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

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 kept in a drain pan and routed through piping into your home’s drain system.

A byproduct of this process, an error or sludge buildup can cause the piping to become clogged. When this happens, water returns to the drain pan in your furnace or air handler. It can then reach your home. This is decidedly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is located in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In the bulk of homes, local codes require a secondary or safety drain pan that is installed underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan uses piping that is routed 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 begins 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 often an indication the primary drain is clogged and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most frequent reasons for why your AC is leaking water and how to repair the issue. Some homes may also have a safety device that will automatically switch off your AC in the event the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling until the drain is cleared of any obstructions. Regardless, if you find water leaking, be sure to set your thermostat to "off" to prevent any other water damage and contact a D&K Home Services by Enercare service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners often do best with professional help, which is why we’re here to assist you at D&K Home Services by Enercare. We happily 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 appears on the chilled metal surface. In the end, the water drains into a pan under 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 fills up.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris could clog the drain. This stops the water from flowing away correctly. Entrust the unclogging process to an Expert like D&K Home Services by Enercare to guarantee it’s completed properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also add a safety device that will quickly switch off your AC just in case the drain becomes backed up again in the future, thus minimizing water damage within your home. Of course, consistent maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clear and unhampered.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While somewhat rare, the drain line connection to the drain pan may become loose or disconnected. This may be the cause if someone is working close to the unit or when replacing the air filter. AC leaks might occur when the drain line breaks free from the pan. Take a look inside your AC to see if the drain line is still fully connected to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we recommend calling an HVAC technician to take care of this issue as soon as possible. Make an appointment with D&K Home Services by Enercare today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners need a condensate pump to efficiently drain the water. These pumps are required when the home’s drain system is placed above the AC unit. Even if the drain is clear, water could collect in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is damaged. First, double-check that the pump is still powered. If that’s not the problem, the AC leak might be due to a broken condensate pump. You should call an air conditioning contractor like D&K Home Services by Enercare to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grimy or Cracked

If you see tiny drips in lieu of a larger puddle close to the outside of your furnace or air handler, water may be splashing off the evaporator coil instead of properly moving into the drain pan and condensate line. This can happen if the coils are grimy, or if holes in the insulation protecting the coils redirect the water. The smart approach to stop the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a D&K Home Services by Enercare membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you find a leak and the AC isn't cooling enough, the refrigerant level may be insufficient due to a leak. Air conditioners need refrigerant to generate cold air, so getting it inspected regularly during seasonal maintenance is highly important for the longevity of your unit. Without enough refrigerant, the evaporator coils can freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Opposite of some expectations, your AC does not need to be replenished unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only needed when a leak occurs within the system. Call D&K Home Services by Enercare as soon as you can to resolve AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter needs to be changed regularly to encourage proper 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—possibly starting an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem lasts, additional repairs may be the best option. Luckily, HVAC technicians from D&K Home Services by Enercare are here to serve you, ensuring the problem gets resolved.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are made to be used during warm weather. Starting your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or lower will sometimes cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and possibly result in an overflow thanks to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a D&K Home Services by Enercare technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are manufactured to last, but nothing survives forever. If you have 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. D&K Home Services by Enercare can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working properly.

Our Experts Can Handle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, D&K Home Services by Enercare can repair the damage. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again without delay.

Our technicians are thoroughly trained, knowledgeable and certified to provide exceptional 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 could help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, faster so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cooler.

Contact us at 613-707-2421 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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