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A Leaky Air Conditioner? Here’s What May Be Happening

water-dropletsWhen your home’s air conditioning system is running during the summer, you will occasionally hear the sound of water dripping coming from the indoor cabinet. This is normal—you are hearing the sound of the water condensation that collects along the evaporator coil dripping down into a pan beneath it. This water (called condensate) is a standard part of how your central air conditioning system removes heat from the air. Once the water collects in the condensate pan, it leaves the house through a drain and line that leads to the outside.

However, you only want to hear water dripping in the air conditioner. You don’t want to actually see water leaking from the unit and pooling around it. When this happens, it means a problem in the condensate removal system that needs to be fixed.

Below, we’ll look at why you may have water leaking from your AC system.

Blocked condensate line

The condensate line that transports the water from the indoor unit to the outdoors may be blocked on the outside. This blockage will cause the condensate pan to rapidly fill up (it’s shallow, only about an inch deep) and start to overflow. Locate the end of the drain line outside and make sure there isn’t anything stuck in the end, like dirt or grass.

Broken condensate pump

For some air conditioning systems, the water drains from the condensate pan through the force of gravity. If gravity isn’t enough to drain the water, the condensate system will have a pump. The motor in this pump can burn out, and then water won’t leave the pan, leading to overflow. It requires an HVAC professional to fix this, usually by replacing the pump.

Corroded or leaking condensate pan

The condensate from the evaporator coils may simply be dripping right through the pan. Corrosion can lead to holes in the pan, or the drain connection may become loose, which will also allow water to leak through the bottom of the air conditioner’s cabinet. A repair professional can replace the damaged pan and reattach the drain. Please don’t try to do this job yourself.

Mold, mildew, and algae in the condensate drain or line

Any environment as damp as the condensate pan and drain is a breeding ground for algae, mold, and other organic growths. In an older air conditioner that isn’t draining properly, the residual water makes it easy for these growths to begin, and they will soon clog the drain. Although there are some home remedies to clear away the drain, we recommend working with a professional to find out what is causing the mold to develop in the first place. If the line is filled is algae, mold, and mildew, sometimes the best repair option is to have technicians replace the plastic line.

No matter what trouble you are having with your air conditioning in Fresno, CA that is creating leaks, you can trust to our HVAC experts to diagnose and fix it.

Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning—“Quality is the Cornerstone of Our Success” Since 1952. Schedule air conditioning system repair services with us today.

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