The Causes of Water Leakage in an Air Conditioning System

Air conditioning can be a blessing in hot weather, but it can also be a source of frustration when it goes on the blink. Most problems related to faulty AC units stem from water leakage, which at the least can be a nuisance and can even be potentially hazardous.

An air conditioning unit has the joint role of cooling and removing moisture from the air. This process can lead to trouble if the water created by the condensation of moisture is not properly contained. An AC unit is normally equipped with a mechanism to deal with this condition, but dust and other particulates in the air that are also drawn into the system can cause clogging in the drain pipe. This will in turn back up water in the pipe and the pan designed to catch any overflow. Clogged drain pipes are in fact the most common cause of water leakage in AC systems. In some cases, the drain line may have become disconnected or may not have been properly installed. As part of any preventive maintenance service, the drain line needs to be checked and cleaned.

The filter that cleans circulated air is also subject to clogging. A clogged filter can result in the formation of ice on the evaporator coil, leading to the formation of water. Filters on AC units need to be checked periodically and those that appear dirty should be replaced. Ice turning to water can also result from low coolant levels, a condition related to excessive condensation on the coil.

The overflow pan in an AC unit will contain limited amounts of moisture, but it will be unable to accomplish this task if it becomes cracked. A flashlight can be used to check for cracks or holes in the pan which, for these reasons, may have to be replaced.

Some AC systems are designed to automatically turn off if a leak is detected, but a watchful eye for the accumulation of water on the floor or the nearby ground is still the best way to determine whether a unit is operating properly. Although the leaking of water from AC systems is not unusual, it can be an indication of a problem. Regular maintenance is still the best way to assure the proper functioning of any AC system.