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FAQ: Why is My Air Conditioner Leaking Water



Your air conditioning system produces anywhere from 5 to 20 gallons of water a day. All that water drains to the outside through the condensate line when it’s working correctly. Otherwise, you end up with leaks inside your home.

How the Water Forms

Your central air system cools your home by pulling humidity out of the air. The moisture collects on the evaporator coils inside the indoor unit and drips off into a pan. The pan funnels the water to the condensate line which is a white tube that leads outside.

Why Leaks Happen

If water is pooling around the indoor unit, it’s usually due to a clogged condensate line.

The drain line can become blocked with algae, mold, dust and debris. When this happens, the water will back up into your home. New HVAC units will shut down automatically to prevent water damage. Older units, of course, will keep chugging along oblivious to the mess they’re creating.

Explore Our AC Troubleshooting Tips

How to Fix It

Before you try remedying the issue, shut off the AC system.

  • Find the condensate line. It’s typically located near your indoor air handler. The vertical portion has a cap. Remove the cap.

  • Attach a wet/dry vac to the end of the drain line and seal it with duct tape. Turn on the vacuum to remove the blockage.

  • Put on rubber gloves and pour a mix of one part water and one part bleach into the line.

  • Find the other end of the condensate line outside and see if the water is coming out. If so, the drain is clear.

Other Causes of a Leaking AC System

The drain pan collects water dripping from the coils. If it’s rusted or damaged, water will drip through the pan onto the floor. Contact an HVAC professional for a replacement.

Another possibility is that the air filter is dirty or clogged, preventing air from blowing over the coils. The coils will freeze up. When the ice melts, it drips more water than the drain line can handle.

Bottom line: Preventative maintenance will catch small issues like this before they become major headaches. Our expert HVAC technicians at Mid-Florida Heating & Air will inspect the condition of your drain pan and condensate line as part of a comprehensive AC tune-up. To schedule a maintenance visit, call (352) 377-4414.


Indoor Air Quality

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