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

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

Unfortunately, damaged pipes or sludge buildup could cause the piping to become clogged. When this happens, water floods the drain pan within 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, building codes require a secondary or safety drain pan that is located underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan uses piping that is sent to the outside of the home. In general, 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 spilling from piping on the outside of your home, this is usually a sign the primary drain is blocked 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 fix the issue. Some homes may also use a safety device that can automatically shut off your AC in the event the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling except if the drain is free of any obstructions. Regardless, if you find water leaking, be sure to set your thermostat to "off" to prevent anymore water damage and get in touch with a Pardee Service Experts service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners frequently demand professional help, which is why we’re here to assist you at Pardee Service Experts. We consistently 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 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 could clog the drain. This stops the water from draining away like it’s supposed to. Entrust the unclogging process to an Expert like Pardee Service Experts for the peace of mind it’s handled properly and without causing further damage. Service Experts can also install a safety device that will autonomously switch off your AC in the event the drain becomes backed up 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 unobstructed.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While not very common, the drain line connection to the drain pan may become loose or disconnected. This may occur if someone is working nearby the unit or when replacing the air filter. AC leaks can occur when the drain line is disconnected from the pan. Inspect your AC to see if the drain line is still connected to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we encourage calling an HVAC technician to repair this issue right away. Make an appointment with Pardee Service Experts today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners use a condensate pump to efficiently drain the water. These pumps are necessary when the home’s drain system is found 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 malfunctioning. First, double-check 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 call an air conditioning contractor like Pardee Service Experts to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grubby or Cracked

If you see tiny drips rather than a larger puddle close to the outside of your furnace or air handler, water may be splashing off the evaporator coil compared to properly moving into the drain pan and condensate line. This can take place if the coils are dirty, or if holes in the insulation protecting the coils redirect the water. The smartest approach to keep the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Pardee Service Experts membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you find a leak and the AC isn't cooling enough, the refrigerant level may be insufficient thanks to a leak. Air conditioners require refrigerant to generate cold air, so getting it checked regularly during seasonal maintenance is very useful for the health of your unit. Without enough refrigerant, the evaporator coils may freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Contrary to some expectations, your AC does not need to be refilled unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only needed when a leak happens in the system. Call Pardee Service Experts immediately to take care of AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter has to be changed regularly to encourage proper airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils may 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 may be required. Fortunately, HVAC technicians from Pardee Service Experts are here to serve you, ensuring the problem gets resolved.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are made 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 potentially create an overflow due to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Pardee 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 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. Pardee Service Experts can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working normally.

Our Experts Can Meet All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Pardee Service Experts can solve the issue. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again right away.

Our technicians are thoroughly trained, knowledgeable and certified to complete 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 advise signing up for a worry-free membership plan. This can help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, sooner so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house comfortable.

Contact us at 843-410-6103 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

Contact Us