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Why You’re Seeing Water Leaking From Your AC

If you’ve noticed water pooling around the air conditioning unit, you’re correct to assume that it’s not a good sign. You should never see water dripping out of the HVAC cabinet inside of your house, and not just because it can cause water damage and lead to the growth of mold and mildew. That water shows something is wrong with how the air conditioner’s condensate drainage system is working. If you don’t have proper air conditioning repair in Brockport, NY, you may soon have a non-working air conditioner!

Below we’ll look at several of the reasons for water leaking from an air conditioning system.

Condensate Drainage

Before going further, we need to explain the condensate drainage system of your air conditioning system, since malfunctions with it are responsible for most cases of water leaks. 

As your AC runs and cools down your house, it also draws moisture vapor from the air it conditions. The AC evaporates cold refrigerant inside the indoor refrigerant coil, which absorbs heat but also causes water vapor in the air to condense into moisture along the coil. This moisture needs to go somewhere: it drips from the coil and falls into a pan placed below the coil assembly. The water from this condensate pan gets pumped down a drain by a condensate pump and then exits the house to drip onto the ground outside. You’ll know this process is working when you occasionally hear water dripping inside the AC.

Condensate Drainage Troubles Leading the Water Leaks

Now it’s time to look at how this drainage system can go wrong and leak water from the AC.

  • Clogged condensate drain: The moisture inside the drain can often cause algal growths, which will quickly stop up the drain. Because the condensate pan is only about an inch deep, a clogged drain will cause the pan to soon overflow and leak water. Most ACs have a limit switch that will shut the system off if this occurs.
  • Corroded drain: If the condensate drain becomes too corroded with age, it may detach from the bottom of the condensate pan, leaving a hole for water to drip down through.
  • Burnt out condensate pump: The motor in the condensate pump can burnt out, making it harder to draw water down the drain. This will cause the condensate pan to soon overflow.
  • Melt from a frozen evaporator coil: If the evaporator coil freezes (which is itself a malfunction), when the water melts from it, the amount may be enough to cause the pan to overflow.
  • Refrigerant leak: Finally, the trouble may not be with water leaks, but a refrigerant leak. This is a serious problem that threatens the entire AC; you’ll need it corrected by professionals right away.

Solving a Leaking AC

You can attempt to unclog a condensate leak with a solution of water and vinegar, but for all other problems we recommend you call on our professionals to handle finding the source of the leak and repairing it.

Triple-O Heating, Cooling, Electrical & Plumbing Is Your One-stop Shop for HVAC, Plumbing and Electrical. Reach out to us when you need AC repair.

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