Is Your Air Conditioning Leaking Water? Here Are 8 Possible Reasons Why

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 generates condensate, or water, in your furnace or air handler. This water is normally kept in a drain pan and routed through piping into your home’s drain system.

As a side effect, faulty components or sludge buildup could cause the piping to become backed up. When this happens, water returns to the drain pan within 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, municipal codes require a secondary or safety drain pan that is installed 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 placed above the outside of a window so it’s easily noticeable if water starts 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 evidence the primary drain is backed up 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 take care of the issue. Some homes could also possess a safety device that can automatically turn off your AC should the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling until the drain is cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you spot water leaking, be sure to set your thermostat to "off" to minimize anymore water damage and get in touch with a Jack Nelson Service Experts service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners routinely need professional repairs, which is why we’re here to assist you at Jack Nelson 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 reaches the evaporator coil, water appears on the cold metal surface. In the end, the water drains into a pan underneath the indoor coil inside the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence continues, 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 keeps the water from moving away like it’s supposed to. Trust the unclogging process to an Expert like Jack Nelson Service Experts for the peace of mind it’s completed properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also put in a safety device that will autonomously switch off your AC in the event 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 clean and unobstructed.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While uncommon, the drain line connection to the drain pan may become loose or disconnected. This may be the cause if someone is working close to the unit or when swapping out the air filter. AC leaks can occur when the drain line disconnects from the pan. Inspect your AC to see if the drain line is still leading to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we encourage calling an HVAC technician to take care of this issue right away. Schedule an appointment with Jack Nelson Service Experts today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners require a condensate pump to adequately drain the water. These pumps are necessary when the home’s drain system is placed above the AC unit. Even if the drain is clear, water might back up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is broken. First, determine that the pump is currently powered. If that’s not the case, the AC leak may be due to a broken condensate pump. You should call an air conditioning contractor like Jack Nelson Service Experts to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grubby or Damaged

If you see little drips rather than a more substantial puddle near the outside of your furnace or air handler, water may be splashing off the evaporator coil rather than properly flowing into the drain pan and condensate line. This can occur if the coils are grimy, or if holes in the insulation protecting the coils redirect the water. The best approach to keep the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Jack Nelson Service Experts membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you discover a leak and the AC isn't cooling properly, the refrigerant level may be lacking due to a leak. Air conditioners need refrigerant to create cold air, so getting it inspected regularly during seasonal maintenance is highly useful for the working condition of your unit. Without a full supply of refrigerant, the evaporator coils can freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Opposite of some expectations, your AC does not need to be refilled unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only done when a leak appears in the system. Call Jack Nelson Service Experts immediately to repair 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 can become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to fill in the drain pan—potentially producing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem doesn’t go away, further repairs might be required. Thankfully, HVAC technicians from Jack Nelson Service Experts are here to serve you, ensuring the problem gets solved.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are designed to run during warm weather. Starting 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 Jack Nelson 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 lasts forever. If you possess an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan may be damaged or corroded due to normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak could appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Jack Nelson Service Experts can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working like it’s supposed to.

Our Experts Can Handle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Jack Nelson 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 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 suggest a worry-free membership plan. This will sometimes help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, promptly so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house comfortable.

Contact us at 918-212-8927 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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