Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water? 5 Reasons Explained

air conditioner with condenser fan leaned against itWhen you notice water pooling around your air conditioner, it’s natural to become concerned. An air conditioner leaking water is a common problem with several possible causes. Understanding the reasons behind your leaky air conditioner can help you identify and fix the problem before significant damage occurs.

Clogged Condensate Drain Line

Dehumidification is a natural part of the cooling process. The condensate drain line carries away accumulated condensation and disposes of it outside. However, if the drain line becomes clogged with algae or other debris, water may back up and overflow the drain pan.

To eliminate the clog, use a wet-dry vacuum to suck out debris from the drain line. Alternatively, a pipe cleaner or stiff wire can clear the blockage. Call a professional for help unblocking the line and applying a preventative algaecide treatment if needed.

Failed Condensate Pump

In some AC units, condensate is pumped out instead of draining through a gravity-fed line. If the condensate pump fails, water can accumulate in the drip pan and eventually overflow.

The only fix is to replace the failed condensate pump. This task is best left to a professional who can ensure the new pump is installed properly and working correctly.

Cracked Drain Pan

The drain pan is a metal or plastic tray that sits below the evaporator coil and catches the water that drips occasionally. An old drain pan may develop cracks, causing a leaking AC unit.

The appropriate repair for a cracked drain pan is to replace it. This can be a complicated process because it involves moving the indoor HVAC components, so it’s best to call a professional to perform this repair.

Frozen Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil absorbs heat from indoor air. If the coil becomes too cold, it may freeze over. When the ice on the coil melts, it drips onto the floor, making it appear like the AC is leaking water.

A frozen evaporator coil has three potential causes:

  • The air filter is clogged and restricting airflow.
  • Dirt and grime have accumulated on the coil, insulating it and preventing heat transfer.
  • The refrigerant level is low, preventing the cooling process from happening.

First, turn off the AC unit and let the ice melt to fix a frozen evaporator coil. You can speed this up with a hairdryer. Then, check the air filter and replace it if it’s dirty. A grimy evaporator coil or low refrigerant charge could be to blame if the problem persists. You’ll need a professional’s help to resolve these issues.

Improper Installation

If the AC unit is not level, condensation may accumulate and leak from certain areas. Additionally, if the drain line is not installed correctly or is undersized, water may back up and overflow the drain pan.

If an improper installation is the reason behind your air conditioner leaking water, call a professional to reposition the AC unit, ensure it sits level, and replace or resize the drain line as needed to prevent future leaks.

Why Choose C.B. Lucas?

A leaking air conditioner can be frustrating, but the problem is usually relatively easy to fix. For help repairing an air conditioner leak, turn to C.B. Lucas. Our AC repair team is licensed, insured, and NATE-certified, with experience servicing all air conditioner makes and models.

We have over 45 years of experience as a family-owned and -operated business and retain an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for your peace of mind. We are committed to delivering outstanding value, quality customer service, and repairs that last!

The next time you spot a leaky AC, contact C.B. Lucas at 703.590.3700 to request air conditioner repair in Northern Virginia.

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