Is Your Air Conditioning Leaking Water? Here Are 8 Possible Reasons Why

An air conditioner (AC) keeps your house cool and comfortable by extracting 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 typically kept in a drain pan and moved through piping into your home’s drain system.

A byproduct of this process, damaged pipes or sludge buildup could cause the piping to become blocked. When this happens, water floods the drain pan inside your furnace or air handler. It can then spill into your home. This is namely troublesome if your furnace or air handler is placed in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In most homes, building codes require a secondary or safety drain pan that is put underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan uses piping that is sent to the outside of the home. In general, the outlet of the pipe is located above the outside of a window so it’s quickly noticeable if water begins draining from this pipe outlet. It is not normal for this to occur. If you see water spilling from piping on the outside of your home, this is likely a sign the primary drain is backed up and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most common explanations for why your AC is leaking water and how to repair the issue. Some homes will also use a safety device that can automatically switch off your AC in the event the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling except if the drain is cleared of any obstructions. Regardless, if you find water leaking, ensure you set your thermostat to "off" to prevent any other water damage and get in touch with a Gordon's Service Experts service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners frequently require professional help, which is why we’re here to assist you at Gordon's Service Experts. We consistently 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 condenses on the cold metal surface. At the end of the process, the water drains into a pan beneath the indoor coil within the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence occurs, the condensate flows out of the pan and into drain piping before the pan becomes full.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris could clog the drain. This stops the water from moving away correctly. Trust the unclogging process to an Expert like Gordon's Service Experts for the peace of mind it’s performed properly and without causing more damage. Service Experts can also add a safety device that will autonomously shut off your AC if the drain becomes backed up again sometime after, thus preventing water damage within your home. Of course, routine maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clear and unobstructed.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While somewhat rare, the drain line connection to the drain pan can become loose or disconnected. This can occur if someone is working near the unit or when replacing the air filter. AC leaks may occur when the drain line is disconnected from the pan. Take a look inside your AC to see if the drain line is still connected to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we recommend calling an HVAC technician to resolve this issue right away. Request an appointment with Gordon's Service Experts today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners need a condensate pump to properly drain the water. These pumps are needed when the home’s drain system is found above the AC unit. Even if the drain is unobstructed, water might build up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is not functioning. First, double-check that the pump is currently powered. If that’s not the case, the AC leak may be due to a broken condensate pump. You should contact an air conditioning contractor like Gordon's Service Experts to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grimy or Broken

If you see small drips instead of a more substantial puddle close to the outside of your furnace or air handler, water might be bouncing off the evaporator coil instead of properly draining into the drain pan and condensate line. This can take place if the coils are soiled, or if holes in the insulation around the coils redirect the water. The smartest approach to prevent the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Gordon's Service Experts membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you discover a leak and the AC isn't cooling properly, the refrigerant level may be low because of a leak. Air conditioners require refrigerant to create cold air, so getting it inspected thoroughly during seasonal maintenance is highly beneficial for the longevity of your unit. Without a full supply of refrigerant, the evaporator coils may freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Contrary to some expectations, your AC does not need to be replenished unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only required when a leak happens within the system. Call Gordon's Service Experts 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 ensure enough airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils could become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to accumulate in the drain pan—sometimes starting an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem lasts, more repairs might be required. Fortunately, HVAC technicians from Gordon's Service Experts are here to serve you, ensuring the problem gets solved.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are designed to run during warm weather. Starting your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or lower can cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and possibly result in an overflow because of ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Gordon's Service Experts technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are built to last, but nothing survives forever. If you own an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan might be damaged or corroded after years of normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak can appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Gordon's Service Experts 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, Gordon's Service Experts can help. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again right away.

Our technicians are well trained, knowledgeable and certified to complete dependable 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 advise signing up for a worry-free membership plan. This will sometimes help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, sooner so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cooler.

Contact us at 405-432-2197 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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