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

An air conditioner (AC) keeps your house cool and comfortable by pulling heat and humidity from the air. As the AC extracts humidity from the air, it creates condensate, or water, in your furnace or air handler. This water is typically sent to a drain pan and routed through piping into your home’s drain system.

As a side effect, faulty components or sludge buildup could cause the piping to become blocked. When this happens, water floods the drain pan within your furnace or air handler. It can then spill into your home. This is especially troublesome if your furnace or air handler is placed in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In a majority of homes, municipal codes require a secondary or safety drain pan that is found underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan has piping that is routed to the outside of the home. Typically, the outlet of the pipe is placed above the outside of a window so it’s easily noticeable if water starts 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 often a sign the primary drain is blocked and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most general explanations for why your AC is leaking water and how to repair the issue. Some homes may also have a safety device that should automatically switch off your AC if 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 minimize any other water damage and contact a Service Experts Home Services by Enercare service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners frequently do best with professional repairs, which is why we’re here to assist you at Service Experts Home Services by Enercare. We proudly deliver Expert air conditioning repair across North America, backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.*

1. Condensate Drain Is Blocked

When hot, humid air runs along the evaporator coil, water forms on the cold metal surface. At the end of the process, the water drains into a pan underneath the indoor coil within the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence takes place, the condensate flows out of the pan and into drain piping before the pan becomes full.

However, mold, mineral deposits, dirt and other debris might clog the drain. This prevents the water from draining away like it’s supposed to. Entrust the unclogging process to an Expert like Service Experts Home Services by Enercare to ensure it’s handled properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also install a safety device that will automatically switch off your AC if the drain becomes clogged again in the future, thus minimizing water damage inside your home. Of course, routine maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain flushed and unhindered.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While somewhat rare, the drain line connection to the drain pan can become loose or disconnected. This may happen if someone is working close to the unit or when swapping out the air filter. AC leaks may occur when the drain line is disconnected from the pan. Check your AC to find out if the drain line is still fully connected to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we recommend calling an HVAC technician to take care of this issue immediately. Request an appointment with Service Experts Home Services by Enercare today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners use a condensate pump to properly drain the water. These pumps are necessary when the home’s drain system is located above the AC unit. Even if the drain is unobstructed, water might collect in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is not functioning. First, make sure that the pump is still powered. If that’s not the problem, the AC leak could be due to a broken condensate pump. You should contact an air conditioning contractor like Service Experts Home Services by Enercare to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grimy or Broken

If you see tiny drips instead of a bigger puddle nearby the outside of your furnace or air handler, water could be bouncing off the evaporator coil rather than properly flowing into the drain pan and condensate line. This can occur if the coils are soiled, or if holes in the insulation surrounding 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 Service Experts Home Services by Enercare membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you find a leak and the AC isn't cooling well, the refrigerant level may be lacking because of a leak. Air conditioners count on refrigerant to generate cold air, so getting it looked at thoroughly during seasonal maintenance is extremely useful for the working condition of your unit. Without enough refrigerant, the evaporator coils could freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Contrary to some expectations, your AC does not need to be recharged unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only done when a leak occurs inside the system. Call Service Experts Home Services by Enercare immediately to resolve AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter should be changed regularly to encourage adequate airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils may become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to accumulate in the drain pan—potentially starting an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem sticks around, further repairs may be necessary. Fortunately, HVAC technicians from Service Experts Home Services by Enercare are happy to serve you, ensuring the problem gets fixed.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are built to provide enough cooling for warm weather. Starting your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or below can cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and potentially create an overflow due to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Service Experts Home Services by Enercare technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are manufactured to last, but nothing survives forever. If you possess an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan might be damaged or corroded even with normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak may appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Service Experts Home Services by Enercare can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working normally.

Our Experts Can Tackle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Service Experts Home Services by Enercare can help. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again without delay.

Our technicians are thoroughly trained, knowledgeable and certified to provide exemplary 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 613-817-1591 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

Contact Us