Why Is Your Air Conditioner Leaking Water?

Has water started to accumulate on the floor around your inside AC unit? This problem can be alarming, but it's not always a sign that something serious is wrong. Start by turning off the AC unit so that you can more closely examine the problem without the worry of electrical shock. Here's a look at the two most likely causes of water accumulation and what you can do about them.

A blocked drainage tube.

Your AC unit does produce water as it pulls humidity from the air. This water should accumulate in a little drain pan before being sucked out and transported to the drain by the condensate pump. If a blockage forms in the drainage tube that leads from the pump to the drain, water may start overflowing the drain pan and dropping out onto the floor.

Locate the drainage tube; it's usually made from clear rubber. Look over it carefully, and see if you can spot any blockages. If you see an area where debris has accumulated in the tube, squeeze it with your fingers to try and work the debris loose. With any luck, you'll clear the tube and allow the pump to resume its job once you switch the AC back on. If you cannot dislodge the blockage, your other option is to unhook the drainage tube from the pump (just pull it off) and replace it with a new piece of tubing.

Frozen coils.

Do you see any ice building up on the indoor AC coils? If so, this ice may be slowly melting and creating the puddles under your unit. When operating properly, your AC unit should not freeze over like this. Usually, freezing is caused by a dirty filter and dirty coils, as they slow the transfer of heat though the coils and cause them to get colder than they should.

Place some towels under the AC unit to catch any more water as the ice melts. Then, apply a coil cleaner according to instructions on the label. Generally, you'll be told by professionals to spray the coil cleaner onto the coils, let it sit for a period of time, and then wipe it away. Next, replace the air filter with a clean one. Switch your AC unit back on, and watch to ensure it does not freeze over again. If more ice does form, this could be a sign that your unit is low on refrigerant. An air conditioning service technician can come top up the refrigerant for you.