Is Your Air Conditioning Leaking Water? Here Are 8 Possible Reasons Why

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

As a side effect, an error or sludge buildup can cause the piping to become backed up. 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 kept 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 possesses piping that is directed 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 dripping from piping on the outside of your home, this is often an indication 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 fix the issue. Some homes will also use a safety device that should automatically turn off your AC in the event the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling until the drain is cleared of any obstructions. Regardless, if you find water leaking, ensure you set your thermostat to “off” to avoid anymore water damage and contact a Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing 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 & Plumbing. 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 runs along the evaporator coil, water collects on the cold metal surface. Ultimately, the water drains into a pan under the indoor coil within 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 might clog the drain. This stops the water from flowing away like it’s supposed to. Entrust the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to make sure it’s completed properly and without causing further damage. Service Experts can also install a safety device that will autonomously switch off your AC if the drain becomes clogged again in the future, thus preventing water damage in your home. Of course, regular maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain flushed and unhindered.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While not very common, the drain line connection to the drain pan can become loose or disconnected. This can occur if someone is working close to the unit or when changing out the air filter. AC leaks can occur when the drain line disconnects from the pan. Inspect your AC to find out if the drain line is still fully connected to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we suggest calling an HVAC technician to resolve this issue as soon as possible. Schedule an appointment with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners need a condensate pump to properly 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 may back up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is malfunctioning. First, determine that the pump is currently powered. If that’s not the root cause, the AC leak could be due to a broken condensate pump. You should contact an air conditioning contractor like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grimy or Cracked

If you see little drips in lieu of a larger puddle around the outside of your furnace or air handler, water might be splashing off the evaporator coil rather than properly draining into the drain pan and condensate line. This can happen if the coils are soiled, or if holes in the insulation 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 & Plumbing membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you uncover a leak and the AC isn’t cooling enough, the refrigerant level may be lacking thanks to a leak. Air conditioners need refrigerant to generate cold air, so getting it looked at thoroughly during seasonal maintenance is highly beneficial for the longevity of your unit. Without a full supply of 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 recharged unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only necessary when a leak occurs inside the system. Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing as soon as possible to resolve AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner’s filter should be changed regularly to produce proper airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils could 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 sticks around, further repairs may be necessary. Luckily, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are happy to serve you, ensuring the problem gets solved.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are made to provide enough cooling for warm weather. Starting your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or colder will sometimes cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and possibly result in an overflow thanks to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are manufactured to last, but nothing survives forever. If you possess an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan may be damaged or corroded due to normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak could appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working properly.

Our Experts Can Handle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing 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 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 advise signing up for a worry-free membership plan. This may help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, promptly so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cooler.

Contact us at to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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