Air conditioners are expected to work in a particular way. Any deviation from the norm is a cause for concern. Therefore, it is alarming when your AC suddenly leaks water without adequate explanation. Rather than panic, it is important to know the possible causes and potential fixes to the issues. There are a few reasons why your AC may be leaking.
Damaged Drain Pan
The drain pan in your AC is responsible for catching the condensation from the pipes as it drains off. The setup of the drain pan depends on the type of AC you are using and its location. Even so, the drain pan’s function remains the same. All AC systems have a primary drain pan underneath the evaporator coil.
Additionally, horizontal systems require a different secondary drain pan placed underneath the whole system and are responsible for catching all the runaway liquid from an AC. This component is even more significant if your AC is located in the attic.
Therefore, whenever the drain pan is compromised, there will be a problem with leaks. Most drain pans are galvanized steel, stainless steel, or polymers. Whenever these materials are compromised by rust, there is bound to be a leak since the drain pan can no longer serve its purpose as intended. The solution would be to replace the drain pan with a new one. Fortunately, this is never a significant problem since most drain pans have a long lifespan, with most serving the owner for at least two decades.
Clogged Drain Line
Besides leaks being caused by compromised drain pans, it is possible that a clogged drain line could cause leaks. The drain line is connected to the drain pan and is responsible for carrying the collected condensation from the pan outside.
Unfortunately, when dirt accumulates in the condensate drain line due to poor filters, the drain line clogs and cannot allow the accumulated condensate to flow outside. This leads to an overflow of the drain pan and eventually causes the AC to leak.
Algae could also be causing a blockage at the drain line and drain pan, thus blocking water flow. It is essential to ensure the drain pan and drain lines are clean in these two cases. However, sometimes the leak in this area occurs when there is a build-up of water. The accumulation of water weighs down the drain line and stresses the connection to the drain line.
Sometimes the AC’s vibration loosens or disconnects the drain line from the drain pan, leading to leaks. Always inspect and ensure that every connection is as it should be.
A Failed Condensate Pump
Your AC has a condensate pump because it is not always possible to drain the excess water from the drain pan through gravity. The AC may be located so that natural water flow is compromised. For example, when the AC is in the basement. A centrifugal pump is thus needed to help pump out the excess water. The system is automated, and the pump can only be triggered when the water in the drain pan reaches a specific level. However, the pump could fail, leading to leaks. Always call an HVAC technician if you suspect such a thing.
It is advisable to switch off the AC once you notice a leak. You should then clean the water and inspect the system before taking further action.