What Causes an Air Conditioner to Leak Water?

The sight of water coming out of an air conditioner might cause some homeowners to panic and wonder whether the unit is about to break down and leave them sweltering in the heat. To answer the question “why is my air conditioner leaking water”, our heating and cooling experts at Ray & Son Heating & Air Conditioning have created this troubleshooting guide to help you determine whether the water leak is a normal occurrence or whether is is suggestive of a problem.

When Leaking Water from the Air Conditioner Is Expected

The production of some water is to be expected during the normal cooling processes completed by a central air conditioning system. As the indoor air passes through the cooling coils and the system’s built in dehumidification system, water condenses out of the air. This water collects on the evaporator coils and is funneled out into the condensate drain pan, through the condensate pipe and out the pipe into the waste water system. Water dripping from the condensate pipe or drain pan are from the normal cooling processes of the system.

Problems That Result in Leaking Water from the Air Conditioner

If there is a flood of water coming from the air conditioner or there is water leaking from an unexpected place, this could indicate a problem within the system.

  • A crack in the drain pan
  • Obstruction in the condensate line
  • Improper installation of the evaporator unit or condenser unit
  • Excessive indoor humidity
  • Frozen condensation in the coils
  • Low refrigerant level
  • Separated joints or cracks in the drain pipes

What to Do About Leaking Water from an Air Conditioner

If the water is only dripping out of the condensate pipe, there is no cause for concern, as this is to be expected. However, if there is water leaking from elsewhere in the air conditioning system, service might be needed. Try these troubleshooting steps:

  • Replace the air filter.
  • Turn off the system to allow any ice to melt.
  • Restart the system after several hours. If water is still leaking from an inappropriate location, air conditioner maintenance is needed.
  • Maintenance and troubleshooting by our HVAC technicians will pinpoint any problems within the system that are causing the leak.

During the hot and humid summer days in Valdosta, GA, some leaking water from a central air conditioning system is normal. However, any signs of system problems should always be brought to the attention of an HVAC specialist. For prompt, courteous and reliable service, our team at Ray & Sons Heating & Air Conditioning is always available to assist you.