If you notice that water is leaking inside your house when your AC is running, it is important that you identify the cause as soon as possible. Most of the time, the issue causing the leak is fairly minor and can be easily fixed. However, there are also situations in which the leak could indicate a much more serious problem that could potentially ruin your AC if not taken care of quickly. With this in mind, here are five of the most common causes of water leaking from an air conditioner.
1. Condensate Drain Line Is Clogged or Damaged
The most common cause of a leak is a clog in the condensate drain line. It could also be that the line was somehow damaged and is leaking. When your AC runs, it supplies cold refrigerant to an evaporator coil inside the home. The system works by drawing hot air from the building over the evaporator coil, which absorbs heat from the air. This process causes condensation to build up on the evaporator coil.
When everything is working properly, the moisture drips down into a drain pan and is then carried away by the condensate line either into a floor drain or directly outside the house. However, over time the condensate line can get clogged with dust or debris. When this happens, it causes water to overflow out of the condensate drain pan and onto the floor. In some cases, you can easily remove the clog by using a wet/dry vac. However, if this doesn’t work, you’ll need to have an air conditioning technician unclog the drain line for you.
2. HVAC Air Filter Is Dirty
Leaks can also result if your air filter is dirty and clogged. If the filter is overly dirty, it drastically reduces airflow. When this happens, it can cause the evaporator coil to become extremely cold and freeze up. This usually causes your AC to stop producing cold air, which means that the evaporator coil will slowly start to thaw. This leads to excess water dripping into the drain pan and can cause it to overflow.
The easiest way to avoid this issue is to regularly check your air filter and change it whenever it looks dirty. Typically, you should be changing your air filter at least once every two or three months and as often as every month during times when your AC is running more frequently.
3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working
If your evaporator coil is located in the basement of the home, your system will usually have a condensate pump that pumps the water outside the house. If the pump is broken or stops working, it’s basically the same as if the drain line was clogged. Since the water isn’t being pumped outside the house, it will back up and eventually overflow out of the drain pan. In this situation, the only option is to have the pump repaired or replaced.
4. Refrigerant Level Is Too Low
Of all of the possible causes of AC leaks, this is definitely the most serious. When the volume of refrigerant in the system is too low, it can cause the evaporator coil to freeze up. If caught soon enough, this problem can be fixed by pinpointing the location of the refrigerant leak and then refilling the refrigerant to the appropriate level. However, if this issue isn’t taken care of soon enough, it can cause the compressor to overheat and burn out. Unfortunately, you’ll have to replace the air conditioner if this happens.
5. Condensate Drain Pan Is Leaking
If your AC is more than 10 to 15 years old, it could be that the drain pan has rusted through and is leaking. This is a fairly rare problem, but it does happen. In this situation, you can either replace the AC or see if it’s possible to replace the drain pan. Unfortunately, replacing the drain pan isn’t always an option since they are often welded onto the bottom of the evaporator coil.
Expert AC Repairs and Service
If your air conditioner is leaking, the team at Gunthers Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing has the knowledge and skills to quickly identify and repair the cause of the issue. We work on all types and brands of AC systems as well as furnaces and heating equipment. We specialize in HVAC repair, maintenance, installation, and equipment replacements. Our team also includes professional plumbers who deal with water heaters, garbage disposals, drain cleaning, leak detection, and a range of other services. Gunthers Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing has been providing exceptional services to customers in American Fork, UT since 1910. To schedule an appointment to have your AC leak inspected, give us a call today.