Since you spend a great deal of time with an air conditioning system running in your house during the summer, you’ll be familiar with the different sounds that come from the cabinets. One of these is the occasional dripping of water. So it might not surprise you to see water dripping from the indoor cabinet.
But should you see water dripping from your AC? The short answer: no. An air conditioner that’s leaking water has some issue wrong with the condensate drainage. We’ll get into what that means and what to do about it below.
Why there is water in the air conditioning system
Why is water inside the AC in the first place? It’s condensate, the product of evaporation of cold refrigerant. You can see this in action when you pour cold liquid into a glass. Moisture starts to collect on the outside of the glass as heat from around the cold liquid enters it and moisture in the air condenses on the surface.
This same action occurs inside an air conditioner. The refrigerant moving through the indoor evaporator coil is extremely cold. It draws heat from the air, which cools the air, but also causes moisture in the air to condense along the coil. This water must go somewhere. When it drips off the coil, it falls into a shallow pan below, the condensate pan, and then a pump draws it down a drain and out a line that deposits the water outside.
Condensate drainage trouble leads to a leaky AC
When the condensate drainage system becomes faulty, it will soon cause water to escape from the indoor unit. There are several problems that can happen:
- Clogged drain/line: The moisture inside the condensate drain and line can lead to algal growth, and this clogs the line. Because the condensate pan is shallow (only about an inch deep), water will soon overflow and spill out of the cabinet.
- Broken pump: If the motor in the small condensate pump burns out, water won’t drain properly, and the pan will again overflow.
- Loose drain: Corrosion can lead to the drain detaching from the pan. When this happens, condensate will fall through the bottom of the pan and out of the unit.
Fixing the problem
If you don’t have a leaky AC fixed, you soon won’t have a working AC—the limit switch will trip and you’ll see a blank thermostat that won’t activate the cooling system. The dripping water can also create water damage in your house and encourage mold growth in the air conditioner.
The best thing to do to stop a leaking air conditioner is to call for professionals to repair it. They’ll find the specific trouble, then clear the drain, reattach the drain, replace the pump, or whatever other service will restore the AC.
Frymire has a long history repairing central air conditioners in North Dallas, TX. Our job is never complete until we’re satisfied that we’ve done the best job possible for you. We want to earn your loyalty with quality services you can depend on each time.
Frymire Home Services: A Higher Degree of Comfort Since 1950. Schedule AC service with our experts.