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

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

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

In a majority of homes, municipal codes necessitate a secondary or safety drain pan that is installed underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan possesses piping that is directed to the outside of the home. Usually, the outlet of the pipe is placed 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 a sign 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 fix the issue. Some homes can also have a safety device that should automatically turn 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 discover water leaking, be sure to set your thermostat to "off" to avoid any additional water damage and get in touch with a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners often require professional support, 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 reaches the evaporator coil, water collects on the cold metal surface. Ultimately, the water drains into a pan underneath 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 fills up.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris might clog the drain. This keeps the water from moving away correctly. Trust the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to ensure it’s performed properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also add a safety device that will automatically switch off your AC in the event the drain becomes backed up again later on, thus preventing water damage in your home. Of course, consistent maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clean and unhampered.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While somewhat rare, the drain line connection to the drain pan can become loose or disconnected. This will sometimes occur if someone is working around 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 leading to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we suggest calling an HVAC technician to resolve this issue immediately. Schedule an appointment with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners use a condensate pump to properly drain the water. These pumps are compulsory when the home’s drain system is put above the AC unit. Even if the drain is free of obstructions, water might collect in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is faulty. 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 to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grimy or Broken

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

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you find a leak and the AC isn't cooling properly, the refrigerant level may be low because of a leak. Air conditioners rely on refrigerant to generate cold air, so getting it looked at thoroughly during seasonal maintenance is very useful for the working condition of your unit. Without enough refrigerant, the evaporator coils could freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Opposite of some expectations, your AC does not need to be recharged unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only required when a leak occurs inside the system. Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning as soon as you can to take care of AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter needs to be changed regularly to produce proper airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils may become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to fill in the drain pan—sometimes producing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem lasts, further repairs might be necessary. Fortunately, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are here to serve you, ensuring the problem gets resolved.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are built to provide enough cooling for warm weather. Starting your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or below could cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and may lead to an overflow thanks 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 designed to last, but nothing lasts 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 might 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 Meet All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can fix the problem. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again right away.

Our technicians are thoroughly trained, knowledgeable and certified to provide quality 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, promptly so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cooler.

Contact us at 318-588-8163 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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