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What Causes a Condensation Line to Leak from Your Air Conditioner

Air conditioner problems are diverse and numerous. Understanding specific issues and how to troubleshoot them is essential. One of the most common issues you are likely to face at one point is a condensation leak. So, what makes condensation lines leak from your AC? Keep reading to find out more.

A Clogged Condensate Drain Line

This is probably the most common reason water may leak from your AC. Usually, the condensate drain line gets clogged with dirt and debris that pass through it. This dirt mixes with the moisture and ends up sticking on the side of the condensate drain line.
It gunk’s up and eventually hinders the condensation from passing through as before.

Consequently, the condensation will back up and flow backward, leading to an AC leak. This happens more often than many people want to appreciate. Cleaning the condensate drain line regularly could help eliminate such problems once and for all.

Troubleshooting an AC Fan that Won't Stop Running

The AC Unit has Little Refrigerant


When the AC does not have enough refrigerant, the unit’s pressure lowers beyond normal and can easily cause leaks. This happens gradually and starts with the air being expelled. Usually, it will not be as cold as it was before.

The other thing with low refrigerant levels is that the evaporator coils tend to freeze up. These coils are behind the conversion of liquid from the AC into vapor. The AC unit expels and uses this vapor to cool the surrounding area.

On the flip of this situation, lacking enough refrigerant means nothing to power the coils to function as they should. The coils then start freezing over time. While this will be a significant issue or a deal-breaker at first, it becomes problematic when the temperatures increase and the ice heats up.

It melts and leaks into the AC, causing more complex issues that may trigger expensive repair and, in some cases, require the replacement of components. Make sure that your AC has enough refrigerant. If you suspect that something could be wrong, call the HVAC experts to test and refill the refrigerant to acceptable levels if it is running low.

Air Filter has Accumulated Quite a Lot of Dirt

The air filter could lead to air conditioner leaks. This seems strange since the two appear unrelated. However, the air filter can accumulate dirt and get clogged. This interferes with its normal functioning and affects the AC to power the evaporator coils. Consequently, the evaporator coils will freeze over time, just likely it happened with the low refrigerant issue. Clogged filters prevent sufficient airflow to the evaporator coils leading to freezing when it gets too cold.

Sadly, while the freezing of the evaporator coils may seem harmless at first, it is not advisable to let it happen continuously. Usually, the frozen coils get damaged in the long run, causing irreparable issues that may cause a need to replace the entire AC. Unless you have such a budget at your disposal every time, consider prevention first.

Damaged or Rusted Drain Pan

Damaged or rusted drain pans are common, especially if your AC is old. Depending on the severity of the damage, the drain pan issue is not a severe problem. It is easier if the drain pan has a superficial crack that can be sealed using a water sealant and a temporary solution. On the other hand, rough drain pans are trickier because the rust has eaten through the metal, making it almost impossible to salvage.

In most cases, such drain pans have holes through which water flows. You may want to consider replacing the drain pan. This will be an easy remedy if the auxiliary drain pan is affected. However, when the issue is with the primary and permanent drain pan, you have to call an HVAC professional to assist.

Tricks to Fix a Leaking AC

Now that you have a good understanding of what triggers AC leaks, you should explore solutions. These include the following:

  1. Changing filters regularly to prevent dust and dirt accumulation
  2. Cleaning your condensate drain as the need arises
  3. Using the right drain pan
  4. Using bleach in the drain pan every six months to kill algae and fungi that potentially clog it
  5. Not overworking the AC when temperatures are hot outside.

General care and maintenance of the AC help prevent condensation line leaks. Do not overlook any symptoms and always call an expert for assistance.

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Customer Reviews

Claudia M.

Scott, along with his associate, Gabe, did a great job. They were both professional and friendly. Scott explained in enough detail to help me understand how my a/c unit works-he’s very informative. Have was a great help, cutting the time it took to clean and install the HVAC equipment. I liked that they were both pet friendly, that’s also important for me. I’ve been a customer of absolute Airflow for a couple of years and they are a great company …

Ty S.

Have had nothing but amazing experiences with Absolute Airflow from the beginning. We have had a few issues here and there but Absolute has always sent someone out quickly and stood behind their work. Most recently they sent out Spencer and he was the best technician we’ve ever had! He was extremely respectful and polite, he also took the time to thoroughly talk me through and help me understand the genesis of our various issues we were encountering. Definitely hope …

Ian S.

My requested service was set up by Marcus who came to my home to evaluate and was prepared with options and great prices for my water heater replacement. Was able to get an appointment within 3 days as there was no emergency. My install tech James was amazing, He was very respectful and maintained a clean and organized work area as the installation was in the home. The removal, prep, and installation of new water, gas, and venting took approximately …

Richard S.

I can’t express enough how impressed I am with this company and especially Anthony Belt. Anthony was so thorough and patient with my wife and me. The impressive part was he was able not only to identify all the problems with my heating and ac but went above and beyond to fix all of them! My electrical bills were over $500 a month during the ac months and now they are less than $200! Not only am I saving a …

Patrick K.

I haven’t posted any reviews in a long while but here I am thanks to SCOTT with Absolute Airflow. The warmer Cali weather is around the corner and as a responsible homeowner, I decided to get my HVAC system checked out and tuned up before the summer heat. Scott provided us with the full red carpet experience. His knowledge, quality and care put into his work, and professionalism were all outstanding. Replaced fan motor due to oil leak (a normal …

Liem H.

Outstanding experience from the start. I’ve been a member of Absolute Airflow for almost 2 years now. Since then, I’ve had my system maintained twice a year. Every service has been very thorough and professional. Each time, everything was explained to me in terms that I would understand, coupled with plenty of photo documentation. Which I appreciate so much. Knowing that I would have to replace my aging system. I dreaded the coming expense and experience. But my fears were …