producing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem persists, more repairs might be required. Thankfully, HVAC technicians from Freschi Service Experts are here to serve you, ensuring the problem gets resolved.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are made to run during warm weather. Running your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or below 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 due to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Freschi Service Experts technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are built to last, but nothing lasts forever. If you own an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan could be damaged or corroded due to normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak can appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Freschi Service Experts can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working properly.

Our Experts Can Tackle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Freschi Service Experts can help. 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 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 can help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, sooner so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cooler.

Contact us at 925-384-1303 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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