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Water Leaking From the AC? Here’s Why…


We’ve written before about refrigerant leaks in air conditioners and why they’re a serious problem. But refrigerant isn’t the only thing that can leak from an air conditioner. You might notice water dripping from the indoor unit of your AC. If your immediate thought is that this isn’t right, you’re 100% correct. Water leaks from an air conditioner may not be as big a problem as refrigerant leaks, but they’re still a problem and it’s best to call us for air conditioning repair in Akron, OH to get it fixed.

Where Does This Water Come From?

If you know the basics about how air conditioning systems work, you’ll know they don’t use water to lower the temperature of the air. (A different type of cooling system, an evaporative cooler, uses water.) They use refrigerant to move heat from inside the house to the outside. So why is there water in an AC that can drip out?

The answer is that water is a byproduct of evaporating refrigerant. As the evaporator coil in the AC cools the air, it causes moisture in the air to condense along the coil’s surface. You see a similar effect on the outside of a glass of cold liquid: as the heat around the cold glass warms up the liquid, water droplets form on the glass surface. This water is known as condensate moisture, and it needs an exit route from the air conditioning system.

How This Water Can Leak From the AC

When an air conditioning system is working normally, the condensate moisture leaves the AC through the condensate drainage system: a pan below the coil assembly catches the dripping water and a pump draws the water down a drain line to deposit it outside. 

The main reasons that water can leak from an air conditioner are connected to problems with this condensate drainage system:

  • Clogged drain: The drain connected to the condensate pan can become blocked with algal growth. This will cause the pan to overflow rapidly. (It’s only about an inch deep.) Usually, this will trigger a limit switch that will shut off the AC. If you see water dripping from your air conditioner and the screen of the thermostat has gone blank, this is probably what has happened.
  • Detached drain: Corrosion along the drain can weaken its connection to the bottom of the pan and cause it to break loose. This allows water to drip through a hole in the pan.
  • Broken pump: If the condensate pump burns out, it won’t be effective at pulling water down the drain line. This will soon cause the pan overflowing. 
  • Cracked pan: Most condensate pans are plastic and can crack from age or too much heat. This will lead to water leaking from it.

Call Us for Repairs

Water leaks from an air conditioner can cause the system to shut down, inflict water damage on your house, and increase humidity inside the AC so mold and mildew start to grow. To have this problem remedied fast, put our experts on the job.

Call Crown Group Ohio—Your Comfort Experts Since 1963. You can rely on us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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