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

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

Unfortunately, a malfunction or sludge buildup can cause the piping to become blocked. When this happens, water returns to the drain pan inside your furnace or air handler. It can then spill into your home. This is decidedly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is placed in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In a majority of homes, building codes demand 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. Typically, the outlet of the pipe is placed 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 often a sign the primary drain is blocked 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 could also use a safety device that should automatically shut off your AC if the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling except if the drain is cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you notice water leaking, be sure to set your thermostat to "off" to stop anymore water damage and get in touch with a Norrell Service Experts service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners frequently do best with professional repairs, which is why we’re here to assist you at Norrell 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 runs along the evaporator coil, water forms on the chilled metal surface. At the end of the process, the water drains into a pan beneath the indoor coil within the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence takes place, 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 prevents the water from flowing away correctly. Entrust the unclogging process to an Expert like Norrell Service Experts for the peace of mind it’s handled properly and without causing more damage. Service Experts can also install a safety device that will quickly switch off your AC just in case the drain becomes backed up again later on, thus avoiding water damage in your home. Of course, consistent maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clear and unobstructed.

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 swapping out the air filter. AC leaks may occur when the drain line disconnects from the pan. Take a look inside 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 repair this issue immediately. Request an appointment with Norrell Service Experts today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners rely on a condensate pump to efficiently 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 could back up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is inoperable. First, determine that the pump is still powered. If that’s not the case, the AC leak might be due to a broken condensate pump. You should check with an air conditioning contractor like Norrell Service Experts to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grimy or Cracked

If you see little drips in lieu of a larger puddle close to the outside of your furnace or air handler, water could be bouncing off the evaporator coil compared to properly flowing 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 smart approach to prevent the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Norrell Service Experts membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you find 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 generate cold air, so getting it checked regularly during seasonal maintenance is very beneficial for the working condition of your unit. Without adequate refrigerant, the evaporator coils may freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Contrary to some expectations, your AC does not need to be refilled unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only required when a leak appears in the system. Call Norrell Service Experts right away to resolve AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter needs to 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 accumulate in the drain pan—sometimes producing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem remains, further repairs may be necessary. Thankfully, HVAC technicians from Norrell Service Experts are willing and able to serve you, ensuring the problem gets fixed.

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 could 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 Norrell 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 might 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. Norrell Service Experts can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working like it’s supposed to.

Our Experts Can Handle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Norrell Service Experts 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 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 could help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, promptly so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cool.

Contact us at 205-267-0023 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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