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 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, faulty components or sludge buildup could 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 spill 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, local codes necessitate a secondary or safety drain pan that is located 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 begins 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 an indication the primary drain is clogged and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most frequent causes for why your AC is leaking water and how to resolve the issue. Some homes can also use a safety device that should automatically turn off your AC should the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling unless the drain is cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you spot water leaking, ensure you set your thermostat to "off" to avoid anymore water damage and call a R & M Climate Control 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 R & M Climate Control 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 forms on the chilly metal surface. In the end, the water drains into a pan beneath 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 overflows.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris could clog the drain. This keeps the water from moving away like it’s supposed to. Entrust the unclogging process to an Expert like R & M Climate Control Service Experts for the peace of mind it’s completed properly and without causing more damage. Service Experts can also add a safety device that will quickly switch off your AC in the event the drain becomes backed up again sometime after, 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 not very common, the drain line connection to the drain pan can become loose or disconnected. This can be the cause if someone is working close to the unit or when replacing the air filter. AC leaks might occur when the drain line is disconnected from the pan. Take a look inside your AC to find out if the drain line is still fully connected to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we encourage calling an HVAC technician to repair this issue as soon as possible. Make an appointment with R & M Climate Control Service Experts today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners need a condensate pump to properly drain the water. These pumps are compulsory when the home’s drain system is located above the AC unit. Even if the drain is unobstructed, water could back up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is not functioning. First, make sure that the pump is being powered. If that’s not the root cause, the AC leak could be due to a broken condensate pump. You should contact an air conditioning contractor like R & M Climate Control Service Experts to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grubby or Cracked

If you see tiny drips in lieu of a more substantial puddle close to the outside of your furnace or air handler, water might be dripping off the evaporator coil compared to properly draining into the drain pan and condensate line. This can occur if the coils are soiled, or if holes in the insulation surrounding 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 R & M Climate Control Service Experts membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you discover a leak and the AC isn't cooling properly, the refrigerant level may be low thanks to a leak. Air conditioners depend on refrigerant to produce cold air, so getting it looked at regularly during seasonal maintenance is extremely important for the working condition of your unit. Without adequate 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 recharged unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only done when a leak happens within the system. Call R & M Climate Control Service Experts as soon as you can to resolve AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter should 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—sometimes producing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem doesn’t go away, additional repairs may be necessary. Thankfully, HVAC technicians from R & M Climate Control Service Experts are ready to serve you, ensuring the problem gets fixed.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are designed to provide enough cooling for warm weather. Using 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 may lead to an overflow thanks to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a R & M Climate Control 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 even with normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak can appear as condensate seeps directly through it. R & M Climate Control 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, R & M Climate Control Service Experts can repair the damage. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again without delay.

Our technicians are highly 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 talk about enrolling in 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 cool.

Contact us at 865-229-6176 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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