Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water?

It’s your worst nightmare: you wake up soaked in sweat on a hot summer morning. You crank the air conditioner and your home does not cool down. If you fail to take action, you might be watching while an HVAC specialist installs a new air conditioner.

Avoid this disaster scenario. Act immediately and perform a quick inspection — you may be able to identify the problem on your own and avoid a repair bill. If your air conditioner is leaking in or outside of the house,  the problem most likely stems from at least one of the following issues:   

1.  The Drain Line is Clogged

A clogged drain line is the most common source of leaks in home air conditioners. When the drain line is stopped up, water cannot drain from the overflow pan and out through the drainpipe (or outside, depending on your A/C’s setup).
Check the tubing for dirt and debris. If you feel resistance, clear the blockage. Water is then free to flow into the drainpipe and out the bottom.

Many modern A/C units have an emergency shutoff function to protect the device from damage if a clog is detected in the drain line. While this feature is helpful and prevents water damage, it can be puzzling for an owner when their A/C unit shuts down unexpectedly. If your A/C suddenly turns off, a clogged drain line could be initiating the shutdown.

2.  Drain Overflow Pan Cracked or Damaged

While you’re checking the drain line, you should inspect the drain overflow pan underneath the unit as well. Carefully inspect each corner and along the edge for cracks, notches, or holes. Anything allowing water to spill out onto the floor before it gets to the drain hose is an issue. Small holes can be repaired with epoxy, but replacing the drain pan entirely is the best way to fix this problem.

3.  The Air Filter is Dirty

Your A/C unit’s air filter needs to be changed on a regular basis. If you leave the filter in too long, the filter gets dirty and air flow is impeded.The air around the evaporator coils gets too cold, and the coils freeze up, actually forming ice in and on the unit. When the ice melts, water drips and you get a leak.

Most filters are meant to last one to two months. To be sure you prevent leaks, check the filters more frequently, especially when the unit is in heavy use. Simply changing the filter regularly can prevent a lot of problems and make your A/C run more efficiently.

4.  Broken Pump

If the pump is broken, no water will be drawn from the overflow pan. The pan will fill until it begins dripping onto the floor. You can test the pump by pouring some water into the pan. If nothing happens, and you know the drain line isn’t clogged, the pump must be broken. At this point, call us and we can schedule a service call with one of our  technicians.  Our expert HVAC technicians will get your unit up and running quickly so you can enjoy the summer.

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