What to Do If Your AC Is Leaking Water

March 7, 2024

Is your AC leaking water, and you don’t know what to do? If so, here are the four most important steps to take.

1. Turn Off the AC’s Power Supply

If your air conditioner leaks, you must immediately turn off the power to avoid electrical dangers and possible damage to the unit. To safely turn off the power, locate the circuit breaker or disconnect the switch dedicated to the air conditioner unit and switch it to the “off” position.

2. Use Buckets or Towels to Limit Damage

Place towels strategically around the affected area to limit damage from a leaky AC. You can also position a bucket directly underneath the leak to collect water and prevent it from spreading further. This temporary measure can help mitigate damage to your home until the issue is resolved.

3. Replace the Air filter

The HVAC filter in your air conditioning system is designed to prevent dirt and debris from damaging its internal components. However, if it becomes clogged, it can cause various issues with your cooling system by restricting proper airflow through the unit. This includes causing the evaporator coil to freeze. When the air conditioner turns off during the cooling cycle, the ice begins to melt, and water leaks from the unit. After replacing the air filter, you may have to wait several hours before turning your AC back on to ensure all the ice has melted. In general, air filters need to be changed every three months. However, you may have to replace yours more often depending on factors like the number of people who live in your household and if you have pets.

4. Contact an HVAC Technician

If replacing a dirty air filter doesn’t fix the problem, and your air conditioner freezes up again or continues to leak, it’s best to contact a licensed HVAC technician. They’ll be able to pinpoint the problem and fix it properly. Troubleshooting an air conditioner on your own could make the issue worse or damage it further, which will increase the expense of repairs down the road. During their visit, your technician may perform several tasks.

Check the Condensate Drain Line

The condensate line carries the water produced during your air conditioner’s operation to the outdoors. When addressing a leaky AC, an HVAC technician will examine the line for clogs or blockages caused by dirt, debris, or algae buildup. If they find one or more clogs, they’ll clear them using specialized tools or by flushing the line with a cleaning solution. If the drain line has become damaged, they can replace it.

Check for Loose or Damaged Seals

Numerous air conditioner components use seals to function properly. The air handler circulates air and pushes indoor air through the evaporator coil. If the seals around the air handler are loose or damaged, moisture can escape from the unit instead of draining properly. This issue can result in water pooling around the air handler and eventually leaking onto the floor. To find and fix any potentially compromised seals, HVAC technicians will examine the air handler and refrigerant line connections, among other parts.

Ensure Optimal Refrigerant Levels

If your AC system is low on refrigerant, it can cause the evaporator coil to freeze and eventually thaw, leading to water leakage. A qualified HVAC technician can locate and repair refrigerant leaks and recharge the system to the correct levels.

Fix Damaged Drain Pan

Over time, the drain pan beneath the evaporator coil can become damaged or corroded, resulting in water leakage. A Technician can inspect the drain pan for cracks or holes and replace it if necessary.

Clear Clogged Condensate Pump

Depending on the configuration of your cooling system, you may have a pump to force water from the drain pan through the condensate line to the outdoors. If the condensate pump malfunctions or becomes clogged, it can cause water to back up and leak. Technicians can clean or replace the condensate pump as needed.

Check for Proper Installation

If your AC unit wasn’t installed correctly, it could lead to drainage issues and water leaks as well. A professional HVAC technician can assess the installation and make any necessary adjustments to ensure proper drainage.

At JAMCO Heating & Air Conditioning, we have been serving the residents of Deptford, NJ since 1986. We install, maintain, and repair heating and cooling systems. We also offer maintenance agreements to ensure your HVAC system is running as it should throughout the year. If your air conditioning is leaking or you have any other heating or cooling issues, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our expert technicians.

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