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Leaky AC? Here’s What That Means


Oh, no! What’s going on with your air conditioner? Do you hear that trickling, dripping sound? Water is dripping out of the air conditioner! What could possibly be wrong? And how can you get it to stop?

Water leaks from an AC unit are a fairly common problem. We’ll give you the rundown on how they happen and what to do about it.

How It’s Supposed to Work

Water is a natural byproduct of the air conditioning process, so the presence of water is not the problem. Condensation develops on the outside of the air conditioner’s coils when they’re full of ice-cold refrigerant, just the way condensation forms on the outside of a glass of an ice-cold beverage. The water is being drawn out of the air. This is why air conditioners will decrease the humidity in your home a little bit, though not as much as a dehumidifier does.

When everything is working correctly, that moisture lands in the condensate pan and flows down the drainage line and away from your home. In many systems, there is even a pump to help ensure that the condensate flows properly. So what went wrong to cause this water to drip into your home?

Causes of AC Leakage

In this drainage system, there are three main things that can go wrong which can cause the water to drip out from places it shouldn’t.

  • A clog: If the drainage line gets stopped up by something, the water won’t be able to flow down it and the condensate pan will overflow. This should trip the limit switch and shut the air conditioner down. The clog could be a clump of dust or other contaminants, or it could be that mold has started to grow in that moist environment.
  • A failing pump: If your AC unit does have a pump for the drainage system, a pump malfunction can allow water to back up and overflow the pan. Again, the limit switch should shut down the unit when it detects this problem. If the dripping you notice is accompanied by your air conditioner turning off or refusing to turn on, chances are, one of these two things is your culprit.
  • A disconnected drain: A simple mechanical issue where the drainage line has come apart from the condensate pan, or corrosion allowing pieces to come apart (which is much more likely in a very old air conditioner) can also cause water to leak out of your air conditioner, but it will be coming out the drain hole and not overflowing the pan, so the limit switch will not be activated! You should turn the air conditioner off yourself before major water damage develops.

What to Do Next

Regardless of the cause, if you have water leaking out of your air conditioner, you need prompt AC repair in Highland Park, IL. A technician can determine the specific issue that led to this leakage, repair it, and take steps to ensure that it won’t happen again. Don’t delay in addressing this issue. While these issues can be resolved with a straightforward repair, severe water damage is much harder to remedy.

Contact ServiceMax for prompt repair of AC leakage and all other air conditioner concerns.

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