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“Why is My Central Air Conditioner Leaking Water?” [FAQ]

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airprof_6Got water pooling around your inside central AC unit? Happens to New Jersey homeowners all the time in summer.


Because condensation naturally forms on your central AC’s evaporator coil (pictured here) on humid days—just like how water droplets form on a cold glass of water on a hot day.

That condensation normally drops from the coil into a sloped drain pan underneath it and out a condensate drain line.

So if water is pooling around the inside AC unit, there’s something preventing that condensation from escaping.

Warning: Before doing anything to fix this problem, turn off your AC to prevent water damage to your home.

OK, once you’ve turned it off, read on to learn the top 3 reasons why your AC is leaking water.

1) Clogged condensate drain line

The condensate drain line (a PVC pipe) carries the condensation away from your air conditioner and out of your home.

If the drain line gets clogged with dust, dirt, insects or mold, the condensation backs up and overflows the drain pan.

If the inside unit has a float switch, it should automatically shut down the AC to prevent water damage.

Solution: Unclog the drain line with a wet/dry vacuum.

First, you’ll need to find where the drain line exits – follow the PVC pipe from the inside. (Typically, the drain goes outside your home, to your sump pump or into another drain.)

Once you’ve found the end, connect the vacuum’s hose to the drain. (Make sure there’s a tight seal around the hose and the drain so there’s enough pressure to suck out the blockage.)

Let the vacuum run for a few minutes and check to see if it sucked out anything.

If that does not work (or you don’t want to do it yourself), call a professional to do it for you.  A professional should have specialty equipment to get rid of tough blockages.

2) Rusted through drain pan

Over time, the drain pan underneath the evaporator coil can rust through, meaning water won’t even make it to the drain line.

Solution: Replace the drain pan.

3) Broken condensate pump

OK, so we said before the water normally goes down a sloped drain pan and out the drain line.

But if the inside unit lives in the basement, it uses a condensate pump instead to (you guessed it) pump the condensation out the home. 

But if the pump is busted, the water has trouble-draining out and will leak on to the floor.

Solution: You’ll need to call a professional to fix the pump.

Air Professionals is a whole-home comfort company serving New Jersey homeowners. Contact us for more information on how we can help improve your home’s comfort.