If you’ve ever walked outside and the condenser unit of your air conditioner is leaking water, it’s important to immediately schedule a repair. It’s normal for your AC to leak some water when it runs, but you need to understand the difference between an expected amount of water and too much water.
How Much Leaking is Normal?
While operating, your air conditioner will produce small amounts of condensation. How much water leaks depends on the thermostat setting and temperature outside. It’s normal to see small amounts of condensation near the AC’s drain pipe. When your AC works hard during hot and humid days, you’ll see more water than average. A small puddle underneath the condensing unit is likely the result of normal operation. Call a professional if the unit leaks for more than24 hours.
Why Your Air Conditioner Leaks
Here are the common reasons why your air conditioner leaks water:
- A clogged condensate drain: Occasionally, your condensate drain may become partially blocked or totally clogged because of a buildup of dirt, rust, algae and other debris.
- Disconnected drain line: If your air conditioner was not installed properly, the drain line can loosen over time and disconnect the pipe from its connection to the air conditioner. Similarly to a clogged condensate drain, a disconnected drain line may cause your air conditioner to leak.
- Cold temperatures: Typically, this happens near the end of the cooling season when your air conditioner is running while it’s too cold outside. If your AC attempts to cool your home when temperatures drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the cooling coils can ice up and cause leaking.
- Cracked condensate drain: Your condensate pan may rust or crack. When this occurs, the drain pan is no longer sealed and can cause water to leak.
- Dirty air filters: A dirty air filter will restrict airflow to the evaporator coils. As a result, the coils get too cold and freeze over. When they melt, excess moisture drips into the condensate pan and causes it to overflow.
- Low refrigerant levels: Similarly to a dirty air filter, low refrigerant levels will result in a low amount of pressure in your AC system. If evaporator coils freeze, the drain pan will overflow and leak water.