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 produces condensate, or water, in your furnace or air handler. This water is usually kept in a drain pan and transported through piping into your home’s drain system.

As a side effect, damaged pipes or sludge buildup could cause the piping to become backed up. When this happens, water floods the drain pan inside your furnace or air handler. It can then leak into your home. This is particularly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is up in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In the bulk of homes, local codes require a secondary or safety drain pan that is located underneath the furnace or air handler. This secondary drain pan has piping that is routed to the outside of the home. Usually, the outlet of the pipe is found 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 leaking from piping on the outside of your home, this is usually a sign the primary drain is clogged and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most common reasons for why your AC is leaking water and how to resolve the issue. Some homes will also use a safety device that can automatically shut off your AC in the event the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling unless the drain is cleaned of any obstructions. Regardless, if you see water leaking, be sure to set your thermostat to "off" to minimize any additional water damage and reach out to a Church Services service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners frequently demand professional servicing, which is why we’re here to assist you at Church Services. We happily 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 appears on the chilled metal surface. Ultimately, the water drains into a pan under the indoor coil inside 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 stops the water from moving away like it’s supposed to. Trust the unclogging process to an Expert like Church Services to guarantee it’s handled properly and without causing additional damage. Service Experts can also install a safety device that will quickly switch off your AC if the drain becomes clogged again later on, thus preventing water damage in your home. Of course, scheduling maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clear and open.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While not very common, the drain line connection to the drain pan may become loose or disconnected. This may be the cause if someone is working close to the unit or when replacing the air filter. AC leaks might occur when the drain line breaks free from the pan. Take a look inside your AC to determine if the drain line is still connected to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we encourage calling an HVAC technician to take care of this issue immediately. Request an appointment with Church Services today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners require 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 could build up in the pan and leak out if the condensate pump is damaged. First, double-check that the pump is currently powered. If that’s not the root cause, the AC leak could be due to a broken condensate pump. You should call an air conditioning contractor like Church Services to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Grubby or Cracked

If you see tiny drips in favor of a more substantial puddle close to the outside of your furnace or air handler, water may be dripping off the evaporator coil rather than properly flowing into the drain pan and condensate line. This can occur if the coils are dirty, or if holes in the insulation surrounding the coils redirect the water. The best approach to prevent the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a Church Services membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you notice a leak and the AC isn't cooling like it’s supposed to, the refrigerant level may be low due to a leak. Air conditioners need refrigerant to create cold air, so getting it inspected consistently during seasonal maintenance is extremely important for the working condition of your unit. Without enough 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 refilled unless there is a leak. The system is sealed and recharging is only done when a leak occurs within the system. Call Church Services right away to repair AC refrigerant issues quickly.

6. Dirty Air Filter

Your air conditioner's filter has to be changed regularly to ensure enough airflow. Without adequate ventilation, the evaporator coils can become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to fill in the drain pan—sometimes causing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem sticks around, additional repairs may be needed. Luckily, HVAC technicians from Church Services are ready to serve you, ensuring the problem gets fixed.

7. Outdoor Temperature Is Too Cold to Run AC

Air conditioners are built to run during warm weather. Running your AC when outdoor temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or colder can cause the evaporator coils to freeze. Once thawed, the water and ice will drop off the evaporator coils and may lead to an overflow due to ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a Church Services 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 have an AC that is 12 years or older, the drip pan could be damaged or corroded due to normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak might appear as condensate seeps directly through it. Church Services can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working like it’s supposed to.

Our Experts Can Handle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, Church Services can help. We’ll troubleshoot and fix your air conditioner, getting it back to running again right away.

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 recommend a worry-free membership plan. This could help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, promptly so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cooler.

Contact us at 713-396-3760 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

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