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

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

As a side effect, an error or sludge buildup may cause the piping to become backed up. When this happens, water backs up in the drain pan in your furnace or air handler. It can then reach your home. This is particularly troublesome if your furnace or air handler is installed in the attic or above a finished ceiling.

In most homes, local codes demand 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. Most of the time, the outlet of the pipe is placed above the outside of a window so it’s more noticeable if water begins 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 often a sign the primary drain is clogged and water is now draining from the safety drain pan.

Here are the most common causes for why your AC is leaking water and how to fix the issue. Some homes can also have a safety device that should automatically switch off your AC in the event the drain becomes clogged. In this case your system will stop cooling until the drain is cleared of any obstructions. Regardless, if you notice water leaking, make sure to set your thermostat to "off" to stop any additional water damage and get in touch with a TML Service Experts service provider to correct the issues.

Leaking air conditioners routinely need professional repairs, which is why we’re here to assist you at TML 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 forms on the cold metal surface. At the end of the process, the water drains into a pan underneath the indoor coil inside 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 can clog the drain. This prevents the water from flowing away correctly. Trust the unclogging process to an Expert like TML 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 automatically turn off your AC just in case the drain becomes clogged again in the future, thus minimizing water damage within your home. Of course, scheduling maintenance on your AC will help keep your condensate drain clear and open.

2. Drain Line Is Disconnected

While unusual, the drain line connection to the drain pan could become loose or disconnected. This will sometimes be the cause if someone is working nearby the unit or when changing out the air filter. AC leaks may occur when the drain line disconnects from the pan. Take a look inside your AC to find out if the drain line is still leading to the coil drain pan. If it is no longer connected, we recommend calling an HVAC technician to repair this issue immediately. Arrange an appointment with TML Service Experts today.

3. Condensate Pump Isn’t Working

Some air conditioners need a condensate pump to efficiently drain the water. These pumps are required when the home’s drain system is placed 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, double-check that the pump is being powered. If that’s not the root cause, the AC leak might be due to a broken condensate pump. You should call an air conditioning contractor like TML Service Experts to resolve the issue.

4. Evaporator Coil Is Dirty or Damaged

If you see small drips in favor of a more substantial puddle near the outside of your furnace or air handler, water could be splashing off the evaporator coil compared to properly moving into the drain pan and condensate line. This can occur if the coils are dirty, or if holes in the insulation protecting the coils redirect the water. The smart approach to prevent the evaporator coil from going downhill is to keep up with annual air conditioning maintenance using a TML Service Experts membership.

5. Low Refrigerant Level

If you find a leak and the AC isn't cooling well, the refrigerant level may be lacking due to a leak. Air conditioners require refrigerant to generate cold air, so getting it checked consistently during seasonal maintenance is highly useful for the health of your unit. Without a full supply of refrigerant, the evaporator coils could freeze over and cause the drain pan to overflow as they thaw. Despite 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 appears within the system. Call TML Service Experts as soon as possible to take care of 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 could become too cold and freeze. The evaporator coils will then thaw, causing excess water to fill in the drain pan—potentially producing an overflow. To resolve this, try changing your air filter. If the problem remains, additional repairs may be necessary. Fortunately, HVAC technicians from TML Service Experts are here 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. Using 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 may lead to an overflow because of ice blocking the drain pan opening. If a water leak persists, schedule a TML Service Experts technician backed by our 100% service guarantee* to help solve the problem.

8. Damaged Drip Pan

Air conditioners are designed 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 even with normal use. If the drain pan has holes in it, a water leak may appear as condensate seeps directly through it. TML Service Experts can replace the drain pan and ensure your AC gets back to working like it’s supposed to.

Our Experts Can Tackle All Your Air Conditioning Repair Needs

Whatever the reason why your AC is leaking water, TML Service Experts can fix the problem. 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 perform 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 suggest a worry-free membership plan. This may help you catch AC issues, like water leaks, faster so you can avoid future breakdowns while keeping your house cool.

Contact us at 208-488-4892 to schedule your air conditioning appointment in North America today!

Contact Us