Water Leaking from a Central Air Conditioner: What Should You Do?

Water Leaking from a Central Air Conditioner: What Should You Do?

This is, perhaps, the most common emergency AC repair call a technician can get. When water leaks from an AC unit, it can do a whole lot of damage. You want to know what to do, and fast so that you can remediate the issue and stop the leak. You could wait for an AC technician, but there are things you should try to do first.

By now, you may have realized the first and most important step: turn off the AC! It’s the least you can do to control the moisture from continuing—but you must follow it up with an inspection of the unit if you can. Check out our advice below and call our technicians for more information.

What to Do about the Structural Damage

Often, the indoor portion of an air conditioning unit is in the attic, or similarly high up. Initially, the damage may be limited to the attic. But, with time, the damage can become so severe, that water repeatedly leading in the same spot can penetrate through to the room it’s above. Walls, kitchen cabinetry, and structural components of your home can all suffer damage depending on the indoor unit’s location.

The most important thing you can do to minimize the damage is to start cleaning up right away. Put down towels where you can, and bring furniture and mats outdoors or elsewhere so they can dry. Use a bucket if you need one, thoroughly dry carpet, and consider calling in for water damage restoration or mold remediation later if the leakage was severe.

Why the Air Conditioner Is Leaking

Solving the problem with the air conditioning system may actually be quite simple, or it could require professional service. Moisture collects along the indoor coil of your AC system as a natural part of the refrigeration process thanks to water vapor from the air condensing. But his moisture needs somewhere to go.

Usually, water would drip into an angled tray, where it slides along into a condensate pipe. This pipe leads water to the outdoors unless something is wrong.

What Goes Wrong and What You Can Do

A few possibilities for what is causing the leakage:

  • The condensate tray has fallen or tilted. A misaligned tray may be easy to simply move back into place. However, it may have been the wrong size in the first place.
  • A frozen evaporator coil. If the inside coil freezes, water can drip off quickly as it warms up, too fast to properly drain from the system. The reason for the freezing could be as simple as a dirty air filter that just needs cleaning or replacement—or an electrical problem that requires a technician to replace a part such as a blower fan.
  • Blockage in the condensate pipe. This is perhaps the most common reason for a condensate leak. Debris can clog up the pipe, allowing water to back up into the home. You can clean this out yourself, or call a technician to make sure the job is complete.

For AC repair in Riverside, CA, call Allstar Home Services today!

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