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

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 typically sent to a drain pan and transported through piping into your home’s drain system.

As a side effect, damaged pipes or sludge buildup can cause the piping to become clogged. When this happens, water backs up in the drain pan inside your furnace or air handler. It can then leak into your home. This is namely troublesome if your furnace or air handler is kept in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In the bulk of homes, building 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 placed 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 spilling from piping on the outside of your home, this is often evidence the primary drain is blocked and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most frequent reasons for why your AC is leaking water and how to take care of the issue. Some homes could also use a safety device that will automatically turn off your AC in the event 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, be sure to set your thermostat to "off" to avoid any additional water damage and contact a Wesley Wood Service Experts service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners often need professional servicing, which is why we’re here to assist you at Wesley Wood 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 forms on the cold metal surface. Ultimately, the water drains into a pan under the indoor coil inside 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 stops the water from draining away properly. Entrust the unclogging process to an Expert like Wesley Wood Service Experts for the peace of mind it’s done properly and without causing more damage. Service Experts can also put in a safety device that will automatically turn off your AC in the event the drain becomes clogged again in the future, thus preventing water damage in your home. Of course, consistent maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clear and unhampered.

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 nearby the unit or when replacing the air filter. AC leaks may occur when the drain line is disconnected from the pan. Check your AC to find out 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 resolve this issue immediately. Make an appointment with Wesley Wood Service Experts 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 clear, water may build up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is malfunctioning. First, determine that the pump is being powered. If that’s not the root cause, the AC leak may be due to a broken condensate pump. You should contact an air conditioning contractor like Wesley Wood Service Experts to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Dirty or Damaged

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

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you discover a leak and the AC isn't cooling well, the refrigerant level may be insufficient because of a leak. Air conditioners depend on refrigerant to generate cold air, so getting it inspected regularly during seasonal maintenance is very important for the health of your unit. Without enough refrigerant, the evaporator coils might freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Despite some expectations, your AC does not need to be recharged unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only needed when a leak appears within the system. Call Wesley Wood Service Experts as soon as you can to resolve AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter should be changed regularly to ensure adequate airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils may become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to fill in the drain pan—possibly causing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem lasts, more repairs will sometimes be needed. Fortunately, HVAC technicians from Wesley Wood Service Experts are here to serve you, ensuring the problem gets fixed.

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 will sometimes 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 Wesley Wood 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 use 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 can appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Wesley Wood 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, Wesley Wood Service Experts can solve the issue. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again without delay.

Our technicians are highly 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 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 484-401-7577 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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