Is Water Leaking From My AC?

Your air conditioner is made of two components--the evaporator (inside unit) and the condenser (outside unit). The evaporator contains something called the evaporator coil that removes heat from the air to cool it. Removing the heat from the air causes condensation to form on the coil, in the same way a cold drink will perspire on a hot day. The evaporator coil sits above a drain pan where the condensation falls before traveling down a drain line that leads outside.

Now that we understand where the water is coming from, it’s time to look at some possible causes of a leaking evaporator.

Clogged Drain Line

As mentioned above, the water from the evaporator coil follows a specific path from the drain pan to the drain line that leads outside. The drain line is the first site of your possible issues. If your drain line is clogged with mud, sludge, dirt, or other debris, the water won’t have an exit and will have to choice but to push back the way it came--ending up in your home.

The solution: The best way to remove the clog is with a shop-vacuum or other specialty vacuum on the drain line. A professional HVAC technician will have the right equipment to remove any clogs for you.


Damaged Drain Pan

Depending on the age of your air conditioner and how well-maintained it’s been over the years, the drain pan that catches the condensation from the evaporator coil may be rusted or damaged. This damage could be creating holes or small cracks that allow water to slip through.

The solution: Sometimes the answer is as simple as the problem--if your drain pan is damaged, you’ll want to replace it with a new one.


Refrigerant Leak

A refrigerant leak can impact the inner mechanics of your air conditioner. Low refrigerant levels will change the pressure in your air conditioner which can cause the evaporator coil to freeze over. Once the coil begins to thaw, the water drips as a quicker rate than usual and your drain pan may overflow.

The solution: Low refrigerant levels are caused by a leak that needs to be repaired somewhere in your system. When dealing with refrigerant issues you’ll always have to call a professional because refrigerant is an environmental hazard and HVAC technicians need a special handling certification to work with it.

Western States Home Services is your home comfort specialist for all seasons. If your air conditioner is leaking, not cooling, or making strange sounds, our team of HVAC experts can help. Contact us online or by phone at (480) 630-3270 to answer your questions or schedule a service.