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Why Does an Air Conditioner Leak Water? Possible Causes

Published on: August 19, 2013

Moisture is a natural byproduct of a normal, functioning air conditioner. However, A/Cs are designed to dispose of it in a controlled way. If something goes wrong with this process, you may notice water leaks. This is a common problem with air conditioning systems and can happen for several reasons.

What Can Cause an Air Conditioner to Leak Water?

  • Cool weather: Condensation is a natural occurrence in and around air conditioners. When temperatures fall, this water will not evaporate very quickly and you may notice puddles of water around the unit. In addition, water on the evaporator coils may start to freeze if you continue to run the A/C. Avoid operating your system in cooler weather, which, of course, shouldn’t be necessary anyway.
  • Loose seals: Air conditioners are designed to cool a certain amount of warm air, but when more air enters than usual, such as air flowing around loose seals, extra condensation will occur inside the unit and may result in leaking.
  • System is not correctly installed: Gravity affects the direction of water flow. If your air conditioner is on an uneven surface, water may leak outside of the unit instead of down into the drain.
  • Broken condensate pump: Your air conditioner’s condensate pump has one primary job – to remove excess water. To test this, add water to the condensate pan. If it doesn’t get pumped out, you have a pump problem, and you will need to have your A/C contractor look at it.
  • Blocked drain hole: It is very easy for the condensate drain to develop blocks or clogs composed of algae, dirt and other debris. In some cases, you can locate and remove the block yourself. Just remember to turn off all power to the unit before you do this, or any other kind of maintenance on the A/C. A service technician can check the drain along with other components during an annual air conditioning tune-up.

For more answers to questions such as why does an air conditioner leak water, please contact us at AirConditioningSouthEast.com. Our contractors provide quality services throughout the Southeast.