Why Is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water?

The air conditioner is supposed to circulate cool air. It is not supposed to leak water, but every once in a while you would find your air conditioner leaking water. It is not normal, but it is not uncommon. Before we delve into the details of why your air conditioner is leaking water, let us understand the difference between condensation and water leakage.

Every air conditioner has a dehumidifier. The dehumidifier is responsible for extracting moisture out of the indoor air. When this happens, there will be some degree of condensation. So a little bit of moisture in the ducts or in the outdoor unit is common. But the condensation inside should not lead to a situation that the indoor unit leaks water. Whatever water is accumulated due to condensation is channeled out by the drain pipe.

Here are the causes of water leakage in air conditioning systems.

  • You may have a broken pump. There is a condenser pan in all modern air conditioning systems. There is a pump that draws excess water when needed and that is drained out. If the condenser pan has excess water, and the pump is unable to draw that out, then your air conditioner will leak water. It is possible that the pump is broken. It is also possible that the condenser itself is not functioning optimally or as it should, and there can be power fluctuations leading to the improper functioning of the pump and the condenser, either or both. Check the power supply, inspect the voltage, check the wiring if you are in doubt that it is not suitable for the air conditioning system given the wattage it works on. Check the pump and the condenser. Call us if you cannot do it yourself. It is very difficult for someone who doesn’t know the technical components of an air conditioner to diagnose these problems.
  • Improper installation is often to blame if a new air conditioning unit leaks water. It is fairly understandable why an old air conditioner would have water leakage. Pumps, condensers and various other components will wear out over time. Timely maintenance and appropriate repairs are recommended. A new system should never have the leakage issue. It will happen though, if the installation is faulty. The unit may not be leveled properly, there could be higher pressure than normal, which will facilitate water pooling and the vents may malfunction, allowing cool air to be blocked, leading to excess condensation. Higher pressure will lead to malfunctioning valves, so a problem with valves may be due to that and not necessarily an issue with the quality of the valves.
  • Check the drain pipe to see if it is blocked or clogged. A damaged or clogged drain pipe will lead to pooling of water. The drain hole may be blocked for some reason. It can easily get clogged due to debris and dust, dirt and even by dead insects or flies. Inspect the drain pipe or the tube and clean it. If there were no other issue causing the leak, then you would have resolved the problem.
  • Air conditioning systems are designed to cool the indoor air, extract the moisture from inside, and then circulate the cool air in the room. The fresh air drawn from outside is also cooled courtesy of the coolant and compressor. If the outside air is colder, or just as cold as the setting of the air conditioner, then there can be excess condensation and that will lead to water leakage. The air conditioning systems cannot reverse the cooling process or heat the air to get a higher temperature. Water buildup as a result will start to overflow and leak.
  • You may have air leaking due to improper sealing on the system, and that will cause additional or excessive condensation. If the seals are not tight enough, warm air can seep into the unit. This warm air doesn’t go through the compressor and get cooled down by the refrigerant or coolant, and it is circulated as is. This mixing of warm air and cool air can lead to pooling. Also, this will affect the dehumidification process of the air conditioner, which again can lead to water leakage.

Water leakage is not something you have to be perennial worried about. If it happens, resort to repairs. Timely maintenance, cleaning the filters and ensuring that the ducts are free of all kinds of buildup, having the indoor and outdoor unit in good health, checking on the coolant if the system is too old, having unclogged drain pipes, and ensuring steady power supply will avert the water leakage. Water pooling shouldn’t happen again and again once you have had the problem diagnosed and resolved. If it does, then something is seriously wrong and you may need to replace one or more components.