Is Your AC Leaking Water Inside? Here’s Why

May 24, 2017

First things first: If you see water around your AC indoor unit, be sure to shut OFF your thermostat to prevent any further water damage.

Once you do that, it’s time to diagnose the water problem. Your air conditioner could be leaking water because of several reasons, but here are 6 of the most common:

  1. Leaky drain pan

  2. Filthy air filter

  3. Clogged condensate drain line

  4. Disconnected drain line

  5. Lack of refrigerant

  6. Broken condensate pump

 We’ll go into more detail about each of these problems. We’ve divided them into 2 categories:

  • Problems you can fix

  • Problems a professional needs to fix

 Let’s start with the AC leaking problems you can fix:

AC leaking problems you can fix

Try to fix these issues before you call a professional.

Leaky drain pan

If your drain pan (sometimes called overflow pan) is rusted and cracked, it’ll start to leak water around your indoor unit. Leaky drain pans are especially common if your AC is 12+ years old.

Go to a home improvement store and ask for a drain/overflow pan. Make sure you know your AC model number. The store attendant can help you find a pan that matches your air conditioner.

Filthy air filter

If your air filter looks dirty like the one on the right, it’s may be causing your AC to leak.

How can a dirty air filter could be causing your A/C to leak, you ask? Well, it’s because a dirty filter blocks air from your AC’s evaporator coil, which makes it freeze over. When the ice melts off of the coils, the drain pan fills up with water and overflows.

Check your air filter. If it looks like the filter on the right in the image above, then you should replace it. Normally you should check your filter every 3 months, but during summer cooling months you may need to check it monthly.

AC leaking problems a professional needs to fix

Have you checked your drain pan and air filters? If they aren’t the issue, your leaking problem may be caused by 1 of these problems that a certified technician should fix...

Clogged condensate drain line

A clogged condensate drain line is the most common cause of water leakage. Sometimes dust and debris get lodged into the drain and stop it up, which makes water overflow into the drain pan and around your indoor unit.

Most ACs come with a water-overflow cutoff switch which shuts down the A/C if it detects a clogged condensate line to protect your home from water damage. So if you see leaking water and you hear your system shut off suddenly, it could point to a clogged condensate drain line.

You can try to use a wet/dry vacuum to remove the dust and debris, but the easiest and most efficient way to clear a clogged drain line is to contact a professional. A professional has the right equipment to suck out the blockage.

Disconnected drain line

Sometimes a drain line can loosen over time and cause the pipe to disconnect from your air conditioner. When the drain line becomes disconnected, it leaks water into your home.

Contact an AC expert to reconnect your drain line.

Lack of refrigerant

Low refrigerant levels in your AC cause the evaporator coil to freeze over (similar to dirty air filters). When the coil melts, it drips into the drain pan and makes it overflow.

If you hear a hissing or bubbling noise coming from your air conditioner, it could point to a refrigerant leak.

If you’re low on refrigerant, it’s because you have a leak somewhere. Your AC technician can find and repair any refrigerant leaks, but if they’re really severe you may have to replace the whole A/C unit.

Learn more about refrigerant leaks.

Broken condensate pump

If your AC is installed in the basement, it has a condensate pump that moves the water outside. If this is broken, you’ll start to notice puddles of water around your indoor unit.

A professional will need to repair or replace the condensate pump.

Need a trustworthy AC professional in the Tampa area?

Contact Red Cap to fix your AC leaking problem. We’ll get your air conditioner working again in tip-top shape so you don’t have to worry about water coming into your home anymore.

  • Posted in:

Similar Articles: