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Ask John AC Leaking Water Main Image

Why Is My AC Leaking Water?

John Turpin is our resident home service repair expert here at Service Direct. He’s got the knowledge and experience to help homeowners like you make sense of most home repair issues. And with Service Direct, we connect you with top-tier service professionals to help with any repairs needed.

Find Out Why Your AC Is Leaking Water

Air conditioning systems play a vital role in keeping homes cool and comfortable. But sometimes, they encounter issues that require attention. One common problem is an AC unit leaking water. If you’ve noticed water pooling around your AC unit, it’s essential to understand why it’s happening and take appropriate measures to fix it.

AC Leaking Water
Get professional support from an HVAC professional when you notice water leaks coming from your AC.

Why Is My AC Unit Leaking Water and How do I Fix It?

Clogged Condensate Drain Line

One of the most frequent causes of AC water leaks is a clogged condensate drain line. This drain line is responsible for carrying away the condensation produced by the cooling process. Over time, it can become blocked by dirt, debris, algae, or mold growth, leading to water backup and leakage.

To fix this, locate the condensate drain line and check for any visible clogs. Use a wet/dry vacuum or a pipe cleaner to remove the obstruction. Regularly maintain the drain line by flushing it with a mixture of bleach and water to prevent future clogs.

Frozen Evaporator Coil

If the evaporator coil inside your AC unit becomes frozen, it can result in water leakage when the ice melts. Several factors can cause the coil to freeze, including dirty air filters, restricted airflow, low refrigerant levels, or a malfunctioning blower motor.

The solution to this is to turn off the AC system and allow the ice to thaw. Inspect and replace dirty filters regularly. If the problem persists, consult a professional HVAC technician to diagnose and address the underlying issues, such as refrigerant leaks or faulty components.

Improper Installation

You asked yourself, “Why is my aircon leaking water?” Maybe it wasn’t properly installed. Incorrect installation of the AC unit can lead to water damage, particularly when not correctly leveled. This can cause condensation to collect and overflow. Also, incorrect placement of condensate drain plan or a disconnected drain line can contribute to leaks.

Consult with a qualified HVAC technician to ensure proper installation of your AC system. They will ensure the unit is level, the condensate drain pan is correctly positioned, and the drain line is securely connected.

Damaged or Disconnected Drain Pan

The drain pan collects the condensation that drips from the evaporator coil. If it is cracked, rusted, or improperly installed, it can result in water leakage. In this case, the solution starts with inspecting the drain pan for damage. Replace a damaged pan and ensure it is properly installed. It’s recommended to consult a professional if you are unsure or if the issue persists.

Oversized AC Unit

Another possible reason why your AC unit is leaking water is it’s oversized. An AC unit that is oversized for the space may lead to water leakage due to cooling the air too quickly. Because of this, it may not have enough time to remove humidity adequately. The excess moisture can then accumulate and lead to leaks.

For this, consult with an HVAC professional to assess your cooling needs and determine if your AC unit is appropriately sized. If necessary, consider replacing the unit with one that is better suited for your home’s size.

Our resident home repair guru, John Turpin, discusses some common reasons your AC is dripping water along with clever DIY insights and solutions.

Dirty or Blocked Air Filters

Dirty or blocked air filters restrict airflow, causing the evaporator coil to become colder than normal. This can result in excessive condensation and water leakage. To address this problem, clean and replace your air filters regularly as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. This will improve airflow and prevent issues associated with a dirty evaporator coil.

High Humidity Levels

In regions with high humidity, the AC unit may struggle to adequately dehumidify the air. This can lead to excessive condensation and water leakage. If this is what happens with your AC, consider using a dehumidifier along with your unit to reduce indoor humidity levels. This will alleviate the strain on the AC and help prevent water leaks.

Improperly Sealed Air Handlers

Air handlers, particularly those installed in crawl spaces or attics, require proper sealing to prevent air leaks. If the air handler is not adequately sealed, warm and humid air from the surrounding space can enter the unit. This can lead to condensation and water leakage.

Malfunctioning Condensate Pump

In some AC systems, especially those in basements or below-ground installations, a condensate pump is used to remove the water collected in the drain pan. If the condensate pump malfunctions or becomes clogged, it can cause water to back up and leak.

Check the condensate pump for any visible issues, such as blockages or malfunctions. Clean or replace the pump as necessary. If your AC continues to leak, consult with an HVAC technician to have the unit inspected and repaired.

Low Refrigerant Levels

Insufficient refrigerant in the AC system can cause the evaporator coil to become too cold. This can lead to excessive condensation, which may overwhelm the drain pan and result in water leakage. If you suspect low refrigerant levels, it’s important to contact a professional HVAC technician to inspect your system for leaks, repair any found, and recharge the refrigerant to appropriate levels.

Refilling AC Refrigerant
Leaky AC’s are best diagnosed by traned and qualified HVAC professionals.

Leaky Air Conditioner FAQs

Should I repair a leaking AC by myself?

While some AC leakage issues can be resolved with basic troubleshooting and maintenance, it’s generally recommended to seek professional assistance for AC repairs. HVAC technicians have the expertise and specialized tools to diagnose and fix complex issues accurately. Attempting to repair an AC system without the necessary knowledge and experience may lead to further damage or personal injury.

Can regular maintenance help prevent water leaks?

Yes, regular AC maintenance is crucial to preventing water leaks. Scheduling annual maintenance with a professional HVAC technician can help identify and address potential issues before they lead to leakage. Maintenance tasks typically include cleaning the system, inspecting and repairing components, checking refrigerant levels, and ensuring proper drainage.

How do I know if my AC is leaking water?

There are a few signs that indicate your AC may be leaking water, including puddles around the indoor unit or near the drain line and dripping sounds coming from the AC system. Other signs include water stains and discoloration on walls, ceilings, or floors and moldy or musty odors near the AC unit. It’s also a sign that your AC might be leaking water if it’s blowing warm air or is showing decreased cooling performance.

Is AC water leakage a serious problem?

A leaking AC should not be ignored as it can lead to various issues. Water damage to your property, including walls, ceiling, and flooring, can occur when you leave an AC leaking water alone. Also, excessive moisture can promote mold and mildew growth, which can negatively impact indoor air quality and pose health risks. Water leakage may also indicate underlying issues within the AC system that require attention to prevent further damage.

How can I prevent AC from leaking?

There are various things you can do, starting with scheduling annual maintenance. Besides that, clean and replace filters as recommended, clear the condensate drain line, and monitor the humidity levels of your air conditioning system. Lastly, ensure that your unit is installed correctly by a qualified HVAC technician.

Hire a Local HVAC Pro

Diagnosing and resolving AC water leaks can be complex. When you’re struggling to resolve the issue, it’s best to consult with a professional HVAC technician. Contact a local expert using the phone number or form on this page.

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