Air Conditioner Leaking Water – Tips To Repair Your AC


Your air conditioner is your lifeline in those hot summer months. Getting it serviced at the beginning of the spring months does a lot to ensure your unit’s longevity. However, problems can occur from time to time. When you experience a water leak with your air conditioning unit, you may be able to fix the simple tips below.

Understanding How Your Air Conditioning Unit Works

Before you can start to understand how to fix the problem that you’re experiencing, you’re going to need some basic knowledge about how air conditioners work. This will allow you to understand how each component functions with the next. When you know how they all operate together, you can evaluate the system as a whole to locate the exact cause of your leak.

Air conditioners function to pull humid and warm air out of the inside of your home. This is done over a coil of cold tubing that is cooled by a substance called refrigerant. Essentially, the moisture in the humid air condenses on the evaporator coil. This liquid is then referred to as condensate. Once on the coil, it will drip off and enter the drain pan below the unit.

All different styles of air conditioners work this way regardless of whether it fits in your window or it’s a central air conditioning unit. On the bigger centralized air conditioning units, there is a lot of condensates that are produced. You’ll notice the size of the drain pan is large. When the pan gets full, it will drain down into a pipe. This pipe will run to the outside of your home. With some systems, a small container has a pump called a condensate pump, which removes the condensate to the outdoors.

Frozen Evaporator Coils

The first thing that you should look for is if your evaporator coils are frozen or not. The evaporator coils are intended to take the heat out of your home and displace it via the condenser unit outside. When there is something that restricts the airflow to your evaporator coils, they will likely freeze up. When they freeze, the ice tends to drip water, where the water leak comes from.

Frozen evaporator coils can be caused by a number of factors that have to do with the airflow in your HVAC system. A clogged filter can drastically reduce the amount of airflow that your system gets. It’s best to change out your filter every 30 to 90 days. If your filter is clean, then check the vents throughout your home. If they’re accidentally closed or blocked, it can reduce airflow. Other causes include a broken blower motor or a lack of refrigerant in the system. These problems will need to be handled by a pro with the right equipment to complete the job. Check out more here

Leaky Drain Pan

Every HVAC system has a drain pan that is located underneath the actual air handler. This is the part of your system that houses the evaporator coil. Its main purpose is to catch any excess condensation that your unit expels. Take a moment and shut off your air conditioning system. Assess the state of your drain pan.

If there are any identifiable leaks in your drain pan, you’ll need to fix them. For the removable pan, you can simply purchase another one and replace it yourself. For the permanent or fixed pan, you’ll need to call in a pro. As a temporary fix, you can utilize a water sealant to run your system without any more damage still until you can get a professional in to remedy the actual problem.

Clogged Condensation Drain

The next reason that your air conditioner may be leaking is due to a clogged drain line. It’s not uncommon for this line to be blocked with debris, algae, fungi, or merely hard water. It’s a necessary maintenance task to have this drain line cleaned. However, backups can occur, and you should know how to face them.

The condensate drain line is easily located near the air handler’s drain pan. It looks like a PVC pipe that will stick up at a 90-degree angle. You’ll need to remove the cap on top of it. Try pouring about six ounces of vinegar down the pipe. If this doesn’t work to solve the blockage, then you’ll need to go outside.

Located at the outdoor condenser unit, you should be able to find a drain line. You can utilize the help of a wet-dry vac to suck up any debris within the piping line. Many local hardware stores will sell a specialized attachment for your wet-dry vac that allows it to attach seamlessly to your outdoor drain line. This is recommended to ensure that your entire blockage is adequately removed.

Refrigerant Leak

While this isn’t the most likely cause of a system leak, we figured we’d include it in our list encase it just happens to be at the root of your problem. This type of leak should be pretty obvious as it onsets quickly. If you’ve noticed a leak in your system and it’s no longer blowing cold air, it’s a great indication that you leak your refrigerant.

When there is no refrigerant in your air conditioner, it will not be able to cool the air. You’ll notice that your supply vents are blowing out hot air. You may even find ice around the outdoor condenser unit. In some cases, you may see bubbling at the refrigerant line or a hissing sound. If this is the scenario that you find yourself in, it’s best to call in a professional to handle the repair. They have the right tools to get the job done.

Having a water leak from your air conditioning system may not be something that you want to deal with. However, the sooner you take care of the problem, the less damage it can cause. The above are the most likely causes of leaking water in your system and how to fix them easily.