What You Need to Know About AC Water Leaks in Your Home

Because a typical central air conditioner generates anywhere from 5 to 20 gallons of liquid condensate every day, AC water leaks can happen. If everything’s working right, all that water typically collects in the condensate drip pan beneath the indoor AC evaporator coil, then flows through a pipe into the household drain system. If something goes awry, however, AC water leaks are a frequent result.

Here’s how it happens:

  • Clogged condensate drain. The condensate drip pan often presents a favorable environment to spawn mold and algae. Over time, this fungus growth may slowly clog the drain line. The drip pan then fills and overflows every time the AC cycles on. Water spilling out of the drip pan causes damage to the floor and structure around the unit.
  • Coil icing. The indoor AC evaporator coil circulates refrigerant and normally operates at approximately 40 degrees. However, certain malfunctions — primarily a low refrigerant charge due to a leak — may cause the coil temperature to drop below freezing. Layers of ice forming on the coil melt when the system cycles off, often leaking water outside the unit. Repetitive leakage due to melting ice can cause damage to the immediate area.

To prevent damage from AC water leaks, here are some suggestions:

  • Annual preventative maintenance. This service provided by a certified  contractor includes inspection and cleaning the condensate drain system to prevent clogs and overflows. For added protection against mold and algae, time-release biocide tablets can be placed in the drip pan to inhibit fungal growth over the long term.
  • Refrigerant-leak repair. Tiny leaks gradually cause a low refrigerant charge that initiates ice formation on the evaporator coil. A qualified HVAC technician utilizes leak-detection technology to track down the source of leakage. After making the repair, the technician restores refrigerant charge to its proper level. This not only eliminates ice formation but also improves system cooling performance and lowers monthly operating costs.

Contact Paitson Bros. if you’re noticing AC water leaks or want to make sure they don’t occur.  Since 1922, we’ve been maintaining the highest standard of performance and efficiency in air conditioners and furnaces.

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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