5 Reasons Your AC Is Leaking Water & How To Fix It
Feb 17, 2023
Why is water leaking when I run my air conditioner? Water leaking when your AC unit is running is a common issue confusing many homeowners. It can be confusing as you don’t supply water to the AC, so the source and cause of the leak can be unclear.
The answer is the natural production of condensation. As the air conditioner operates, it draws in humid air, which condenses on the cold coils and forms droplets that eventually drop to the bottom of the unit. The water is removed through the drain line and carried safely outdoors when your AC works properly. However, if you have to ask yourself why your air conditioner is leaking water, something has gone wrong.
As AC pros, Simpson Sheet Metal Heating & Air Conditioning can help you determine why your AC is leaking and what can be done to fix it.
What Is Causing My Air Conditioner to Leak Water?
There are five common causes why your air conditioner might be leaking water. In most cases, a quick inspection can tell which is the problem, which will point you toward the solution.
Drain Line Clog
The drain line is a small (usually white PVC) pipe from the bottom of your AC unit. Its job is to collect the condensate water that builds up inside the unit and carry it to a safe place outdoors to drip. If your drain line clogs, however, water can’t escape and may begin to leak around the unit instead.
Some ACs have an emergency shutoff if the drain line clogs, so if your AC shuts off and you notice water on the floor, this is likely the cause. Cleaning out the drain line of dirt or debris is a simple solution.
Overflow Pan Has a Crack
Below your AC condensate valve is a drain pan, which looks exactly like it sounds. The drain pain is supposed to catch any drips from your AC just in case the drain line fails – or the outside of your AC gets cool enough to cause external condensation. Usually, water evaporates from the drain pan with no problem. However, if your overflow has a crack, that little evaporating puddle winds up on your floor instead.
The natural solution is to repair or replace your overflow pan so it can go back to catching and evaporating water.
The Air Cleaner is Dirty or Clogged
Why is your air conditioner leaking water if the drain line and overflow pan are OK? It might be the filter. If your air filter is clogged, this can lead to dust and ice buildup on the coils. Just like defrosting your freezer after a bad freezer burn, ice that builds up and thaws can result in more water from your AC, leading to overflows and leaks.
Changing your filter regularly – and having your AC coils cleaned – is the best way to stop and avoid this source of AC leaks.
The angle at which your air conditioner is installed is crucial for proper water drainage. If the condensate path is not tilted correctly from window units to drain lines, the water will not flow downhill through the proper drainage channels. Improper installation can cause your window ACs to drip from the front or home unit ACs to leak slowly instead of draining properly.
Pump Has Failed
Lastly, some AC units use a pump to make sure that condensate water moves in the right direction. If this pump fails, the condensate will build up and leak around your AC unit. Having your AC’s drain pump fixed will ensure that the water is properly directed outdoors instead of onto your floor.
Can You Use Your AC When Water Is Leaking?
It depends. If your drain pipe is clogged and your AC has an automatic shutoff, then your AC won’t work until the leak is fixed. However, in most other cases, your AC will work at a reduced capacity and continue generating water that will continue to leak.
When Do You Need To Call A Professional
Call an AC repair specialist like Simpson Sheet Metal Heating & Air Conditioning to inspect and repair your AC as soon as you notice the leak. If possible, turn off your AC and mop up the water immediately to prevent further damage to your AC unit or home from the constant condensation leak.
AC maintenance services can keep your air conditioning in good working status, and often the fix for an AC leak can be taken care of in a single visit.
Simpson Sheet Metal Heating & Air Conditioning Is Available For Repair of Water Leaking Air Conditioners
Simpson Sheet Metal Heating & Air Conditioning is committed to providing Sonoma/Marin/Napa county residents with comfortable and clean air. Whether you are facing issues with insufficient cool air from your AC or unexpected leaking, we are here to help. Contact us today if you need AC repairs or to schedule routine AC maintenance services.
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