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Why is my air conditioner leaking water?

air conditioner leaking waterWhy is my air conditioner leaking water?

This is one of the most asked questions we hear, and there are many reasons this can occur.  Below are some of the more common reasons:

  • Restricted drain lines
  • Ice on the coils
  • Water from the coils is bypassing the emergency drain pan
  • Float switches might not have been installed properly or might not be present
  • Electrically closed compressor relay

Restricted drain lines

Restricted drain lines are the most common reason for an air conditioning unit to leak water. One way to prevent this from happening is to have regular maintenance performed on your system. In this maintenance, a repair technician will flush the drain lines with nitrogen, cleaning out dirt and algae.  They will also add an algeacide to the drain pan to help prevent algae growth.  It is recommended that this preventative maintenance be performed at least once a year, but here in South Florida with our hot and humid weather it is recommended at least twice a year.

Ice on the coils

Many things can cause the air conditioner to “freeze up”.  Most often it is due to restricted air flow over the coils.  This, in turn, restricts proper heat transference, causing the condensation to freeze on the coils. One way to make certain that the air flows correctly is to keep the filter clean of dirt and debris.  Monthly filter changes are recommended.  Also, an improperly sized air filter (too thick) can restrict the air flow.  Dirt on the coils can also cause the coils to freeze.  In this case, calling a professional to clean the coils is the best thing that can be done for your system as the fins are very fragile and easily damaged.  Low refrigerant can also be a factor, again a professional should be called in to add the proper refrigerant.

As the ice melts, it can overflow the drain pan and cause water to leak from the system.

Water from the coils is bypassing the emergency drain pan

An improperly installed or displaced drain system can cause condensation to drip outside of the drain pan.

Float switches might not have been installed properly or might not be present

Many newer systems have a float switch in the drain pan that signals the air conditioner to turn off if the drain pan fills too far with water.  An improperly working float switch will fail to trigger the shut off.  A service technician can test the float switch, or if one isn’t present can install one to meet your systems needs.

Electrically closed compressor relay

An electrically closed relay will prevent the system from shutting down when it should, which can lead to the coils freezing and causing an excess of water building up in the drain pan.

Is your air conditioning leaking?  Feel free to contact us to find out about our preventative maintenance options and free estimates.


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