Water leaking from your air conditioner can cause major issues in your home. Leaking water can pool in walls, leading to rot, mildew or mold problems. Roof-mounted units that leak can weaken your roof, causing leaks into your ceiling and attic. The leak itself may also be a major concern for the general operation of your AC. Pinpointing the cause and getting it fixed is the key to avoiding these issues. The following are four common causes of leaks.
#1: Clogged Drain Lines
A clogged drain line is probably the most common problem. Most units have two drain lines for the condensation on the unit – the main drain and a secondary drain. Dirt can get into these lines, or algae and mold may grow inside of them and cause a blockage. Clogged lines means the condensation has nowhere to drain to, so it overflows at the source – the drain pan. If the drain pan is where the leak is originating or if you can see a blockage in the lines, then you will need to have your lines cleaned or replaced.
#2: Broken Lines
Sometimes there is no blockage, the lines are just broken or not hooked up correctly. Lines that aren't hooked up will still result in a leak at the drain pan, so it's a good idea to check the connection before looking for a blockage. Broken lines will have a leak at any point along the length of the line. You can visually inspect the line to find the break. Once found, you will need to have this line replaced.
#3: Pump Issues
The condensate pump is what gets the condensation moisture to the drip pan and then out the drain lines. It is constantly subjected to moisture, which can lead to mold and mildew growth inside the pump. This growth can then clog the pump so that it no longer works properly. An HVAC technician can clean out and repair a condensate pump if you catch the problem early, otherwise you may need a replacement pump. Symptoms of pump issues include flooding beneath or around the AC or constantly dripping water near the unit with little to no water making its way into the drip pan.
#4: Condensation Problems
General condensation problems can also lead to a leak. For example, using a too-small unit can cause the AC to freeze, and then it will drip water as it defrosts. There can also be cracks in the drip pan itself, which will allow the condensation to drip through. Another common condensation issue is for uninsulated ductwork to collect moisture from condensation. This moisture then drips and results in a leak, but the leak is not near the actual AC unit. An HVAC company, such as Universal Refrigeration, can help you pinpoint the exact cause.
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