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

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

Unfortunately, damaged pipes or sludge buildup can cause the piping to become backed up. When this happens, water backs up in the drain pan in your furnace or air handler. It can then reach your home. This is decidedly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is up in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In most homes, municipal codes demand a secondary or safety drain pan that is found underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan uses piping that is routed to the outside of the home. Most of the time, the outlet of the pipe is found above the outside of a window so it’s more 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 often an indication the primary drain is clogged and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most general explanations for why your AC is leaking water and how to resolve the issue. Some homes can also have a safety device that can automatically turn off your AC if the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling unless the drain is free of any obstructions. Regardless, if you spot water leaking, make sure to set your thermostat to "off" to minimize any other water damage and contact a Teays Valley Service Experts service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners routinely demand professional help, which is why we’re here to assist you at Teays Valley 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 reaches the evaporator coil, water condenses 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 occurs, the condensate flows out of the pan and into drain piping before the pan overflows.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris might clog the drain. This keeps the water from moving away like it’s supposed to. Leave the unclogging process to an Expert like Teays Valley Service Experts for the peace of mind it’s handled properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also add a safety device that will quickly shut off your AC just in case the drain becomes blocked again sometime after, thus preventing water damage inside your home. Of course, consistent maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clear and unhampered.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While not very common, the drain line connection to the drain pan can become loose or disconnected. This will sometimes 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 is lose from the pan. Take a look inside your AC to determine if the drain line is still attached to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we suggest calling an HVAC technician to repair this issue as soon as possible. Arrange an appointment with Teays Valley Service Experts today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners use a condensate pump to adequately drain the water. These pumps are necessary when the home’s drain system is located above the AC unit. Even if the drain is free of obstructions, water might back up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is malfunctioning. First, make sure that the pump is being powered. If that’s not the case, the AC leak could be due to a broken condensate pump. You should contact an air conditioning contractor like Teays Valley Service Experts to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grimy or Broken

If you see tiny drips in favor of a more substantial puddle close to the outside of your furnace or air handler, water may be dripping off the evaporator coil instead of properly flowing into the drain pan and condensate line. This can be the case if the coils are dirty, or if holes in the insulation surrounding the coils redirect the water. The smartest approach to stop the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Teays Valley Service Experts membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you discover a leak and the AC isn't cooling well, the refrigerant level may be low thanks to a leak. Air conditioners use refrigerant to produce cold air, so getting it looked at thoroughly during seasonal maintenance is very important 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. Despite some expectations, your AC does not need to be replenished unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only done when a leak occurs inside the system. Call Teays Valley Service Experts right away to repair AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter needs to be changed regularly to produce adequate airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils could become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to fill in the drain pan—possibly starting an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem persists, further repairs may be necessary. Thankfully, HVAC technicians from Teays Valley Service Experts are happy to serve you, ensuring the problem gets solved.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are made to be used during warm weather. Using your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or below can 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 Teays Valley 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 possess 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 may appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Teays Valley Service Experts can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working normally.

Our Experts Can Tackle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Teays Valley 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 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 advise signing up for a worry-free membership plan. This will sometimes help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, more quickly so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cool.

Contact us at 304-760-5088 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

Contact Us