Residential Plumbing & HVAC Experts

Advice for a Leaking Air Conditioner

One of the more common problems experienced with home cooling is a leaking air conditioner. This not only can damage the A/C; it also can damage floors, walls, and other nearby fixtures and items. If you discover a pool of water near the inside unit of your air conditioning system, turn off the A/C. The water could damage electronic components of the system, plus pose a safety risk. At this point, your best bet is to call a trusted HVAC technician to diagnose and fix the problem.

It does help to understand why you have a leaking air conditioner so you can take steps to prevent this problem in the future.

In a typical A/C, a blower fan draws warm, humid air into the inside unit, where it passes over the evaporator coil. As refrigerant inside the coil absorbs heat energy from the air, small droplets of water pulled from the air remain on the coil briefly before draining into a condensate pan underneath the A/C. A drain line removes the moisture from the home.

If any step in this process goes wrong, it can result in a leaking air conditioner. Following are some typical problems:

  • The drain line, if it gets blocked by dirt, mold, algae or other materials, will cause the water to back up into the home. Your A/C technician should check the condensate drain as part of routine seasonal maintenance.
  • A dirty evaporator coil also may be the culprit. When the droplets of water fall from the coil, they take dirt with them, clogging the condensate drain. Keeping the evaporator coil clean, as part of A/C maintenance will prevent this from happening.
  • A rusted-out condensate drain pan is another potential source of your leaky A/C. It should be replaced.
  • The problem also may have happened during installation.

While your home’s air conditioner may be leaking for other reasons, such as a frozen evaporator coil, these are some of the most common. For help with any A/C malfunctions in your San Diego-area home, please contact us at Sherlock Plumbing, Heating & Air.