Troubleshooting A Leaky AC

Water, in the form of condensation, is a natural by-product of any air conditioner. When things are going the way they should, such condensation is no big deal. But when things stop working the way they should, leaks result. If you would like to learn more about troubleshooting a leaky air conditioner, read on. This article will outline three common causes--and how to fix them. 

1. Condensate drain pan cracked.

Air conditioners cool warm air through the use of refrigerant-filled coils. This causes ambient water vapor to condense into its liquid state. As your AC continues to run, this water builds up on the coils until eventually it begins to drip down. To catch such drips, air conditioners contain what is known as a condensate drain pan.

Perhaps the most common cause of a leaky air conditioner is a drain pan than has become cracked, corroded, or otherwise damaged. You should be able to easily check the state of your drain pan using a flashlight. If you notice any damage, remove the pan. Small holes can often be repaired using waterproof epoxy glue. Otherwise, the pan may need to be replaced entirely.

2. Condensate line clogged.

The condensate line's job is to drain the water that builds up in your drain pan. A clog in the line will eventually cause the drain pan to back up and flood. Surprisingly, algae is perhaps the most common cause of condensate line clogs.

Begin by carefully disengaging the condensate line from the drain pan. Then clean it gently with hot water and/or a thin pipe cleaner. To help ensure the algae doesn't return, once you've reattached the line, fill the drain pan with bleach diluted in water. As it works its way out through the line, this solution will kill any remaining algae spores.

3. Air filter clogged.

Many people are surprised to learn that an air filter can actually cause leaks. Yet air flow is key to a properly functioning air conditioner. You see, when the filter becomes too dirty, it will restrict air flow to the point where ice will begin forming on the evaporator coils. And when your AC shuts off and that ice starts to melt--bingo, you've got yourself a leak.

This is by far the easiest form of leak to prevent. All you've got to do is change your air filter on a regular basis. Depending on how much you use your air conditioner--and the type of filter it uses--plan on changing your filter at least once every three months. Click here for more info on HVAC repair.