There is a reasonable call for concern if you are noticing your air conditioner has pools of water around it. Your air conditioner is leaking and this is a big problem for your home and your a/c. Why is this happening? How do you fix this?
The first precautionary step you should take is to TURN OFF your air conditioner. Doing this will prevent any significant water damage and dangerous electrical issues.
We recommend calling a professional HVAC technician here at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of the Bay Area, who knows the ins and outs of your air conditioning unit to ensure that your problem will be fixed in the most efficient manner.
If you are wondering what is causing your air conditioner to leak water inside your home, we will clearly explain some potential causes of this problem while providing you areas to check to confirm the problem. We do heavily advise you call a professional HVAC technician, as the problem with water and electricity can be hazardous.
Understanding How Your Air Conditioner Works
Within your air conditioner contains an evaporator coil that cools the warm air blown over it. This process causes condensation where moisture will begin to form on the coil.
The water on the evaporator coil falls into a sloped drain pan and down a condensate drain line. This drain line is usually made of a PVC pipe and will either exit out of your home and into your home’s plumbing system.
Water from the humid air inside your home tends to overflow the drainage system of an air conditioning unit. When the water in your A/C has no place to drain, the water will overflow the drainage system causing leaks in your house.
From this point on, we will be pinpointing causes for the leaks in your home.
1: Clogged Condensate Drain Pipe
Debris is the usual culprit for clogs and for drain lines they are mold, dirt, and insects. Clogged drain lines prevent the water from going anywhere but the inside of the home.
Solution: Use a wet-dry vacuum to suck out whatever is clogging the outdoor PVC condensate pipe. If you are unsure of how to do this, you can call One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of the Bay Area and one of our qualified repair technicians will help you.
2: Dirty Evaporator Coil or Rusted Drain Pan
The dirt in your evaporator coil has accumulated and as a result, mixed itself with the water. This mixed combination of water and dirt falls into the drain pan and the large quantity of it caused your drain to clog.
Solution: We recommend calling an HVAC technician to fix this issue. You can further prevent this from happening by having your air conditioning maintained every year. Our HVAC company can provide an annual A/C maintenance where checking your evaporator coil among other parts of your unit is a standard procedure.
3: Repair or Replace the Broken Condensate Pump
If your indoor air conditioning unit is installed in the basement, there should be a condensate pump it pumps water outside.
Check to see if the condensate pump is broken, if you find that it is, and then this could be the cause for your air conditioning unit leaking water into your home.
Solution: You will need this pump replaced or repaired immediately.
4: Change Your Dirty Air Filters (Frozen Evaporator Coil)
A dirty air filter blocks airflow over the evaporator coil. This blocked airflow caused the evaporator coil to freeze up. When the ice melts it causes an excess amount of water to fall onto the pan. This excess amount of water may be too much for your pan to handle, which then causes the leak in your home.
Solution: We advise changing your air filters every 1-3 months. This is also covered in our HVAC Company’s annual A/C maintenance.
5: Low Refrigerant/Freon (Frozen Evaporator Coil)
When your A/C is low on refrigerant, it tends to lower the pressure in your air conditioning system. Again, like the dirty air filters, this will cause your evaporator coil to freeze up. When the coil melts the excess water will overwhelm the drain pan.
Signs to tell if you’re low on refrigerant:
- The air conditioner isn’t cooling well
- You hear hissing, rumbling, or vibrating noises coming from your unit – this is normally an indication that your refrigerant has started to leak
Solution: Depending on how severe the leak is, your best-case scenario will be to repair the leak. If your leak has gotten out of hand, then, unfortunately, the entire A/C system has been damaged, and a standard repair will no longer be viable, you will have to replace the entire system.
6: Improper Installation of Condensate Trap
An improperly designed condensate trap could be the cause of the leak in your home. If you recently had your air conditioning unit installed, the problem could have been the installation itself. When the condensate trap is not right for the unit, it will prevent the condensate pipe from draining, and then your drain pan will overflow into your home.
Solution: Have a professional fully examine the condensate trap to see if it was designed appropriately for your unit and to repair it if necessary.
As we mentioned before, the best way to prevent this issue from happening is to have your unit inspected at least twice a year. This will allow a repair technician to diagnose if you have an impending problem. It will allow us the chance to recommend repairs and part replacements before they become severe problems that will cause your A/C unit to break down completely. The worst-case scenario is a complete replacement of your entire A/C unit before the expected 10-15 year life expectancy.
Our air conditioning maintenance procedure includes: replacing air filters, making sure your refrigerant is filled and lubricating all moving parts of your air conditioning unit. We will inspect your drainage system for contaminants that causes clogs and blockages.
Understand that if you are already experiencing water leaking and pooling inside your home the problem is already severe. It is best to contact an experienced HVAC technician to handle the problem. You never want to deal with the combination of heavy electrical wiring and water at the same time, leave it to the professionals.
Do not fret, this is a very common issue that we regularly get called for every year. We will send someone right over and have your leak repaired and your A/C unit up and running again.
Call One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of the Bay Area to inspect and repair your A/C unit today!