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

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

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

In a majority of homes, municipal codes demand a secondary or safety drain pan that is installed underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan has piping that is directed to the outside of the home. In general, 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 dripping from piping on the outside of your home, this is usually evidence 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 repair the issue. Some homes will also use a safety device that can automatically shut off your AC should the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling until the drain is free of any obstructions. Regardless, if you find water leaking, be sure to set your thermostat to "off" to stop any additional water damage and call a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners routinely need professional help, which is why we’re here to assist you at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. 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 collects on the cold metal surface. Ultimately, the water drains into a pan beneath 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 fills up.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris could clog the drain. This stops the water from moving away correctly. Trust the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to ensure it’s completed properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also add a safety device that will autonomously turn off your AC if the drain becomes backed up again sometime after, thus minimizing water damage in your home. Of course, consistent maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain flushed and unhampered.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While uncommon, the drain line connection to the drain pan can become loose or disconnected. This can happen if someone is working nearby the unit or when replacing the air filter. AC leaks might occur when the drain line disconnects from the pan. Check your AC to see if the drain line is still connected to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we recommend calling an HVAC technician to resolve this issue as soon as possible. Make an appointment with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners require a condensate pump to efficiently drain the water. These pumps are required when the home’s drain system is placed above the AC unit. Even if the drain is clear, water could back up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is damaged. First, make sure that the pump is still powered. If that’s not the root cause, the AC leak might be due to a broken condensate pump. You should contact an air conditioning contractor like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Dirty or Cracked

If you see tiny drips in favor of a bigger puddle near the outside of your furnace or air handler, water could be splashing off the evaporator coil compared to properly moving into the drain pan and condensate line. This can happen if the coils are soiled, or if holes in the insulation protecting the coils redirect the water. The easiest approach to keep the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you notice a leak and the AC isn't cooling properly, the refrigerant level may be low because of a leak. Air conditioners rely on refrigerant to create cold air, so getting it looked at consistently during seasonal maintenance is incredibly beneficial for the working condition of your unit. Without adequate refrigerant, the evaporator coils can freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Despite some expectations, your AC does not need to be refilled unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only necessary when a leak appears inside the system. Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning as soon as you can to take care of AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter needs to be changed regularly to encourage enough airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils may become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to accumulate in the drain pan—sometimes creating an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem doesn’t go away, further repairs might be the best option. Fortunately, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning 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. Running your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or colder 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 due to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning 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 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. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning 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, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can repair the damage. 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 perform dependable 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 talk about enrolling in a worry-free membership plan. This can help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, faster so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cool.

Contact us at 330-305-2799 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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