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

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

A byproduct of this process, an error or sludge buildup can cause the piping to become blocked. When this happens, water returns to 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 placed 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 uses piping that is sent to the outside of the home. In general, the outlet of the pipe is located 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 leaking from piping on the outside of your home, this is usually an indication the primary drain is backed up and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most common reasons for why your AC is leaking water and how to resolve the issue. Some homes could also possess a safety device that can automatically switch off your AC if the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling until the drain is cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you see water leaking, ensure you set your thermostat to “off” to minimize any further water damage and call a Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners frequently demand professional help, 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 moves over the evaporator coil, water forms on the cold metal surface. Ultimately, 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 becomes full.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris can clog the drain. This keeps the water from draining away correctly. Leave the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing 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 shut off your AC if the drain becomes clogged again later on, thus avoiding water damage in your home. Of course, scheduling maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clear and open.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While not very common, the drain line connection to the drain pan could become loose or disconnected. This can happen if someone is working around the unit or when replacing the air filter. AC leaks might occur when the drain line breaks free from the pan. Check your AC to see if the drain line is still attached to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we recommend calling an HVAC technician to repair this issue as soon as possible. Arrange 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 necessary when the home’s drain system is put 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 faulty. First, make sure 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 call an air conditioning contractor like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grubby or Broken

If you see little drips in lieu of a larger puddle around the outside of your furnace or air handler, water might be dripping off the evaporator coil instead of properly moving into the drain pan and condensate line. This can take place if the coils are dirty, or if holes in the insulation smartest 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 & Plumbing membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you discover a leak and the AC isn’t cooling like it’s supposed to, the refrigerant level may be low thanks to a leak. Air conditioners rely on refrigerant to generate cold air, so getting it checked thoroughly during seasonal maintenance is highly important for the health of your unit. Without a full supply of refrigerant, the evaporator coils could 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 happens in the system. Call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing right away to repair AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner’s filter has to be changed regularly to produce 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—possibly starting an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem sticks around, additional repairs will sometimes be necessary. Fortunately, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are happy to serve you, ensuring the problem gets resolved.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are made to run during warm weather. Using your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or colder may cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and potentially create an overflow because of 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 lives forever. If you use an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan might be damaged or corroded due to 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 & Plumbing can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working normally.

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 help. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again without delay.

Our technicians are well 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 talk about enrolling in a worry-free membership plan. This may help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, more quickly 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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