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Is Your AC Unit Leaking Water? Here's Why It Is and What to Do

On June 29th, 2020

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This summer is slated to be one of the hottest ever on record, so you're going to want to make sure that your air conditioner is working properly. If you notice the AC unit leaking water, then you'll want to diagnose the problem and fix it as soon as possible.

There are several reasons your AC unit could be dripping water. Luckily, many of the solutions aren't that difficult. Keep reading and we'll walk you through everything you need to know so that you stay cool all summer long.

1. Frozen Evaporator Coils

There are many reasons why your air conditioner could be leaking, but one of the most common is a clogged air filter. When your air filter isn't clean, the air won't be able to pass through the machine as easily.

This can lead to the evaporator coils freezing up on you. The refrigerant passes through the evaporator coils and needs good airflow so that it can absorb heat. If that airflow becomes restricted, ice can form and drip down the machine.

A frozen evaporator coil can also be caused by blocked registers/vents, a lack of refrigerant, dirty coils, and a broken blower motor.

A frozen evaporator coil means that your refrigerant won't be able to take in the heat from your house. This will lead to either no air or warm air coming out of your unit. It can also lead to problems with your compressor.

If you see that you have a frozen evaporator coil, turn your AC unit off immediately. Don't turn it back on until the problem has been solved.

One way to avoid frozen evaporator coils is to replace the air filter every few months. Also, make sure that you don't cover any registers or air vents with furniture or items.

During the summer, you should also be changing your air filter more frequently. This is because your AC unit will likely be operating for longer periods of time. Set calendar reminders on your phone to check on your air filter at the start of each month.

If you're not able to fix the problem by clearing all of your vents and replacing your air filter, then you might not have enough refrigerant in the system. Fixing this issue would require the services of a professional.

2. Overflowing or Cracked Drain Pan

The drain pan of your air conditioner can be found under the indoor air handler (this is where your evaporator coil is housed). This pan collects any condensation from your AC unit.

When the unit is turned off, check your drain pan and pipe for any leaks. The pipe tends to be connected to the drip pan and discharges the condensation outside.

Get a wet-dry vacuum to clean the overflow pan. You also want to get a flashlight and inspect the edges, corners, and bottom for cracks.

Applying some water sealant is an effective way to temporarily fix a cracked drain pan. However, it's better to just replace the item if it's damaged.

Remember that there usually are two drain pans. One is underneath the unit and is removable. There is another drain pan under the evaporator coils and it's permanently fixed.

If you choose to patch the leak up, you'll have to leave the permanent drain pain in place while you do it. You'll also need to contact a professional for the replacement of the primary pan because it's welded in place. However, you should be able to replace the auxiliary pans by yourself.

3. Clogged Condensate Drain Line

Another common cause of leaking water from your air conditioning unit is a clogged drain line. If you have the proper tools, including a wet-dry vacuum, then you could potentially solve this problem on your own.

Sometimes, debris, algae, and fungi can block your condensate line. Because of this, you have to clear the drain line every so often. Most people feel more comfortable letting a professional handle this kind of work, but you can also try to fix it yourself if you want.

To do that, start by finding the PVC pipe that's near the air handler’s drain pan. Unscrew the cap and pour several ounces of vinegar down the drain line. This will kill any fungi or algae in the line.

Then, go to your outdoor condensate drain line and clean it well with your wet-dry vacuum.

If you have a modern air conditioning unit, it likely has automatic shut-off switches for clogged condensate lines and air filters. If the air conditioning system won't turn on, you should first check your drain line and air filter.

If the drain line isn't properly connected, contact a professional to repair it for you.

The Importance of Knowing What to Do With an AC Unit Leaking Water

Nobody enjoys having a broken air conditioner, and they always seem to break at the worst times. Hopefully, after reading the above, you'll know what to do the next time you see your AC unit leaking water.

Feel free to try to fix the problem yourself by following these steps. However, if you can't seem to get it working properly, or if you're not comfortable working on it on your own, you shouldn't hesitate to call a professional.

If you're looking to get your HVAC system repaired in the Shreveport area, then give us a call today and see what we can do for you! Our experienced technicians are ready to help you with any AC problem you come across.

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