why your air conditioner is leaking water

7 Reasons Why Your Air Conditioning Unit Is Leaking Water

Indoor AC is something most of us take for granted. In places like Arizona, having reliable air conditioning is not only a matter of comfort and convenience but of safety as well.

HVAC systems are complex, with many different components that work together to keep things running. If your AC is dripping water, it could be the result of many distinct issues, some of which are quite serious.

This article covers seven reasons for an air conditioning unit leaking water. Keep reading to find out what these are, so that you can get your AC ready for the summer.

1. Clogged or Damaged Drain Line

Air conditioners have pipes that carry collected condensation away from the unit. These attach to a pan that sits under your AC unit.

If the line becomes obstructed, then the water has nowhere to go. It might back up into the condensate pan and spill over.

In cases where the drain line is cracked or damaged, you will see the water leaking out before it reaches its intended destination.

This is a very common problem.

Dust and debris can accumulate inside the line. Moisture-seeking mold and mildew can grow in there as well, causing an obstruction.

Fortunately, unclogging a drain line is simple and inexpensive.

In most cases, the clog can be flushed out.

For severe blockages or old drain lines that have been damaged, installing replacement piping may be necessary.

2. Damaged Condensate Pan

While older AC condensate drain pans were made of metal, today the most common type is durable plastic. High-quality ones may hold up for a decade or so, but nothing lasts forever (especially in the extreme and dry heat we experience in the desert).

Over time, they can corrode and develop holes or cracks.

When this happens, you may see signs of pooling water on the floor around your AC unit. If you notice wet or damp surroundings, this too, could be a sign that the water is leaking from the pan rather than draining.

Fortunately, replacing a drain pan is pretty straightforward for a trained technician.

It does require turning off the power and disconnecting components (like the drain pipe) from the old pan.

3. Faulty Pump

A faulty condensate pump is another common cause of a leaking AC.

Not all types of AC units have these pumps, but those that cannot rely on gravity to move the water from the pan through the drain line use electric pumps to do so. If the pump malfunctions or loses power, then water will likely pool in the pan.

First, check to ensure that the pump has power. If there is a blown breaker, it may be a matter of resetting it.

If the pump does have power but still fails to function, you should have it inspected or replaced by a licensed HVAC technician.

4. Dirty Air Filter

A dirty air filter is one of the most common causes of an air conditioning unit leaking water.

The reason is that a dirty filter restricts the flow of air over the evaporator coils.

Coils are inside the unit and have the primary purpose of absorbing heat from the air.

The refrigerant inside the coils absorbs the heat energy and evaporates from a liquid into a gas, which cools the air.

When there is not enough air flowing over the evaporator coils, they become extremely cold and begin to freeze. When the AC is off, the frost melts, causing condensation.

While you need a professional technician to diagnose other issues with evaporator coils, a dirty air filter is easy to check and replace.

How often you should change them out depends on the type you are using, but every three to six months is a good rule of thumb.

Doing so will have the added bonus of your system not having to work so hard to push air through a clogged filter.

5. Evaporator Coil Issues

You can experience other issues with evaporator coils besides dirty air filters.

A common one is if the coils become dirty. This obstructs their ability to coil the air passing over them, which can lead to freezing.

Cleaning coils is pretty straightforward. It does involve removing certain panels in your unit and identifying the right components.

A professional technician will have solutions for effectively cleaning the coils, which also need to be dried before starting the AC back up.

They can check for signs of damage as well, which can lead to freezing and condensation.

6. Damaged Insulation

No, we are not talking about insulation throughout your home. This refers to the housing apparatus for your AC’s evaporator coils.

Its role is to keep frost from forming and condensation from accumulating.

This is especially important in overly warm and/or humid regions. The insulation becomes especially important if your AC runs for long periods.

Damaged insulation makes ice buildup more likely. This restricts the efficiency of your system and results in leaks when the frost melts.

An experienced technician can replace damaged insulation. They can also recommend the best type and configuration based on your climate and unique AC usage preferences.

7. Refrigerant Leak

As mentioned, refrigerant is a substance used to absorb heat from the air.

Refrigerant leaks cause a change in pressure and temperature inside your AC system.

When there is not enough refrigerant, your system will experience diminished cooling capacity. You may notice warmer-than-usual air blowing from the vents.

It also can cause frost buildup on evaporator coils, and sometimes the outside unit.

The latter is when the refrigerant is leaking from the system and causes external components to freeze, producing condensation when it thaws.

HVAC repair technicians can check refrigerant levels and determine if there are leaks in the line or refrigerant container.

Find Fixes for an Air Conditioning Unit Leaking Water

Now that you know the seven main reasons for an air conditioning unit leaking water, you can start to narrow down the causes.

An experienced AC technician can further assist with diagnostics to determine the best course of action.

Mark Daniels Air Conditioning and Heating provides high-quality AC solutions to Mesa, Scottsdale, Phoenix, and the surrounding areas.

We offer new air conditioner installation, as well as repair and maintenance plans. Reach out to us today to schedule service to address your AC problems.

Need an air conditioner replacement specialist in Apache Junction? Our team at Mark Daniels Air Conditioning & Heating offers expert maintenance and expert installations for all your HVAC needs across the Valley. Call (480) 571-7219 or request service online now!