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It is within the scope of normal operations for aircon units to have water dripping from them. This is because of the condensation of air moisture on the internal components.

However, water leaks that lead to wall stains or standing pools of water can indicate serious air con problems. This article will discuss why your air conditioner is leaking water.

You will also learn why it is normal for air conditioners to leak water, how to know if your air conditioner is leaking, and the sources of water leaks in AC units. To round it up, you can read up on tips for fixing and preventing leaking air conditioners.

Is it Normal for Air Conditioners to Leak Water?

Air conditioners cool air by passing it through an evaporator coil. The cooling process results in the formation of water droplets, much like cold drinks that sit for a while on warm days.

Thus, It is a regular part of air conditioner operation for water to collect in a drip pan and be pumped outdoors or flow down drain lines. However, if your air conditioner leaks more than the usual amount of water, you should know something is wrong.

How to Know if Your Air Conditioner is Leaking

Aircon leaks can become quite obvious, and you should be able to differentiate them from regular water drips. Here are some signs of aircon water leaks:

  • Standing pool of water around aircon units
  • Water spots on the ceiling or close to the unit
  • Damaged ceiling plaster
  • Mouldy smell

Reasons for Your Air Conditioner Leaking

Read on for common reasons your air conditioner is leaking water:

Clogged drain lines

If your drain is clogged, you will likely have leaking air conditioning unit problems. Blocked or plugged drains can occur if dust and debris accumulate in your drain lines. This accumulated debris can cause disconnected or damaged air conditioner drain lines and leaky drains. Water will not have a free outlet, and your aircon will leak.

A preventive measure to avoid clogged condensate drain lines and blocked drain pipes is regularly servicing your air conditioning unit. You need to occasionally blow out the drain lines of your air conditioning unit. This will help your drain lines to remain clean. Meanwhile, you can call an expert plumber to diagnose the issue and perform corrective maintenance.

Damaged or rusted drain pans

You may have a hole in your drain pan, or your drain pan may develop cracks over time. This can be a source of water leaks. Your plumber will need to replace the drain pan to fix the problem.

Dirty air filters

If your air filter is filthy, it can cause water to collect in the drip tray. Dirty air filters can block proper airflow to evaporator coils. The temperature drops and the coil ices over and then thaws. Finally, the thawing results in water dripping. Your air conditioning technician can clean your air filter and fix other issues with your air conditioner dripping water.

Low refrigerant

Low refrigerant levels can freeze the coils as you run the aircon unit. The ice then melts when you turn the aircon off. Subsequently, water overflows on the drip pan. As such, ice on evaporator coils is a sign of refrigerant leaks. Likewise, an aircon that cools poorly may indicate low refrigerant levels.

Low refrigerant gas levels can also reduce the pressure inside air conditioning units. Air conditioning units that are low on refrigerant can also lead to coils that freeze over and overflowing drainage pans. Over time, the resultant leaks can cause structural damage.

You can invite your local plumber or licensed air conditioning repair expert to diagnose and fix low refrigerant levels and refrigerant leaks.

Broken condensate pumps

The condenser pump usually moves condensed water into the drain pan. The water then goes out through the drain lines and drain hole. A broken condenser pump can cause water buildup, leading to water leaks in air conditioning units. Your air conditioning expert may give you options to repair or replace the condenser pump.

Poor air conditioner installation or maintenance

Poor AC installation or poor maintenance routine can lead to you having leaking water inside the unit. The installer has to follow the manufacturer’s product specifications for the amount of refrigerant during installation.

Sources of Water Leaks in AC Units

Continue reading for some areas where water leaks can occur in AC units.

Leaks from the unit’s bottom

You may find your air conditioner leaking from the bottom when it’s in heating mode during winter. Warm air blows into your home from outside and causes condensation that runs down the unit to pool at the bottom.

This results in a small amount of water near the base of the air conditioner unit. You can simply install a drainage kit to drain the water away and prevent such pools of water around the base of the air conditioning unit.

Leaks inside the unit

If your air conditioner leaks water inside, you should pay serious attention. It could cause electric damage and can be dangerous. Some common reasons that may lead to AC leaking water inside the unit include the following:

  • Broken drain lines
  • Frozen evaporator coil
  • Damaged drain pan
  • Clogged condensate line
  • Faulty condensate pumps

Your air conditioning technician may need to disassemble your unit to trace and fix the fault.

Reasons Why Indoor Split Systems Leak

Your split system’s air conditioning uses an evaporator coil to cool warm air. This process causes the formation of water droplets. This level of moisture does not usually have a negative impact on how your split system works. The water moves into the drain pan and into the condensate drain lines.

Causes of water leaks in indoor units of split system air conditioners include the following:

  • Clogged condensate drains due to drain hose dislodgements, soil buildups, or rodent activities.
  • Broken condenser pumps that fail to expel water outside the split system air conditioning unit.
  • Dirty air filter
  • Split systems that are running low on refrigerant

Reasons Why Ducted Air Conditioners Leak

Seeing water from your ducted air conditioner leaking through the ceiling can be unsightly. Clogged drains are a primary reason for water leaks from ducted systems moving onto the ceiling.

A clogged drain is causing an overflow in the safety tray. If your safety tray drain is clogged, water can flow onto the ceiling and cause costly damages. You need to call an air conditioning technician for ducted air conditioning repairs and maintenance to fix this issue.

Tips for Fixing Leaking Air Conditioners

  • First, turn off the air-con unit to prevent further damage.
  • Inviting the professionals is your best bet for fixing leaky air conditioners or water dripping through ceilings.
  • You may check the area where the water is leaking from. The unit may be tilted in the wrong direction. Window-fitted aircons are sometimes not fitted at an even level. You may need to rectify this.
  • You can reduce dripping water by clearing off blockage from condensate drain lines. This will ease water flow.
  • Air filters of wall-mounted air conditioners are relatively easy to clean. Remove and wash it using clean water and dishwashing detergent.
  • Getting a professional air conditioning technician to clean ducted air conditioners is best. You may not have the right tool.

Tips to Prevent Leaking Air Conditioners

The consequences of a leaky air conditioner can be severe. Drips of water from your unit may cause mould growth in the system. Other parts of the house could also become damaged. You can use the following tips to prevent leaking air conditioners.

  • Maintaining your air-con regularly is the best route to avoid aircon leaks. You will end up prolonging the unit’s lifespan, saving money on electric bills, and maximising efficiency.
  • Clean the unit monthly.
  • Get a qualified air conditioning technician to inspect the unit annually. They can check the filters, coils, and refrigerant levels.
  • Ensure that commercial air conditioning units are serviced at least every six months.
  • Give enough room for outdoor units to run efficiently. Remove grass and weeds. Do not cover the front of outdoor units so you do not restrict airflow.
  • Aircon systems that have lasted for ten years or more may be due for replacement.
  • However, you should prioritise buying notable brands of air conditioners such as Daikin air conditioners and Mitsubishi air conditioners.
  • Be sure to get good advice from professional air conditioning companies before choosing an AC Unit brand. For instance, they can advise you on the merits of Panasonic air conditioners vs. Mitsubishi electric air conditioners.
  • Be sure to make prompt AC repairs before they escalate further.
  • You may upgrade to higher-quality filters that improve indoor air quality during air conditioning maintenance.

Hire the Services of Aircon Contractors

You have now read up on why your aircon is leaking water. Again, it is best to prioritise high-quality and energy-efficient features when buying air conditioners. An air conditioner contractor can help you with multi-split installation, air conditioning repair, and air conditioner cleaning. They can also provide emergency services if you have dripping water inside or outside your split systems.