A leaking AC is more than just annoying – the water damage it can cause can cost thousands of dollars to repair if you don’t notice it right away. There are many different problems that could cause your AC to leak. Some are easy to fix yourself, while others require the help of a professional.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common AC leaking problems and how to fix them.
Frozen Evaporator Coil
Many things can cause your evaporator coil to freeze. Once it freezes, frozen condensation will melt when your AC isn’t running. A few things that can cause your evaporator coil to freeze include:
- Clogged air filter
- Dirty coil
- Lack of refrigerant
- Broken blower motor
- Blocked vents
- Running your AC when it’s cold outside
What to Do About a Frozen Evaporator Coil
If your evaporator coil is frozen and you haven’t been running your AC in temperatures below 60°, make sure none of your vents or registers are covered and replace your air filter. If that doesn’t work, contact an AC professional like Sansone Air Conditioning to diagnose and treat the problem.
Dirty Air Filter
When your air filter is dirty, air can’t circulate through the system properly, causing the evaporator coil to freeze.
Changing the Air Filter
Change your air filter at least every 30 to 90 days to prevent your evaporator coil from freezing.
Rusted, Cracked, or Leaking Drip Pan
The drip pan, located under the indoor air handler (which houses your evaporator coil), catches condensation from your AC. Since it is constantly exposed to water, in time it may crack, rust, or leak.
To check for leaks, drain and clean the pan using a wet vac and inspect the corners, edges, and bottom of the pan with a flashlight. While it may be possible to patch cracks with a water sealant, it’s usually best to replace the pan.
Can I Replace My AC Drip Pan Myself?
An air conditioner usually has two drain pans. The one under the entire unit is removable, so you can replace it yourself. The drain pan under your evaporator coils is permanently fixed in place and must be replaced by a professional.
Broken Condenser Pump
When your drip pan gets full, a condenser pump siphons water out through a pipe called the condensate line.
How does it work?
As the water levels in the drip pan rise, they trigger a float switch, which turns on the pump motor that sends the water out of your home through the condensate line. If the pump breaks and stops draining the drip pan, it will overflow and cause leaks.
How to Check if the Condenser Pump Is Broken
If you see something that looks like a float switch, try manipulating it to test if the pump turns on. Occasionally, the float switch can become stuck due to scum or limescale buildup. If the switch works, but not consistently, you can clean the bucket with bleach and remove any buildup to see if this improves your pump’s performance.
If you can’t find an easy-to-identify float switch, check to see if there is a cable or something attached to pull it up. Once you get it out of the water, turn it on and see if it’s working, but don’t let it run dry for very long.
If it still won’t turn on, you probably need a new pump. You can try to buy a match and replace the pump yourself, or you can make an appointment with Sansone and have one of our HVAC professionals fix it for you.
Air Leaking Around the Vent
If air can escape around the AC vents, rather than flow through the grates as it should, it can cause condensation to build up and drip from the vents. If water is leaking from your AC vents, reach up and feel for air escaping from around the sides of the air vent.
Fixing AC Air Leaks
If air is escaping from anywhere besides the grates, you can head over to the nearest home improvement store and purchase a caulk to seal the leak.
Refrigerant is a gas that turns warm air into cool air. Refrigerant levels normally stay constant. However, wear and tear, chemicals in some cleaning supplies, off-gassing from furniture or hardwood floors, and certain construction materials (like formaldehyde) may cause pinholes to form on your air conditioner and cause the refrigerant to leak.
Signs of a refrigerant leak include a hissing sound, an AC that doesn’t cool your home, frost forming on the condenser unit, and you or family members experiencing headaches, sore throat, dizziness, nausea, or irritated eyes.
What to Do if You Suspect a Refrigerant Leak
Low refrigerant levels are never normal and exposure to the refrigerant can be harmful, so you should call a licensed HVAC professional to find and repair the leak.
Clogged Drain Line
The drain line collects condensation runoff and moves it to the outside of your home. Since it’s a wet enclosed space, it’s a perfect location for sludge to form and for mildew and mold to grow. When the drainage pipe becomes clogged, the condensation runoff will backup and wind up on your floor.
How to Remove Clogs From a Drain Line
Luckily, this is something you can do yourself. Here’s how to remove clogs from a drain line:
- Turn off your AC.
- Remove the filters and wipe away or vacuum off excess dust.
- Locate the drainage pipe. It will be the largest pipe and will likely be sealed with grip tape on the outside of the pipe. Remove all the tape.
- Remove the joint that holds the drainage pipe together, using a bucket to catch excess water. Allow both sides of the pipe to drain.
- Use a wet vac to vacuum the excess debris within the pipes.
- Reseal the joint with electrical tape.
- Reassemble your AC unit.
Contact Sansone for South Florida AC Repair
If you live in South Florida and can’t fix your AC leak yourself, Sansone Air Conditioning can help. We have locations in Palm Beach, Broward, and St Lucie to serve you. Call (866) 955-2718 or click here now to schedule an appointment, or click here to ask a question.
We’re here to help get your AC running again as quickly as we can because we know how hard it is to survive in Florida without it!