6 Possible Reasons Why Your AC Is Leaking Water


Drip, drip, drip.

You hear this sound coming from the other room. You run in and see a puddle of water forming on the floor, or worse, seepage in your walls and ceiling. Your AC is leaking water. Not great timing on a hot day. But the question is, why is it leaking?

Here are the answers you’ve been looking for because these are the 6 reasons why your AC could be leaking.

Clogged Drain Line

This is one of the most common issues when it comes to a leaking AC unit. Possible reasons for it to become clogged include a build-up of dust, mold, dirt, or even insects.

In your AC system, humidity builds up and turns into condensation because of the heating and cooling of air. The drain line keeps this moisture out of your air conditioner and allows for it to leave the unit with ease.

If the drain line clogs, the built-up condensation has nowhere to go and will drip into the drain pan, causing an overflow. Water will then begin to leak inside your house because it doesn’t have a way to reach the outside.

Corroded Parts

Rust and other damage can form in a multitude of AC parts over time causing them to leak.

This residential air conditioner repair company says that essential parts such as the compressor, wiring, fan motor, capacitor, and condenser can all become damaged.

The compressor is one of the most crucial parts of the system, helping to control all other elements. It is responsible for compressing the refrigerant by turning it from low pressure to high pressure. If this stops working, your whole AC unit will fail.

Both the fan motor and the capacitor help the compressor to function. The fan motor stops the compressor from overheating and pumps air through the unit while the capacitor supplies electrical energy to the compressor.

This is not to be confused with the condenser, which is the outdoor section of the unit. This part’s function is to reject heat and release heat from the refrigerant.

On average, these parts should last you between ten and fifteen years, as long as you take good care of your AC unit. So if it’s been a while since you bought it, some of the parts may need to be replaced.

Low Refrigerant

Refrigerant is a compound found in either a liquid or gaseous state and is the key ingredient in the freezing process.

Its job is to absorb heat and provide cool air in conjunction with compressors and evaporators. The refrigerant will continue to circulate and remove heat from your home until the internal temperature reaches the number on your thermostat.

Refrigerant lives inside the evaporator coils of your air conditioner where it absorbs all the heat. These evaporator coils are usually made from copper or aluminum, as they are both good conductors.

If refrigerant levels get too low, it can cause low internal pressure in the AC unit. If this occurs, the coils will freeze over and start to melt. This causes the drain pan to overflow and leak water all over your floor.

This problem presents itself when the air blowing from the AC is too warm or the unit starts to make a hissing noise. The latter indicates that there is a leak in the system.

Drain Pan Issues

A blocked, cracked, rusted, or overflown drain pan is not your friend.

Like you read above, clogged drain lines or low refrigerant levels can cause the pan to overflow. Cracks and rust are equally as problematic but tend to happen over time.

There are usually two drain pans in a system; one underneath the evaporator coils and one beneath the entire unit. Normally, the drain pans collect excess water that has dripped off of the unit. But when they aren’t functioning properly, they will begin to leak water they can no longer hold.

If you know your drain pans haven’t been replaced in many years, this should be the first thing you take a look at.

Dirty Air Filter

Did you forget to change out the air filter in the past few months? If so, this could be your problem.

A dirty air filter can cause the system to go into overload, creating accelerated wear and tear of other important parts. It can also block airflow over the evaporator coils, forcing them to freeze over and start leaking. Frozen coils can also occur if you leave your AC on when the weather dips below sixty degrees.

If you have shedding pets, asthma, or allergies to dust and pollen, you must remember to change your air filter more frequently. For the best efficiency, try replacing it once a month.

Improper Installation

If your air conditioning unit is brand new and is still leaking, your problem is most likely a poor installation job. Two issues with the installation could be an incorrectly fitted unit or a loosely connected drain line.

If the drain line comes undone, it could impede the function of the whole system. Luckily, this means your drain line isn’t broken or clogged, just out of place.

If either of these is the reason for your leak, you will likely have to call AC services to come and fix it.

Go Check Why Your AC Is Leaking Water

Whether you find a dirty air filter, low refrigerant levels, or a rogue insect in your drain line, now you know why your AC is leaking water.

If you found this article helpful, make sure to check out more of our home improvement tips!

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