Water leaking from the ceiling or pooled on the floor is not something any building owner wants to see. It can be a danger and it can be a sign of expensive damages. A/C units are the most common cause of leaks and here’s how you can identify the source and what you can do to fix the leak. There are a few different reasons that your A/C unit can be leaking and most of them are easy to fix and expensive. But, it is important to identify the cause quickly and make repairs before the problem gets bigger and more difficult to fix. If your A/C is leaking water it can cause damage to the walls, ceilings, floors, and equipment or furnishings. An air conditioner unit that is leaking can also lead to compressor failure. This will leave you needing to replace the entire unit and this can be a more expensive problem. So, let’s make sure it doesn’t get that bad.
What to Do When Your A/C Unit Is Leaking Water?
The first thing to do is look at the coils. If you see that the unit is leaking water, check the evaporator coil, which is part of the indoor air handling unit. If it is covered with ice when you find it, turn off the unit right away. Ice should not be present and is dangerous. Any water pools on the floor are likely coming from the ice as it melts. If you see frozen coils, the next step is to call a professional. They can diagnose the cause of the frozen coil because this is not something you want to try and handle by yourself. It is important that you do not touch the coil or try to chip any of the ice away. The coil fins are very sensitive and this can easily damage them. Call an HVAC professional instead. The underlying problem could still be easy to solve. A clogged air filter can cause the coil to freeze up, or it could be another systemic problem that is blocking proper airflow. A professional will be the best person to help identify the correct cause. If the coil is not frozen, you should still turn the unit off to prevent any further water from leaking into your space. This is especially important for units that are in the wall and ceilings to prevent damage to walls and interior surfaces. In addition to frozen coils, there are four more common causes for an A/C unit to leak water.
1. Dirty coils
If unit maintenance is not kept up and the unit is neglected, dust and debris can collect on the coils. As condensation collects around the coils, which is normal, it is not able to flow down the coil as needed as collected dirt is blocking the way. Moisture gets trapped and drips to the floor. This is an easy fix because all you need to do is clean the coils and remove all dirt. Ignoring dirty coils can turn into a bigger problem. The grime can become corroded with time which can cause refrigerant leaks and replacement of the entire coil.
2. Disconnected drain line
A disconnected drain line can occur as a result of poor installation. If not properly attached, the drain line can become detached allowing water to leak freely. It typically causes a big mess, but luckily is an easy fix. This can also be easily avoided if you always work with a professional HVAC contractor for installation and repairs.
3. Damaged insulation
The insulation around the coils helps to reduce the collected condensation from flowing down the coils. But, damaged or cracked insulation allows water to get through and can drip to the floor. This requires professional work to replace or repair the insulation depending on the extent of the damage.
Clogged drain lines and traps are also common as a result of poor maintenance. The A/C unit collects condensation which carries any dust into the drain line and drip pan. Or at least it is supposed to. Drain lines and the drain pan can become clogged which causes water to back up, overflow, and leak. With a good cleaning, the system can be fixed. If not caught early enough, damage can occur to the walls or ceilings where the leak was. So prompt action is required as soon as the water is seen.
Regular A/C maintenance is important to keep the unit functioning efficiently and to reduce the risk of leaks. This allows you to identify potential problems early before the damage gets bigger and more expensive to fix.