Causes of a Leaky Air Conditioning System and How to Fix It

With hot summers in full swing, the last thing you need is a broken air conditioner and water leakage. It may happen due to poor installation or unclean filters. If you notice even a small trickle of water on the wall, it is a cause of worry. 

Your unit won’t function properly, and you may end up spending more on costly repairs down the road. A timely intervention by air conditioning repair specialists can save the day. Professionals can pinpoint the root cause of the issue and resolve it immediately. 

What Causes Water Leakage in an Air Conditioning System?

Before you dig for the cause of a leak, understand that a small amount of water or a few drops dripping from your AC is a normal condition. It may frequently happen in humid and hot environments where condensation occurs, and residual water leaks from the unit. 

However, if you notice substantial water leakage regularly, it’s time to take proper action that begins with identifying the causes. Here they are:

When Drain Pan Overflows or Cracks

The drain or drip pan of your air conditioning system lies under the indoor air handler. It catches the condensation dripping from the unit and discharges it outside with the drain pipe. If the drip pan is rusted, damaged, or broken, it will cause water leakage into the room. You can inspect the pan by turning off the unit and wet-dry vacuuming the pan to clean the overflowing water. 

Look closely at the corners, edges, and bottom to find the cracks or chips causing leakage. However, a rusted drip pan takes more effort to repair. Since the rust already destroyed the metal, there isn’t much to salvage. The pan may have big holes allowing water to fall through them. In this case, replacement is the only viable solution in the long run. 

When the Condensate Drain Line Gets Clogged

Over time, the condensate drain line gets clogged with debris, vegetation, algae, and fungi. You have to keep these drains clean and unclogged for a smooth-running AC unit. If the dirt or dust, clogging the pipes, mixes with the unit’s humidity, it may stick to their insides. As a result, the lines will have a lot of gunk, preventing the proper drainage of condensed water. Hence, drain lines will back up and overflow from the unit. 

Sometimes, even the condensate pump is the culprit for leaking air conditioners. If the pump breaks, there is no outlet for the water that ultimately starts pooling around the unit. Instead of attempting to unclog it yourself, call air conditioning repair professionals who will have the proper equipment to suck out the blocking material and repair the condensate pump.

When the Refrigerant Levels are Low

Having low or no refrigerant in the air conditioning unit is an alarming sign for the homeowners. Lower refrigerant levels exert pressure on the unit, and you will notice visible changes in the air temperature. Also, low refrigerant can freeze up the evaporator coils that convert water dripping from your unit into vapors. It indicates lower power in the coils to expel the vapors and cool the area. 

Once the frozen coils start melting, they may lead to water leakage in the air conditioner. To eliminate this issue, keep the refrigerant at an optimal level and ensure timely maintenance. 

When the Unit is Not Installed Correctly

A new or a recently serviced air conditioner unit may not be installed appropriately and cause more problems. Faulty installations can even lead to water leakages from the unit. It happens when there are gaps between the condensate tray, drain pipe, and the unit. If the drainpipe is exposed, it allows condensed water to drip into the room.

You can avoid this problem by entrusting AC installation only to reputed contractors in your area. Look into their experience, skills, certifications, reviews, and licenses to ensure they know their job and install your AC without any glitches. 

When Dirt or Grime Accumulates on the Air Filter

The air filter in your unit cleans the atmosphere by filtering out dirt and dust. It needs proper cleaning and maintenance to do its job well. However, with neglect, dirt, dust, pollutants, or pollens accumulate on the air filters and clog them up. This results in frozen evaporator coils since there is no proper airflow to the coils.  

Avoid this problem with regular inspection and replacement of air filters every two to three months. If the problem persists, call the experts for a thorough evaluation and air conditioning repair.

With the right maintenance, you can resolve water leakage issues in your air conditioning system. Rely on experts to fix it before it gets worse. 


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