Everyone wants their AC unit to run as efficiently as possible, especially during the hot summer months. In many areas, it would even be impossible to live comfortably without the use of AC systems.
However, water leakages in the AC can bring serious problems, and if they aren’t addressed early, it can lead to a breakdown when you need it the most.
What do you do when you have an air conditioner leaking water outside, and what’s the best way to fix the issue?
In the next few paragraphs, you’ll not only learn about the main causes of the leaks but also incredible tips on how to fix an air conditioner leaking water outside.
Main Causes of Water Leakage in your AC
- Improper AC Unit Installation
If your AC has not been installed properly, there are high chances of water leakages outside. When your AC unit starts to leak water outside just a few days or months after installation, then the most probable cause is improper installation.
Another problem during installation that can lead to your AC leaking water outside is incorrect sizing. It’s important to ensure that the system you intend to use matches your home’s cooling needs.
Seeking the services of an authorized HVAC service provider during the purchase and installation of your unit to completely avoid this issue.
- Condensate Pan Cracks
If your drip pan has some cracks, this might also be the reason why that air conditioner is leaking water outside. Usually, the drip pan is situated underneath the unit’s evaporator coils and it’s designed to collect moisture during the cooling process. Ordinarily, water should flow downwards to the condensate drain line.
Cracks on the drip pan mean that instead of the water going down through the condensate drain, it’s flowing through the cracks instead, leading to your air conditioner leaking water outside.
To solve this, all you need is to replace the damaged or cracked drip pan to ensure proper collection and removal of the water from your unit.
When accessing the condensate drip pan for replacement, ensure that you’ve first switched off the power. Then, remove any stagnant water or debris using a vacuum cleaner to clearly see the cracks and assess the damage. If you aren’t comfortable replacing the drip pan yourself, you can instead contact a professional to perform the task for you.
- Broken Condensate Pump
For some homes, a condensate pump is necessary to pump the excess water out of the system. Mainly, the pump comes in handy if your HVAC system is located far inside the house, like in your basement.
If this pump is damaged or malfunctioning, the system can’t flush the condensate out efficiently and eventually leads to a build-up of water that causes leakage.
- Blockage of an AC Condensate Line
If your AC is leaking water outside, another possible culprit might be a condensate line that is clogged or even blocked. Generally, as the AC cools your house, it usually generates water. This happens when the air temperatures reduce and the water vapor condenses to a liquid state.
However, if the drain line for this drain line is clogged, blocked, or damaged, the water won’t drain properly and lead to the AC leaking water outside.
Here are some steps you can take towards removing any blockage:
- Use bleach solution and water to clean the drain line every month to avoid the clogs.
- Use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of clogs and debris from the system. You can also push a wire brush inside the line to remove the clogs.
If you aren’t comfortable taking on this job yourself, don’t hesitate to call a professional to fix issues with your AC leaking water outside.
- Freezing of Evaporator Coils
Ensure that your AC’s air filter remains clean at all times, as it’s prone to dirt, dust, or debris which can build up within the evaporator coils.
If dirt or dust obstructs the proper function of the coils, it leads to freezing. The result is your coils dripping and causing an accumulation of water coming from the drain pan.
Your AC coils may also freeze due to other reasons. For instance, insufficient refrigerant levels or poor airflow because of dirty filters can stop proper heat absorption and lead to frozen coils.
When ice accumulates on these coils, the excess water runs off to be exuded via the unit’s drain line. This can lead to water leaking outside your unit.
If this happens, you can solve it by:
- Turning on the fan, which helps to warm the coils
- Checking and replacing your air filter if necessary
- Contacting an HVAC professional for repair or replacement, if you can’t locate those frozen coils.
- Below Normal Temperatures
Your AC leaking water outside could also be a result of abnormally low-temperature levels. If the temperatures outside your AC are below 55 degrees, expect water leakages. The coils usually freeze, leading to a condensate pool around your AC unit.
In this scenario, turn off your system and wait for the coils to unfreeze.
- Loose Drain Pipe Connections
Look out for the water drain pipes and their links. If they are loose, water will leak in and outside your AC. You’ll need to turn off your AC unit to inspect the piping and make sure it isn’t causing any leaks.
Ensure that the drain hose faces down when installing it. It should not be bent or folded if you want it to work properly.
- Refrigerant Leaks
A refrigerant leak issue can cause a water leak. If the refrigerant levels reduce to a particular point, it affects the pressure of your AC unit. This can lead to pushing water outside of the normal piping and into your drain pan. The water will usually be more than your drain pan can handle, leading to a water leak outside your unit.
To solve this, ensure that your AC operates with the correct amount of refrigerant levels. You can request help on the same from an HVAC technician.
- Poor Maintenance
Poor maintenance can also lead to your air conditioner dripping water outside. Typically, your AC needs timely and proper maintenance just like any other home equipment. Therefore, ensure that you do HVAC maintenance at least twice every year.
Having a qualified technician that you can call any time is paramount to keeping your AC unit functional all year round. At Anderson Air, we offer the best services around for AC installation and maintenance, so contact us today if you’re looking to address air conditioner leaks outside your home.