Why is my Air Conditioner Leaking Water?

What To Do When Water Leaks from your A/C

Over a hot Colorado summer, your air conditioner is working hard to keep your house cool. If you’ve been handling regular maintenance, you should expect your air conditioner to keep up with keeping the temperature to your desired setting. But problems do happen, especially with an aging air conditioning system.

Water that has leaked at the bottom of the furnace in a basement

One unfortunate problem is when an A/C is leaking water. This can be a major issue for a variety of reasons. The leaking water could cause damage to your home.  Also, the cause of the leak may be a problem that will get worse (and harder to fix) if left ignored.

But once you notice a leak, how can you tell if you’re dealing with a plumbing issue or a leaking air conditioning system? The first sign that it’s your air conditioner is by where you find the leaking water.

Is the water in your basement?

Do you have a leak coming down from your attic?

Either of these is a sign that you are likely dealing with a leaky A/C system.

A/C Causing a Basement Puddle
It’s the middle of summer and you find a puddle of water at the bottom of the furnace. The problem isn’t with your furnace. It’s likely the indoor unit of your air conditioning system right next to it that is the problem.

Water Leak from Ceiling
Are you seeing drips come down from your ceiling? If this is occurring right below your attic where your HVAC system is located, then it could be coming from your A/C.

Should You Call A Plumber for a Leaky Air Conditioner?

Furnace and AC unit in basement

No. There are one or two other things you should do instead.

First, if you feel able to handle some level of minor HVAC repair, you can try to troubleshoot potential problems that are causing your leak. You may find that you are able to fix it yourself.

If you are not able to fix the problem yourself, you will need to call an HVAC technician. A leak coming from your air conditioning components requires a trained A/C technician to handle it. Professional A/C Technicians, like those on our skilled team at DALCO Heating & Air Conditioning, are trained in handling drain line issues related to your A/C.

Why There is Water in Your A/C

Your air conditioner creates water naturally. As your system works to cool and dehumidify your home, moisture pulled from the air gathers inside your A/C system. It collects into a large drain pan that is usually hidden from view. This water is then directed from your air conditioner to go down a drain line.

Troubleshooting a Leaking Air Conditioning System

To fix the cause of this leak, you need to determine what exactly is causing it. Water dripping from your A/C could happen due to a few different reasons.

Leak Reason 1: Clogged Condensate Drain Line

A problem with your condensate drain line is probably not something for you to fix this yourself. There are ways to try to tackle this clog with a wet/dry vac, but professional HVAC technicians have specific tools designed to fully clear out whatever is blocking an air conditioner’s condensate drain line.

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Leak Reason 2: Dirty Air Filter

You can (and should) do this fix yourself. Simply replace your air filter for a clean one. If this simple step solves your problem, then you need to assess your air filter changing schedule. Did you simply overlook changing your filter on time? If not, then your schedule was likely not sufficient for your home’s needs.

Leak Reason 3: Broken Condensate Pump

An air conditioning system that has a unit installed into the basement will often have a condensate pump. Its job is to direct the gathering water to a floor drain or sink. A condensate pump can break down or become clogged, preventing water from being pumped out of your home.

You may try to troubleshoot this problem on your own. Disconnect the drain line and empty out the water inside. Then remove the check valve and plug in the pump to see if it now works. If it doesn’t, you can purchase a new condensate pump from a hardware or big box store. If it does work, then the problem may be with the check valve. Try cleaning it thoroughly or replace it.

Leak Reason 4: Damaged Drain Pan

Your drain pan may have become rusted or otherwise damaged. Depending on the unit you have, it’s possible the pan can be simply replaced. This is a fix best left to a professional as the pan may be hard to access. Contact us for service and we will replace the pan.

Leak Reason 5: Low Refrigerant

AC drain line for refrigerant

An A/C running low on refrigerant can create a variety of problems. It can cause the evaporator coil to freeze over, which can melt and overflow the drain pan which creates a puddle. You may be dealing with a refrigerant leak. Call us to check your system, and we will evaluate if you have enough refrigerant in your system and replace any that is needed.

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Preventing an Air Conditioning Leak

These problems can be preventable. Regular inspection and maintenance on your air conditioning system would reveal signs of problems when they are first developing. Catching issues early can prevent your HVAC system from breaking down or causing damage to your home.

Request service from our team at DALCO Heating & Air Conditioning for the maintenance you need on your air conditioning and furnace tune-ups. We provide a preventative maintenance program for customers to have us handle all their HVAC maintenance and tune-ups throughout the year. It’s a Peace of Mind package allowing us to take away the worry and the work of making sure your home’s comfort system is working properly and efficiently.

Graphic showing the maintenance prevention program provided by DALCO Heating & Air Conditioning serving the Denver area

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