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 collected in a drain pan and sent through piping into your home’s drain system.

Unfortunately, an error or sludge buildup may cause the piping to become clogged. When this happens, water floods the drain pan in your furnace or air handler. It can then spill into your home. This is particularly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is placed in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In most homes, municipal codes require a secondary or safety drain pan that is located underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan has piping that is sent 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 is draining from this pipe outlet. It is not normal for this to occur. If you see water leaking from piping on the outside of your home, this is likely a sign the primary drain is backed up 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 take care of the issue. Some homes could also have a safety device that will automatically turn off your AC should the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling except if the drain is cleared of any obstructions. Regardless, if you find water leaking, be sure to set your thermostat to "off" to stop any further water damage and get in touch with a Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners routinely do best with professional support, which is why we’re here to assist you at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. 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 moves over the evaporator coil, water condenses on the chilled metal surface. In the end, the water drains into a pan beneath the indoor coil inside the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence continues, the condensate flows out of the pan and into drain piping before the pan overflows.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris could clog the drain. This keeps the water from draining away properly. Entrust the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to make sure it’s completed properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also install a safety device that will automatically shut off your AC just in case the drain becomes blocked again sometime after, thus avoiding water damage inside your home. Of course, consistent maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clean and unobstructed.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While somewhat rare, the drain line connection to the drain pan could become loose or disconnected. This can be the cause if someone is working near the unit or when swapping out the air filter. AC leaks might occur when the drain line is disconnected from the pan. Take a look inside 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 repair this issue immediately. Request an appointment with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners require a condensate pump to adequately drain the water. These pumps are compulsory when the home’s drain system is located above the AC unit. Even if the drain is free of obstructions, water can back up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is not functioning. First, determine 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 check with an air conditioning contractor like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grimy or Cracked

If you see little drips instead of a larger puddle close to the outside of your furnace or air handler, water could be dripping off the evaporator coil compared to properly flowing into the drain pan and condensate line. This can happen if the coils are dirty, or if holes in the insulation surrounding the coils redirect the water. The smart approach to stop 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 uncover a leak and the AC isn't cooling like it’s supposed to, the refrigerant level may be insufficient due to a leak. Air conditioners use refrigerant to generate cold air, so getting it looked at regularly during seasonal maintenance is very important for the life span of your unit. Without adequate 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 refilled unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only done when a leak appears inside the system. Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning as soon as possible to repair AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter should be changed regularly to produce adequate airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils can 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 remains, more repairs might be the best option. Thankfully, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are happy to serve you, ensuring the problem gets solved.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are built to provide enough cooling for warm weather. Running 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 may lead to an overflow thanks 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 possess an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan could 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 Heating & Air Conditioning can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working like it’s supposed to.

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 solve the issue. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again as soon as possible.

Our technicians are well 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 recommend a worry-free membership plan. This could help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, faster so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house comfortable.

Contact us at 330-236-4793 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

Contact Us