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

A byproduct of this process, faulty components or sludge buildup can cause the piping to become blocked. When this happens, water backs up in the drain pan within your furnace or air handler. It can then reach your home. This is particularly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is located in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In most 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. Usually, the outlet of the pipe is found above the outside of a window so it’s easily noticeable if water is 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 an indication the primary drain is backed up 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 repair the issue. Some homes may also possess a safety device that will automatically turn off your AC if the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling except if the drain is cleared of any obstructions. Regardless, if you spot water leaking, be sure to set your thermostat to "off" to minimize anymore water damage and reach out to a Service Experts Home Services by Enercare service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners often demand professional support, which is why we’re here to assist you at Service Experts Home Services by Enercare. 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 forms on the chilled metal surface. Ultimately, the water drains into a pan underneath the indoor coil within the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence occurs, the condensate flows out of the pan and into drain piping before the pan becomes full.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris might clog the drain. This prevents the water from draining away properly. Trust the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Home Services by Enercare to ensure it’s handled properly and without causing further damage. Service Experts can also install a safety device that will automatically shut off your AC if the drain becomes backed up again later on, thus avoiding water damage inside your home. Of course, scheduling maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain flushed and unobstructed.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While uncommon, the drain line connection to the drain pan can become loose or disconnected. This may be the cause if someone is working around the unit or when swapping out the air filter. AC leaks might occur when the drain line disconnects from the pan. Take a look inside your AC to see if the drain line is still attached to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we encourage calling an HVAC technician to take care of this issue as soon as possible. Arrange an appointment with Service Experts Home Services by Enercare today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners use a condensate pump to properly drain the water. These pumps are necessary when the home’s drain system is placed above the AC unit. Even if the drain is unobstructed, water might collect in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is faulty. First, determine that the pump is currently powered. If that’s not the problem, the AC leak may be due to a broken condensate pump. You should contact an air conditioning contractor like Service Experts Home Services by Enercare to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grubby or Damaged

If you see tiny drips rather than a more substantial puddle near the outside of your furnace or air handler, water could be dripping off the evaporator coil instead of properly moving 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 stop the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Service Experts Home Services by Enercare membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you notice a leak and the AC isn't cooling like it’s supposed to, the refrigerant level may be insufficient because of a leak. Air conditioners depend on refrigerant to produce cold air, so getting it checked regularly during seasonal maintenance is incredibly important for the health of your unit. Without adequate refrigerant, the evaporator coils could 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 occurs inside the system. Call Service Experts Home Services by Enercare right away to repair 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 fill in the drain pan—sometimes producing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem sticks around, further repairs may be necessary. Fortunately, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Home Services by Enercare are willing and able to serve you, ensuring the problem gets solved.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are made to run during warm weather. Using your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or lower could 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 Service Experts Home Services by Enercare technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are designed to last, but nothing lives forever. If you have an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan might be damaged or corroded even with normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak might appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Service Experts Home Services by Enercare 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, Service Experts Home Services by Enercare can fix the problem. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again right away.

Our technicians are highly trained, knowledgeable and certified to provide exemplary 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 recommend a worry-free membership plan. This will sometimes help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, sooner so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cooler.

Contact us at 289-273-2229 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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