You'd expect water to leak from a faucet or a pipe, but finding out your air conditioning system can spring a leak can be a bit of a shock. Your A/C system isn't connected to your plumbing in any way, so what's the deal? The following explains how these leaks can happen and how you can fix them.
What Causes A/C System Leaks
As warm, humid air passes through the A/C system's evaporator coil, the coil absorbs the latent heat within the air. While this is happening, moisture from the humid air condenses on the coil. The condensate eventually drips into a drip tray located underneath the coil. The condensate is eventually funneled through a drainage pipe that leads outdoors or into a larger tray near the A/C unit.
Leaks can happen if the tray is nudged out of the way or if a crack or hole develops on the bottom or sides of the tray. Algae growth or debris can plug up the drip tray's drain, causing tray to fill up with condensate until it eventually overflows the tray. The drainage pipe can also develop cracks or pinhole leaks that allow condensate to escape. In some cases, an improperly fitted section of drain pipe can cause leaks.
How You Can Fix These Leaks
If you suspect you have a water leak in your A/C system, you'll want to take the following steps to take care of the problem:
- Start with the drip tray. Make sure the tray is properly aligned with the evaporator coil so it can catch the condensate as it drips. In most cases, simply moving the tray back into place can solve your water leak issues.
- Carefully inspect the tray for any signs of leaks. If necessary, use a shop vacuum to remove the condensate in the tray. If your A/C system uses a metal tray, look out for signs of rust or corrosion. If it's a plastic tray you're dealing with, carefully check for cracked or brittle sections. In either case, you'll need to replace the tray with a new one.
- If there's nothing wrong with the tray, make sure the drain isn't stopped up. Place the shop vacuum's nozzle over the drain and use the vacuum's suction to dislodge the clog. If you see algae or mildew, clean and disinfect the tray as well as the evaporator coil.
- Make sure all sections of drainage pipe are properly connected. Loose connections can be resealed with PVC cement. If you find cracks or pinhole leaks in a section of pipe, you should have that section of pipe replaced.
These fixes can help stop A/C water leaks and possibly prevent future leaks from happening. For more tips, contact a company such as A-1 Heating, Air Conditioning, & Electrical LLC AC repair services.