It is very common for an air conditioning unit to leak some water and in most cases it’s harmless condensation buildup. However, when large amounts of water pool together or causes structural damage, this creates a major problem. Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning will share what causes air conditioners to leak and how to correct this issue.
How Much Water Does an Air Conditioner Produce?
Many homeowners don’t realize that air conditioner units make water. In an arid climate like Las Vegas where relative humidity remains well below 50 percent most of the time, the evaporator coil in a residential central air conditioner makes about 5 gallons of water that is sends down the drain per day. This occurs when the evaporator coils drop down to very cold temperatures. When warm air passes over the coils the heat is removed from the air and as a result condensation forms. As condensation collects it will create enough water to cause dripping or leaking while the air conditioner is running. However excessive water leaking isn’t normal and can occur in various components of the air conditioning system.
Why is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water?
Clogged Condensate Drain Line – The condensate drain line is a PVC pipe that is attached to the evaporator coils and directs the water out and away from the air conditioning unit. The water is typically sent to go outside of the drain. When the condensate drain line becomes clogged, water can back-up and flow out of the pan. In most cases clogs are due to poor maintenance and dirty air filters. Another common problem that occurs is when the drainage pipe breaks and the condensation flows out and cause damage. You may have soggy insulation where the leak occurs or ceilings may have water stains.
Condensate Pump Not Working – The condensate pump is used to help access the excess water removal from the air conditioning unit. Not all home units may use a condensate pump. Typically condensate pumps are used in town homes, homes with attics or horizontal furnace. Pumps are needed when the home’s design requires an extended or longer condensate drain line and a pump is needed to push the condensation out from the evaporator coils. When the pump fails, water will begin to collect and back up. Leaks will begin to occur. Occasionally the pump may be poorly installed where the pipes don’t line up or the pump may have a crack.
Cracked Evaporator Coil Drain Pan – The Evaporator coil pan collects the water from the coil and uses a drain to send the water through the drainage pipe. Over time, the pan can be left with rust and/or erosion that form holes. Some other common damages are cracks in the pan which causes the water to leak from the pan before it is properly drained. In most cases, the pan will need to be replaced.
Refrigerant Leak – Refrigerant is used to create the cool air that is circulated throughout the home. Sometimes, if the refrigerant has a leak or if the evaporator coils are dirty, ice will buildup in the coils. When the ices melt due to the summer heat, they will cause leaking. Again this can be prevented with proper maintenance of the air conditioning unit.
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If your air conditioning unit was leaking last year or as you begin to use your air conditioner and you detect major leaks now, contact Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning. We can repair, maintain and replace your home HVAC system. Contact Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning today.