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

Unfortunately, an error or sludge buildup could cause the piping to become blocked. When this happens, water floods the drain pan within your furnace or air handler. It can then reach your home. This is decidedly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is placed in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In a majority of homes, municipal codes demand a secondary or safety drain pan that is put underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan uses piping that is directed to the outside of the home. In general, the outlet of the pipe is found above the outside of a window so it’s quickly noticeable if water is 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 clogged and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most frequent explanations for why your AC is leaking water and how to resolve the issue. Some homes could also possess 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 except if the drain is cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you notice water leaking, be sure to set your thermostat to "off" to minimize any further water damage and contact a Barlow Service Experts service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners frequently demand professional support, which is why we’re here to assist you at Barlow 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 moves over the evaporator coil, water condenses on the chilly metal surface. Ultimately, the water drains into a pan under the indoor coil in 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 can clog the drain. This prevents the water from draining away like it’s supposed to. Leave the unclogging process to an Expert like Barlow Service Experts for the peace of mind it’s done properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also add a safety device that will automatically switch off your AC just in case the drain becomes clogged again in the future, thus preventing water damage inside your home. Of course, consistent maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain flushed and unhindered.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While not very common, the drain line connection to the drain pan could become loose or disconnected. This will sometimes occur if someone is working close to the unit or when changing out the air filter. AC leaks might occur when the drain line breaks free from the pan. Check your AC to determine 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 take care of this issue immediately. Schedule an appointment with Barlow Service Experts today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners rely on a condensate pump to properly drain the water. These pumps are required when the home’s drain system is located above the AC unit. Even if the drain is unobstructed, water could build up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is malfunctioning. First, determine that the pump is currently powered. If that’s not the problem, the AC leak could be due to a broken condensate pump. You should check with an air conditioning contractor like Barlow Service Experts to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grimy or Broken

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 splashing off the evaporator coil instead of properly moving into the drain pan and condensate line. This can happen if the coils are soiled, or if holes in the insulation around the coils redirect the water. The smart approach to stop the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Barlow Service Experts membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you find a leak and the AC isn't cooling enough, the refrigerant level may be low thanks to a leak. Air conditioners count on refrigerant to produce cold air, so getting it checked thoroughly during seasonal maintenance is highly beneficial for the working condition of your unit. Without a full supply of refrigerant, the evaporator coils may freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Opposite of some expectations, your AC does not need to be replenished unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only required when a leak occurs within the system. Call Barlow Service Experts right away to take care of AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter needs to be changed regularly to encourage 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 starting an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem remains, additional repairs will sometimes be necessary. Fortunately, HVAC technicians from Barlow Service Experts are ready to serve you, ensuring the problem gets solved.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are designed to be used during warm weather. Running 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 may lead to an overflow due to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Barlow Service Experts technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are designed to last, but nothing survives forever. If you have an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan could be damaged or corroded after years of normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak can appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Barlow 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, Barlow Service Experts can repair the damage. 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 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 may help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, sooner so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cool.

Contact us at 801-436-8985 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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