Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water

One of the best ways to deal with or avoid a leak in your air conditioning system is to make sure you are conducting routine maintenance on your unit.  A tune-up will allow a professional to do a comprehensive inspection of your system, examining coils and condensation pans and drain lines along with moving parts and refrigerant lines.

If any adjustments are needed or drain lines need to be cleaned to restore the flow of water from the condensation pan, it will be completed before it begins to negatively impact the performance of your home’s system.

One reason your air conditioning unit may be leaking is that your drain line is backing up, and the drain pan is overflowing.  Sometimes the problem is only a clogged drain line, and the water has nowhere else to go except back into the pan.  The pan can only hold a certain amount of water, so once the pan gets filled, it overflows, and makes it look like the unit is leaking.

Another reason you may find water leaking from your unit is because you have a condensation leak, a common problem on hot summer days when your air conditioner is likely running continuously.  A leak occurs when excess condensation is produced from the evaporator coil, which dehumidifies the air in the room by pulling in and removing condensation in the room’s air before replacing it with dry, cooler air.  Most of the condensation drips into the drain pan and drain line but on hot days, it could leak from the air conditioner when it’s unable to get rid of all the condensation fast enough. This usually is resolved once the unit is switched off and has time to drain fully but if this is a reoccurring problem you should call to have someone look at your system.

There are a few other reasons your air conditioner may leak. The air filter can clog with dust and debris. When this happens, the evaporator coil freezes, forming a layer of ice, and water spills out over the condensation pan and out of the air conditioner.  A professional will need to clear the lines, and the system will need to be shut off until the unit thaws.  Additionally, insulation is installed on the back of the indoor air conditioner where the unit attaches to the wall, and it soaks up condensation that develops on copper pipes near the back of the air conditioner. When the insulation wears, it’s no longer capable of absorbing the volume of condensation your air conditioner generates.  A leak can occur along the back wall where the unit is located.  Leaking water is a sign that your system needs a tune-up and an air conditioning professional should be able to locate where the water is coming from and why.