What are the most common causes of water leaking from an air conditioner?
If you happen to have a puddle of water under your air conditioner, you’d probably be worried. At this point, it’s important to stay calm and try to figure out what’s causing the problem. The truth is that there is no one-way answer to this question, as there could be several causes. In this article, we will go through the most common ones and give you a guideline on what to do in individual situations.
There are a number of possible causes of an air conditioner water leak, and they don’t necessarily have to cost you dearly or take a long time to fix.
However, the important thing is that when you have an air conditioner leak, you should turn off the system so that no parts are damaged, and water doesn’t ruin your floor. Water leaks can damage the compressor and also the walls and ceilings of your home. With a faulty compressor, it’s likely that you’ll need to replace your air conditioner with a new one.
The first step to take if you notice water leaking from your air conditioner is to check the condition of the evaporator coil. It's located inside the air conditioner's indoor unit and looks like a coiled tube with fins.
Once you find where the coil is located, see if there is ice forming on its surface. If this is the case, be sure to turn off your air conditioner. Ice formation is a signal that something is wrong, and it can damage your unit even more seriously. Chances are, the water you're noticing is from the ice melting.
It is not advisable to try to deal with this problem on your own, as the cause could be serious. Seek a qualified technician to locate the damage and make the necessary repairs.
In the best-case scenario, the failure will be due to a dirty filter obstructing the air conditioner's airflow. Once the filter is cleaned and all parts are thoroughly dried, the system will work efficiently again, and the leak will disappear.
But even if the problem is not related to a frozen coil, you should definitely turn off the unit as the leaking water can damage the air conditioner parts as well as the walls and ceiling (depending on where the unit is placed).
1. Contaminated coils
It's no coincidence that all air conditioning experts talk about the importance of performing regular maintenance on your air conditioner before the active seasons and cleaning the components regularly. If too much dust and dirt accumulate on the air conditioner coils, the condensation that collects on the outside of the evaporator coil cannot drain and reach the drain pan or condensate pan. Once the water reaches a certain level, it begins to drip from the unit.
There is no need to worry, especially if you take measures at the beginning of the problem, as it can be fixed by cleaning the coils.
The problem can become more serious if you don't pay attention and underestimate the running water, as this can lead to serious damage over time. Also, if the coils are too dirty, they can corrode. In turn, this can cause Freon to leak and a coil replacement to be done.
2. Damaged coil insulation
The coils of the air conditioner have insulation that prevents condensation from leaking outside of them. However, there can sometimes be cracks on these coils, and water does not drain properly.
In this case, you will need a professional to repair or replace the damaged insulation.
3. A broken drain line
If a poor air conditioner installation has been done, you may face a variety of consequences from it. One of which is a break in the drain line that carries away the condensation. If this line is not installed correctly, it can break and start leaking condensate water from the air conditioner. This problem is not that serious either, but don't try to fix it yourself.
The repair should be done by a professional who can ensure you that the installation has been repaired correctly and the water leakage has been prevented.
4. Blocked drain line or siphon
When water drains down the drain line, various dirt and algae accumulate on the pipe. If you don't clean this line, it can become clogged over time, and that's where it gets to - the water starts backing up. The various debris can clog the drainpipe, and the condensate pan can begin to overflow.
Here again, the problem can be solved by thoroughly cleaning all the air conditioning system's mentioned components.
To prevent these from happening, we advise you to regularly check and clean your air conditioner and schedule a preventive maintenance service from a professional technician.
Learn more about air conditioner maintenance in our blog articles. You can also check out the Midea air conditioners we offer on our website. Contact us if you have additional questions.