If you’re wondering what’s causing your air conditioner to leak water, consider this: Humidity extraction is a critical function in the cooling process. A residential air conditioner can produce up to 20 gallons of water every day under humid conditions. (In drought-prone areas, some residents even divert A/C condensate to water their lawns!) As long as all that water flows freely to an outdoor drain or a sewer connection, the process goes on invisibly. When something goes wrong, however, serious proper damage can occur. Here are a few common malfunctions that may be causing your air conditioner to leak water:
Defective pump. In some condensate drain systems, a small electric pump activates when water in the condensate drip pan reaches a certain level. Failure of the pump motor or the float switch that actuates the pump may result in an overflow condition.
Tilted unit. The indoor air handler incorporates the evaporator coil that condenses water from the air. Beneath the coil, a drip pan catches condensate. If the air handler is not installed properly or vibrates into a tilted attitude over time, condensate may overflow one side of the pan instead of draining properly.
Mold and algae. The warm environment of the air handler is a friendly breeding ground for the growth of mold or algae. These contaminants may plug the drain outlet of the drip pan or they may migrate deeper into the drain line and cause clogs. Unless the A/C is equipped with an auto-shutoff switch that prevents overflow, water damage from leakage will result.
Air leaks. Hot air sucked into leaky return ducts may generate excessive condensation when it meets cooler airflow in the ducts. This water usually leaks out of ductwork seams, forming puddles underneath. Because leaky returns also over-pressurize the home and cause energy loss, sealing duct leaks pays off in lower operating costs, too.
Aqua Plumbing & Air has serviced Sarasota and Manatee counties for more than 35 years with trusted sales and service expertise. Let our technicians find out what’s causing your air conditioner to leak water and prevent expensive property damage.
Written by John Miller