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You only have to wait till the hot summer months to know why so many people consider air conditioners indispensable appliances in their homes. While some people will swear by ducted air conditioning systems, others will prefer to have split systems in their home or office.
Whichever one you choose, it is apparent that they all serve good purposes wherever they are installed. Good as these appliances are, the experience can be pretty frustrating when they begin to malfunction.
One such issue people face with faulty air conditioners is when it begins to leak water. All air conditioners typically gather a small amount of moisture when operating. However, there is a point beyond which it becomes abnormal because large amounts of water begin to drip from the appliance.
If you are currently experiencing this issue, there are some things you need to know. This post will shed light on the reasons why your AC is leaking water and what exactly you can do to rectify it.
Reasons Your AC May Start Leaking Water
Air cons can release cool air when they pass air through an evaporator coil. When this air is cooled, some of its ability to retain humidity is lost, and water droplets may soon start forming. This is similar to what happens when a cold glass cup of water is left sitting on a warm day, and water droplets condense on its outside.
Depending on the type of AC you have, the water should be collected in a drip pan which can then flow down drain lines or be pumped safely outdoors. If you discover that your AC is leaking a considerable and unusual amount of water, it is a sign that something is likely wrong somewhere with it. There are different possible causes for this type of situation. Unfortunately, most of them will need the services of a professional HVAC technician.
Of all the different reasons your air conditioner could be dripping water, there are just two you are likely to be able to handle by yourself. Whatever the cause of the water leakage, the first thing you should do is turn off your unit. This way, you will be able to refrain from causing further damage to the appliance. Read on to uncover more about why your air con is leaking water.
Temperature is very low outside
This is a problem usually seen in the early and late cooling seasons. Ice may form on the air conditioner's cooling coils if the outside temperature falls below 16 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit).
This ice will thaw out at a higher temperature and cause your AC to leak water. The simple solution to this problem here is to turn off your air conditioner during cool weather.
Clogged air filter
One of the reasons your air conditioner is leaking could be because of clogged filters, which will hinder the airflow over the evaporator coils. When this happens, ice will form over them, and like the case previously discussed, water will soon start dripping from the air conditioner when the ice thaws. You should have a schedule for the regular maintenance and cleaning of the air filters.
In fact, the air filters are the first to check if you notice that your air conditioner is dripping water. If you succeed in eliminating the causes stated above and the problem persists, then there is a more severe problem with the appliance. You should call a professional air conditioning technician.
Broken condenser pump
Depending on the type of AC you have, there may be a condensation pump within the appliance. The pump is meant to push water that collects from the cooling process to the outside.
If this pump is broken, the water that has so gathered will have no escape route and eventually cause a leak in the air conditioner. If this is the scenario with your air conditioner, the pump will have to be repaired or replaced depending on the severity of damage it has suffered.
Faulty unit installation
An air conditioner leaking water could be due to a faulty air conditioning installation process. Your unit must be equipped with a vent line and P-trap. These are essential for preventing water from getting drawn back into the drip pan due to the negative pressure caused by the airflow. If these components are not adequately installed, there is bound to be a leak sometime in the future.
Blocked drain hole
One of the most common reasons you find air conditioners leaking water is because of blocked drain lines. The drain hole will eventually get clogged with dust and debris gathering in the unit.
The drain pans of such air conditioners will become filled with water and eventually start dripping over the sides. It would be best to blow out the drain lines as part of the regular maintenance of your air conditioning unit.
When the air conditioner's ductwork is not properly insulated and sealed to prevent moist ambient air from entering the system, condensation of cooled air into water droplets can occur in the ducts. The water so formed will find its way out by dripping from the appliance.
Low refrigerant levels
When the refrigerant level drops in an air conditioner, the coils will start freezing over when it is running. Each time the appliance shuts off, the ice that had been formed will melt and could overflow when the drip pan is full, causing the air conditioner to leak water. If the situation is not corrected, the leak can lead to severe structural damage, and health issues may also occur in some cases.
Disconnected drain line
During a recent activity around your air conditioning unit, damage or disconnect may have occurred on the drain line. Some types of PVC piping become brittle with age and use. Such pipes can be easily damaged when exposed to high temperatures for long periods. Unfortunately, some installers overlook quality when properly securing joints on non-pressurised lines.
What Can Cause Leaking From Inside The Unit?
If water leaks from the inside of your air conditioner, it is a real cause for concern. This is so because there is a risk of electric damage. Not only can this be expensive to repair, but it can also be hazardous. At times like this, the best approach is to contact a professional immediately and have your air conditioner thoroughly inspected.
Air conditioners leaking water are not a pretty sight to see, and there are some common reasons why this may happen, including a faulty air handler, a broken or disconnected drain line, a damaged coil that needs some TLC, a frozen evaporator coil, a damaged drain pan, etc.
I Can't Find Where Water Is Leaking From My AC
It may be easy to locate water dripping from your air conditioner. Sometimes, this may not be the case, and you may find this problematic. If this is the case, you should get in touch with professionals who are qualified to work on air conditioners immediately.
These people can help you find the source of the leak and diagnose the potential cause of the problem you have encountered with your air conditioner.
The solution to the problem may be no more than cleaning clogged drain pipes or the condensate drain. However, you cannot be sure until you have asked for help from a professional.
Getting Professional Help for Immediate Solution
As already explained, when air conditioners leak water, a wide range of issues may be responsible for the situation. The varying problems require different approaches for lasting solutions. While a quick fix can solve some problems, others require a more detailed and diligent approach.
If you want to avoid your home's entire cooling and heating system collapsing, you should always call on an HVAC professional to repair your air conditioner when it starts leaking water.