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 normally collected in a drain pan and sent through piping into your home’s drain system.

Unfortunately, an error or sludge buildup can cause the piping to become blocked. When this happens, water backs up in the drain pan inside 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 the bulk of homes, building 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. In general, the outlet of the pipe is located above the outside of a window so it’s easily noticeable if water is draining from this pipe outlet. It is not normal for this to occur. If you see water spilling 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 take care of the issue. Some homes will also possess 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 free of any obstructions. Regardless, if you discover water leaking, ensure you set your thermostat to "off" to stop any other water damage and get in touch with a D.A. Bennett Service Experts service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners frequently do best with professional repairs, which is why we’re here to assist you at D.A. Bennett 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 runs along the evaporator coil, water condenses on the chilly metal surface. In the end, the water drains into a pan under the indoor coil in the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence occurs, 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 draining away like it’s supposed to. Entrust the unclogging process to an Expert like D.A. Bennett Service Experts for the peace of mind it’s performed properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also add a safety device that will quickly turn off your AC just in case the drain becomes backed up again in the future, thus preventing water damage inside your home. Of course, routine maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain flushed and unobstructed.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While uncommon, the drain line connection to the drain pan could become loose or disconnected. This may happen if someone is working around the unit or when swapping out the air filter. AC leaks can occur when the drain line breaks free from the pan. Check your AC to see if the drain line is still leading 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 D.A. Bennett Service Experts today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners rely on a condensate pump to efficiently 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 not functioning. First, double-check that the pump is currently powered. If that’s not the root cause, the AC leak could be due to a broken condensate pump. You should call an air conditioning contractor like D.A. Bennett Service Experts to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Dirty or Broken

If you see little drips in favor of a bigger puddle near the outside of your furnace or air handler, water could be dripping off the evaporator coil rather than properly moving into the drain pan and condensate line. This can take place if the coils are grimy, or if holes in the insulation around the coils redirect the water. The smart approach to keep the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a D.A. Bennett Service Experts membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you uncover a leak and the AC isn't cooling well, the refrigerant level may be insufficient due to a leak. Air conditioners use refrigerant to create cold air, so getting it inspected regularly during seasonal maintenance is highly useful for the health 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 replenished unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only needed when a leak appears in the system. Call D.A. Bennett Service Experts immediately to take care of AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter needs to be changed regularly to ensure enough airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils can become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to accumulate in the drain pan—potentially starting an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem remains, more repairs will sometimes be needed. Thankfully, HVAC technicians from D.A. Bennett Service Experts are here to serve you, ensuring the problem gets fixed.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are built to provide enough cooling for warm weather. Using your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or colder may 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 D.A. Bennett Service Experts technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are made to last, but nothing lives forever. If you own an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan may be damaged or corroded after years of normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak might appear as condensate seeps directly through it. D.A. Bennett Service Experts can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working normally.

Our Experts Can Handle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, D.A. Bennett Service Experts can solve the issue. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again as soon as possible.

Our technicians are well trained, knowledgeable and certified to complete 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 can help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, promptly so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cooler.

Contact us at 518-205-3324 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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