Is Your Air Conditioning Leaking Water? Here Are 8 Possible Causes

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 usually sent to a drain pan and routed through piping into your home’s drain system.

Unfortunately, damaged pipes or sludge buildup can cause the piping to become blocked. When this happens, water backs up in the drain pan in your furnace or air handler. It can then leak into your home. This is decidedly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is installed in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In a majority of homes, municipal codes require a secondary or safety drain pan that is installed underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan has piping that is directed to the outside of the home. Most of the time, the outlet of the pipe is placed above the outside of a window so it’s quickly noticeable if water is 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 usually evidence the primary drain is backed up and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most general reasons for why your AC is leaking water and how to fix the issue. Some homes will also possess a safety device that will automatically turn off your AC should the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling until the drain is free of any obstructions. Regardless, if you notice water leaking, ensure you set your thermostat to "off" to minimize any other water damage and call a Atmostemp Service Experts service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners frequently require professional support, which is why we’re here to assist you at Atmostemp Service Experts. 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 reaches the evaporator coil, water collects on the chilled metal surface. At the end of the process, the water drains into a pan under the indoor coil within the furnace or air handler. As the cooling sequence continues, 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 keeps the water from moving away correctly. Trust the unclogging process to an Expert like Atmostemp Service Experts to make sure it’s handled properly and without causing more damage. Service Experts can also install a safety device that will autonomously switch off your AC if the drain becomes blocked again later on, thus avoiding water damage within your home. Of course, routine maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clean and unhampered.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While somewhat rare, the drain line connection to the drain pan can become loose or disconnected. This will sometimes occur if someone is working nearby the unit or when swapping out the air filter. AC leaks may occur when the drain line disconnects from the pan. Check your AC to see 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 resolve this issue right away. Schedule an appointment with Atmostemp Service Experts 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 found above the AC unit. Even if the drain is clear, water can collect in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is not functioning. First, determine that the pump is being powered. If that’s not the root cause, the AC leak may be due to a broken condensate pump. You should check with an air conditioning contractor like Atmostemp Service Experts to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Dirty or Cracked

If you see tiny drips instead of a bigger puddle near the outside of your furnace or air handler, water may be bouncing off the evaporator coil rather than 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 easiest approach to stop the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Atmostemp Service Experts membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you discover a leak and the AC isn't cooling like it’s supposed to, the refrigerant level may be lacking because of a leak. Air conditioners require refrigerant to create cold air, so getting it checked thoroughly during seasonal maintenance is incredibly beneficial for the longevity of your unit. Without adequate refrigerant, the evaporator coils can freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Contrary to some expectations, your AC does not need to be refilled unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only needed when a leak happens inside the system. Call Atmostemp Service Experts as soon as possible to resolve AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter should be changed regularly to encourage enough airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils could become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to fill in the drain pan—potentially starting an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem doesn’t go away, additional repairs will sometimes be the best option. Fortunately, HVAC technicians from Atmostemp 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 provide enough cooling for warm weather. Running your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or lower could cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and may lead to an overflow because of ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Atmostemp Service Experts 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 own an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan may be damaged or corroded after years of normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak might appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Atmostemp 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, Atmostemp Service Experts can repair the damage. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again without delay.

Our technicians are highly trained, knowledgeable and certified to complete exceptional 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 suggest a worry-free membership plan. This could help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, faster so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cooler.

Contact us at 856-310-4824 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

Contact Us