Why Is My AC Leaking Water?

disappointed man

Producing moisture is a normal part of the air conditioning process. However, while some moisture is perfectly normal, excessive leaking can be a sign that something is amiss.

An AC leaking water can cause unit and property damage, so it’s important to get your unit inspected by a professional as soon as you notice consistent issues.

Here are some reasons why your unit could be leaking.

Potential Causes of a Leaking AC Unit

Some causes are inevitable, coming from the natural wear and tear of a unit over time. Others, however, can be the result of neglect, usually because homeowners don’t know that AC units require regular servicing. By the time they find out, an AC repair is needed.

Among the potential causes of your air conditioner leaking are the following.

A Damaged Drain Pan

The drain pan is the metal or polymer container positioned just under the unit’s evaporator coil. This is where the water (a natural byproduct of air conditioning) flows. 

Since the drain pan is the part that catches the condensation, if it’s cracked or otherwise damaged, it can result in leaks. It’s important to address this and contact a professional as soon as possible, as this part is usually positioned in close proximity to electrical circuits.

A Disconnected Drain Line

The drain line needs to be connected to the system at all times. If this hose somehow becomes loose and wriggles free, the system won’t be able to properly transfer condensation from the AC unit.

A drain line disconnecting will leave you with a pool of water that accumulates just below the unit.

A Broken Condensate Pump

If you notice your AC leaking water, there may be a need for a professional to check the pumps. This component undergoes a lot of wear and tear because of the demand it faces.

Small yet mighty, this pump is the part of the system that expels water byproduct. A condensate pump breaking means sublimated fluid can’t be moved from the drain pan outwards. This results in water buildup and, eventually, a leak.

A Worn Air Filter

When you’re experiencing a leak, the air filter may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it actually undergoes a lot of strain and its malfunctioning can contribute to excess moisture.

Dust and debris getting into the evaporator coil can cause a filter to be blocked, causing a clog that limits the flow of air. Too much of this leads to a frozen coil, resulting in a leak. 

An Evaporator Coil Freezing

The evaporator coil is the component located inside the AC that absorbs heat to cool down the air. It can be challenging to tell if the culprit of a leak is a frozen coil, which is why it’s best to consult a professional if you’re experiencing this issue.

In cases where your evaporator coil freezes, water ends up backing up in the drain pan, causing it to overflow onto the floor.

Incorrect Installation

Improper installation of your unit can result in your air conditioner leaking water due to issues with placement, seals, and setup. 

Usually, the problem reveals itself shortly after the AC is placed and turned on. However, some installation issues only show with time, snowballing slowly by adding strain to the system.

Low Refrigerant Levels

A unit’s refrigerant levels dropping means insufficient gas to chill the air that gets expelled. The result: a frozen coil, which leads to damage to the pump and issues with the drain pan leaking.

How to Fix a Leaking AC Unit

The good news about an AC unit leaking water is that it can be easily fixed by an HVAC technician. In almost all cases, it’s best to have a professional do the job, as trying to remedy the issue yourself can end up further damaging the unit, costing you more money in the long run.

Here are some ways that HVAC professionals address the issue of a leaking AC unit.

Restoring Refrigerant Levels

One fix is simply restoring the AC unit’s refrigerant levels to ensure it has enough to resume proper functioning. 

Although this appears to be an easy fix, this is something that you should never do on your own, as refrigerant handling requires a license due to the danger risk associated with it. A licensed professional should always be contacted to get the job done.

Switching Out the Drain Pan

Another solution to an air conditioner leaking is swapping out the drain pan for a new one. The HVAC technician will check for the exact make and model of the pan and will install it accordingly. 

Having a professional complete this is not only better for convenience, but will also net you the best pricing, as technicians usually have pre-existing connections with suppliers for the most affordable replacement components.

Adjusting Or Replacing the Condensate Pump

An AC unit usually comes with an owner’s manual and instructions on maintaining a condensate pump, though during times of malfunction (such as when the pump needs to be adjusted), a professional should always be consulted, especially if your unit comes with a warranty.

Many agreements are voided when the user tinkers with the appliance (even if it’s to fix it). So if you’re covered by a warranty plan, it’s often better to get trained eyes on the pump.

A technician will be able to properly diagnose that the condensate pump is, in fact, the issue, and can replace it as needed.

Reach Out to Qualified Experts to Fix an AC Leaking Water

If you notice your AC unit leaking water, contact us at IMS Heating & Air to have the issue resolved.

Our HVAC professionals are equipped with the right tools and knowledge to get the job done in the most cost-effective and timely manner. At IMS, we understand that your AC unit is an investment for comfort, which is why we’re ready to help you keep it running for years to come.