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Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water?

Is Your Air Conditioner Leaking Water Inside Your House?

Believe it or not, this is actually a pretty common problem many people face with their air conditioners during the warmer months. Read on to find out what’s going on!

air conditioner leaking water image

Help! Water Is Leaking On My Furnace!

So the weather is hot outside, you happen to walk into your basement and see what seems to be water streaming onto your furnace from the top. What is going on? How can I stop it? Let’s begin with stopping the problem first:

  • Turn off your air conditioner at the thermostat immediately

It’s important to turn of your air conditioner as soon as possible to stop the flow of water onto your furnace.

The interior of your furnace holds several electronic parts that can become damaged by the intrusion of water. 

What Caused This To Happen?

Did you know that your air conditioner is essentially one big dehumidifier? When your air conditioner runs, it actually pulls humidity (water) from the air.

This humid air is pulled in via the return air vent and then blow over the evaporator coil to cool down the air.

This process causes condensation (water beads) to form on the evaporator coil, which then is supposed fall into a drain pan and then exit your house via the condensate lines into a drain in the floor.

However, it doesn’t always happen this way as you are finding out now first hand! This points to the fact that there is obviously an issue with one of those parts involved in the draining process.

Clogged Condensate Line | Rusted Condensate Drain Pan

Now that we know why your air conditioner is leaking water, lets look at the obvious culprits. The most obvious (and common) issue is a clogged condensate drain line.

These tubes generally look like small (width of a quarter or so) PVC pipes coming from the box that sits on top of your furnace. Over time as these drain water, it is common for mold and other crap to become clogged inside of them if they are not cleaned out regularly.

This kind of growth can also cause the air from your AC to smell bad. If you haven’t changed your furnace filter in forever, all of the dirt in the air can accumulate on your evaporator coil. Therefore, dirty evaporator coil = clogged drain line = waterfall in your home = not good. 

You can help keep these drain lines clear by dropping a couple of condensate line cleaning tablets in twice a year or so. These little babies dissolve and essentially eat away at anything clogging those lines.

The box that they come in will have all the directions needed to do this yourself. This process is also something that we do ourselves when you have us out for air conditioner maintenance, so you should check that out if you are looking for the full package air conditioner cleaning.

The second culprit of the leaking water could be a rusted (or cracked) condensate drain pan.

This is the pan that sits below your evaporator coil and collects the condensation that drips off of it. If your air conditioner is older than father time, your condensate pan may be beginning to crack and leak this water right onto your furnace.

This pan is something that can technically be replaced, but it is something a professional HVAC company would need to do for you and depending on the age of your unit, it may not make the most financial sense.

In some cases, your air conditioner may have a secondary drain pan which includes a float switch that will turn your AC off to prevent water damage.

Finally, the last and more uncommon cause of this issue could be improper installation. If your evaporator coil and drain pan were not leveled properly during installation, the water would not be able to drain correctly from the pan, causing it to overflow.

Again, this is something a professional HVAC company would have to determine for you.

Need Some Help With That Leak?

Is your air conditioner leaking water and you need some help figuring out a solution? Give us a call at 614-475-1800 or contact us today, we are here to help!