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

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 produces condensate, or water, in your furnace or air handler. This water is usually sent to a drain pan and routed through piping into your home’s drain system.

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

In most homes, building codes necessitate a secondary or safety drain pan that is found underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan possesses piping that is sent 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 starts 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 clogged and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most common causes for why your AC is leaking water and how to fix the issue. Some homes will also have a safety device that can automatically turn off your AC in the event the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling until the drain is free of any obstructions. Regardless, if you discover water leaking, make sure to set your thermostat to "off" to minimize any further water damage and reach out to a Broad Ripple Service Experts service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners frequently require professional servicing, which is why we’re here to assist you at Broad Ripple 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 reaches the evaporator coil, water forms on the cold metal surface. Ultimately, the water drains into a pan underneath 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 could clog the drain. This keeps the water from draining away properly. Leave the unclogging process to an Expert like Broad Ripple Service Experts for the peace of mind it’s handled properly and without causing further damage. Service Experts can also install a safety device that will autonomously switch off your AC just in case the drain becomes backed up again sometime after, thus minimizing water damage within your home. Of course, regular maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain flushed and unhindered.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While unusual, the drain line connection to the drain pan may become loose or disconnected. This may occur if someone is working near the unit or when swapping out the air filter. AC leaks can occur when the drain line is lose from the pan. Check your AC to determine if the drain line is still connected to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we suggest calling an HVAC technician to resolve this issue immediately. Arrange an appointment with Broad Ripple Service Experts today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners require a condensate pump to properly drain the water. These pumps are necessary when the home’s drain system is put above the AC unit. Even if the drain is free of obstructions, water can collect in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is damaged. First, determine that the pump is being powered. If that’s not the problem, the AC leak may be due to a broken condensate pump. You should check with an air conditioning contractor like Broad Ripple Service Experts to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grimy or Cracked

If you see little drips in favor of a more substantial puddle near the outside of your furnace or air handler, water may be bouncing off the evaporator coil rather than properly flowing into the drain pan and condensate line. This can take place if the coils are dirty, or if holes in the insulation around 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 Broad Ripple Service Experts 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 thanks to a leak. Air conditioners need refrigerant to create cold air, so getting it inspected regularly during seasonal maintenance is highly beneficial for the working condition of your unit. Without enough refrigerant, the evaporator coils might freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Opposite of some expectations, your AC does not need to be recharged unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only done when a leak happens in the system. Call Broad Ripple Service Experts as soon as possible to resolve AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter has to be changed regularly to ensure adequate airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils can 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 lasts, further repairs may be the best option. Fortunately, HVAC technicians from Broad Ripple Service Experts are ready 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. Using 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 Broad Ripple Service Experts technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are built to last, but nothing lives forever. If you own 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 might appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Broad Ripple Service Experts can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working like it’s supposed to.

Our Experts Can Meet All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Broad Ripple Service Experts can fix the problem. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again as soon as possible.

Our technicians are highly trained, knowledgeable and certified to perform 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 can help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, promptly so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house comfortable.

Contact us at 317-527-0271 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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