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Why Your Air Conditioner Is Leaking: Common Causes & Solutions

Some condensation on your air conditioner is normal, but excessive water leaking from your system may indicate a larger issue that you’ll need to troubleshoot or have repaired by a professional. Learn about the common causes for excessive condensation on an AC unit and basic troubleshooting tips you can try before calling a pro.

Top Reasons for Leaking Air Conditioners

Clogged Air Filter

Changing your air filter regularly not only helps improve your HVAC system’s efficiency, it can also help prevent problems associated with frozen evaporator coils, like leaks!

When your air filter becomes dirty and clogged, it blocks adequate airflow to the evaporator coil, which can cause the coil to get too cold and freeze. Once it starts to melt, there may be so much water that your air conditioner’s condensate pan is not able to handle it.

Low Refrigerant Levels

Like a dirty air filter, low refrigerant levels and corresponding low pressure can also cause your air conditioner’s evaporator coil to freeze and water to overflow.

On the other hand, the puddle you notice near you air conditioner may indicate that you may have a refrigerant leak, rather than a water leak, although this scenario is not as common. When this happens, you may hear a hissing or bubbling sound coming from your unit. Refrigerant becomes dangerous when it evaporates and becomes a gas, so be sure to call a professional right away if you suspect you may have a refrigerant leak.

Cracked, Rusted, or Missing Condensate Drain Pan

The older your air conditioner is, the more likely this is the culprit for your leaking water heater. Drain pans that have been damaged or corroded will not be able to adequately hold water, which can result in a leak.

There are typically two drain pans in a unit: a permanently fixed one located underneath evaporator coils, and a removable one underneath your unit. If you are a particularly handy homeowner, you may consider trying to fix any cracks in the fixed pan yourself using water sealant, although it is best to replace this item altogether, and that requires a professional’s help. However, you may be able to replace the auxiliary pan yourself.

Clogged or Disconnected Drain Line

There are several drain pipes that channel water through your air conditioner. If any become loose over time to the point of disconnection, your air conditioner will leak. If any of these drain pipes become blocked by debris, algae, or fungi, this can also cause leaks.

You may be able to clear the blockage by pouring a small amount of vinegar down the drain line or using a wet-dry vac. Many home improvement stores sell attachments for your wet-dry vac that are designed for this purpose.

Tips for Diagnosing & Fixing Your Leaking Air Conditioner

The first step you should take when you notice excessive condensation coming from your air conditioner is turning it off. This is essential to prevent further issues, and, if your air conditioner is leaking from inside, to protect your belongings. You should also put a towel down to stem the flow of the leak, or consider using a shop vac if there is a significant amount of water.

If you believe the leak has been caused by a damaged condensate drain pan, you can replace the auxiliary pan or attempt to repair the primary pan with water sealant. Or, if you believe a clogged condensate drain line is responsible for the leak, you can try clearing the clog with vinegar or a wet-dry vac.

To help prevent future air conditioner leaks, be sure to change your air filters regularly and schedule routine professional maintenance visits to help improve the performance of your system and stop any minor issues from becoming major issues over time.

Air Conditioner Repair Services in Dallas, TX

Are you a homeowner with a leaking air conditioner in the Dallas area? If so, trust Frymire Home Services for expert AC repair services. You can count on our team for fair pricing and great workmanship, which we believe everyone deserves. Choosing Frymire Home Services means choosing professionalism and reliability—we won’t send anyone into your home for a job that we wouldn’t let into ours. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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