Why is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water?

Air conditioner leaking water

Having a working air conditioner is your home’s best ally. So when you spot visible issues with your air conditioner, you may go into a slight panic. This is especially true when you find that your air conditioner is leaking water. 

If your air conditioner is leaking water, there’s a lengthy list of possible causes to consider. One may think dealing with a list of possible causes sounds like a chore, and that’s understandable. However, being aware of these reasons will get your home back to the comfort level you and your household are used to having.

How Does Water Form in Your Air Conditioner?

So, how does water form in your air conditioner in the first place? It’s because the cold refrigerant moves through your AC unit into the evaporator coil. When the refrigerant evaporates in the coil component, it causes moisture to condense along the coil. 

When the moisture accumulates, the drops of water are caught in the AC’s condensate drainage to further remove it. Once water starts to escape that component, it may signify an issue. 

Reasons Your Air Conditioner is Leaking Water

A leak around your air conditioner is enough to raise an eyebrow or two. These are the possible reasons your air conditioner is leaking water:

Frozen evaporator coils

Frozen Evaporator Coils

If your air conditioner experiences restricted airflow, low refrigerant levels, or dirty evaporator coils, this can cause condensation to freeze on your unit’s coils. The ice melt that ensues can lead to an overflowing drain pan and cause leakage. Practice monitoring your AC’s refrigerant levels, checking for adequate airflow, and keeping coils clean to avoid freezing. 

Low Refrigerant Levels

Frozen coils can also result from low refrigerant levels. Low refrigerant levels equal cold coils and a heaping wet mess later. Some signs that your refrigerant is low are ineffective cooling and gurgling or hissing noises.

Clogged Condensate Line

A common issue that leads to a leaky air conditioner is a clogged condensate line. When the condensate line is clogged, water will back up and leak out of the drain pan. This prevents your condensate line from removing excess water from your air conditioner. 

You can troubleshoot this problem by pouring a cup of heavily diluted vinegar into the drain pan. If this doesn’t clear the clogged condensate line, a visit from professionals at Total Comfort with the right gear will get the job done. 

Damaged Drain Pan

The drain pan in your air conditioner might also be damaged. Once your air conditioner reaches 12 years or older, a new drain pan might be needed.

Dirty air filter compared to clean air filter

Dirty Air Filter

A dirty air filter restricts the airflow from reaching the evaporator coil, which leads to condensation and potentially water leakage. Clogged air filters also make your air conditioning system work harder, leading to possible damage and worn-out parts. You should change the air filter in your air conditioner every 30 days. 

Damaged Condenser

A damaged condenser (your home’s outside air conditioner unit) can cause your AC system to leak. The condenser is tasked with releasing the heat stored in the indoor unit of your home. 

Signs of a damaged condenser include cracks in the housing or leaking coolant. And sometimes, your condenser might just need a new gasket or sealant. It’s best to leave these symptoms to the technicians at Total Comfort to diagnose and fix the issue.

Condensate pump repair

Broken Condensate Pump

A broken condensate pump is another potential cause of your air conditioner leaking water. The condensate pump is responsible for pumping water outside. If the condensate pump becomes damaged or broken, it can cause your AC to malfunction. Replacing or repairing this part as soon as possible is necessary to prevent water damage.

Malfunctioning Thermostat

A malfunctioning thermostat is an early issue that may snowball into other problems. If your thermostat is malfunctioning, it won’t be able to control how cold the evaporator coils need to get. Coils that are too cold will freeze, and then you have a leak on your hands.

If your thermostat is already set to “cool” or “auto,” try turning up the temperature to thaw the coils. If water is still leaking, faulty wiring may be the culprit. A professional thermostat diagnosis from Total Comfort should be sought out at this point for further help.

Improper AC Installation

Sometimes a leak can be traced back to an improper installation. A poorly installed AC system or badly configured condensate drain line paves a path for drainage problems and water leaks. If you think this is the case or you just want to make sure your air conditioner is functioning as it should, hire the qualified professionals at Total Comfort.

Old Pipes

Like many other parts and components of various systems, pipes can run into wear and tear. The older your pipes are, the likelihood of either corrosion or common wear and tear becomes higher. For these reasons, leakage has a higher chance of happening. Contact the local experts of Total Comfort to determine a solid diagnosis. 

Contact Total Comfort For Total AC Repair

If your air conditioner is leaking water in the Minneapolis or St. Paul area, the heating and cooling contractors at Total Comfort are there to help. Total Comfort offers skilled and award-winning air conditioning services to help home and business owners keep their units in top shape. Contact Total Comfort for your air conditioning needs at (612) 662-6286 or by visiting our website. 


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