A common call we get from Westfield homeowners is “Why is there a puddle of water next to my air conditioner?”
Assuming that this problem is happening while the AC is running, the causes of an air conditioner leaking water include:
- A broken condensate pan
- A clogged condensate line
- A broken condensate pump
We’ll explain these 3 problems in more detail. As an extra bonus, we’ll give you a quick case study about the later issue, including the price to fix it.
But first, let’s talk about why your AC produces water.
Why an air conditioner creates water
“Where the heck did all this water come from anyway? And why is it in My AC?!”
Great, great questions. To help you understand, think about this: You know how water beads form on a glass of cold water on a hot day?
The reason that happens is because hot, humid air is coming into contact with the cold glass surface, causing the humidity to condense on the glass.
That same thing is happening inside your air conditioner. Here’s how:
Your AC has a series of cold copper pipes (called an evaporator coil) to cool your home’s hot air. When that hot air hits the cold coil, humidity in the air condenses on the coil.
Now, all that water has to be transported outside somehow. Whenever there’s an issue transporting the water outside, the water leaks inside your home instead.
Let’s talk about 3 of those “transportation” issues, shall we?
Cause 1: Broken condensate pan
After enough humidity has formed on the evaporator coil, the water drips down into a condensate pan. If the pan has holes or cracks, however, the water will just drip inside your home.
In this case, an AC technician will need to replace the pan. But if the pan is fine, then the issue could be a...
Cause 2: Clogged condensate drain line
As water collects in the pan, it then flows into the condensate drain line, which exits outside your home. However, condensate lines can get clogged with dust, mold and other gunk, causing water to back up into your home.
To solve this, check out this article on how to clean out your condensate line. If you don’t want to do it yourself, call an AC technician to do it for you.
Cause 3: Broken condensate pump
Some air conditioners use gravity to let the condensation naturally flow outside. But since some AC units are located in basements, they need a way to force the water outside. That’s the condensate pump’s job.
If the pump breaks, the water can’t exit outside and therefore will leak into your home instead.
This issue happened with Lynn A., a homeowner in Westfield, who called us after hours saying that her air conditioner was leaking water inside her home. One of our technicians, Dennis, was dispatched to investigate. He discovered that her condensate pump was busted and, after discussing options with Lynn, replaced the pump on the spot