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Cool Touch Air Conditioning and Heating Blog

Water Dripping From Your AC? Let’s Take a Look!

water-droplets

What are the normal sounds you hear from your central air conditioning system when it’s running? The whirring of the motors, the movement of air through the ducts, and the occasional dripping of water.

About that last sound … do you know why you hear water in your AC? It’s not because an air conditioner uses water to cool the air. Water is a product of how the air conditioner cools the air. As the blower fan pushes warm air over the evaporator coils in the air conditioner, the cold refrigerant in the coils absorbs heat from the air and causes moisture vapor to condense along its surface. It’s like the way moisture appears on the outside of a glass of cold liquid during a hot summer day.

However, the air conditioner is set up so that water leaves your house. If you notice water is dripping from your air conditioner, that’s not a good sign. Something is wrong with the condensate drainage system the AC uses to remove the water moisture, and you may need to call us for air conditioning repair in Mesa, AZ.

Why is this happening? A few possibilities:

Condensate drain is clogged

The water moisture from the evaporator coils drips down from the A-frame of the coils and into a shallow pan. The water then moves down a drain, helped by a special pump. This drain, like any drain, can become clogged. Algal growth is a common way this happens, but small debris can also work its way into the drain. The pan (only about 1” deep) will soon overflow, tripping a safety switch to shut off the AC. You’ll need pros to clean the drain.

Broken condensate pump

A small pump is responsible for moving the water from the shallow pan and either into the wastewater system or out a PVC pipe that deposits the water outside. The pump motor may burn out, making it difficult for the pan to drain, leading to the overflow and water leaving the AC.

Loose drain

Corrosion can weaken the connection of the drain to the condensate pan, leading to the pan coming loose. This will permit water to drip straight out of the air conditioner and into your house. Usually the entire pan and drain system must be replaced by professionals.

Cracked drain pan

The condensate pan is made from plastic, and in most HVAC cabinets it is set up over the furnace. Heat from the furnace over the years can cause the pan to eventually crack and allow water to drip out. The pan must be replaced if this happens—although the AC may be so old at this point that getting a new system is a better idea. Also, you don’t want water to drip onto the furnace, since it can cause corrosion on the heat exchanger and lead to potentially dangerous heat exchanger cracks.

When in doubt about your AC, call our technicians and leave the diagnosis and repair to us. We have 24/7 emergency service available.

Call Cool Touch Air Conditioning and Heating for air conditioning repair in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Kick back and relax: we’ll keep you cool.

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