Why Is My Split AC Leaking Water and How to Fix it?

You would want your air conditioner to work smoothly, especially during the scorching Ottawa summers. But what happens when you notice your air conditioner leaking water? 

Is it something you can fix quickly, or is it a sign of a more serious issue?

Your head might start exploding with all these questions when you notice your split AC leaking water. However, knowing what causes water leaks and how to fix them can help maintain your air conditioner in perfect shape and prevent costly repairs.

Let’s get started.

Is Water Leaking from Your Split Air Conditioner Normal?

Ductless split AC does drain condensate to the outside through a drainage line which is normal, especially on hot and humid days. It’s usually a sign of your AC unit working hard when the temperature outside is soaring. Traditional ducted split systems drain condensate from the indoor coil at the furnace or air handler into a condensate pump or effective floor drain.

However, if you notice water stains near the indoor unit, it could indicate a serious problem. You might want to call your air conditioning repair service to come and have it checked.

Why Is Your Split Air Conditioner Leaking Water?

Your split AC unit could be leaking water for many reasons. It could be due to:

1. Improper AC Unit Installation

If your AC unit was installed recently and started leaking water, the most probable cause is the installation. One common concern is when your AC unit is not levelled. It causes the condensate pan to collect the water unevenly, resulting in overflow. 

If your air conditioner is levelled, size could be the issue. A 18,000 BTU mini-split system is a common size for ductless mini-split air conditioners in Canada, which can cool a one-bedroom apartment.

A professional contractor can help you choose the right size and install your AC unit correctly, reducing the risk of water leaks in the future.

2. Dirty Air Filters 

Air filters keep your spilt AC unit working efficiently. But if these are clogged or haven’t been cleaned regularly, they restrict airflow over the evaporator coil, causing it to freeze. When the ice around the coil melts, the water can overwhelm the drain pan, leading to leaks.

If this happens, you can:

  • Turn off the air conditioner and switch on the blower fan to warm the coils.
  • Check the air filter and replace it if necessary. Ideally, you should clean the filter at least once a month during the summer when your air conditioner works hard. 

If the coil continues to freeze up again, call an air conditioning service & repair expert.

3. Broken Drain Pan

The drain pan collects condensate runoff. But over time, it may clog, rust or crack. A broken or clogged drain pan can’t hold condensate runoff, resulting in leaks. Usually, cleaning the drain pan with soap water can solve this problem. 

But sometimes, you might need to replace the damaged or cracked drain pan. When replacing the pan, turn off the AC unit, clean the area and replace the pan. You can call a professional if you aren’t comfortable replacing it yourself.

4. Clogged Drain Pipe

The drain pipe carries condensation runoff, but dirt, algae, or other debris can clog this pipe over time. In a mini-split AC system, when the pipe gets blocked, water backs up and you might see water stains near the indoor unit.

Keeping your drain pipe clean can help prevent these leaks. Here’s what you can do: 

  • Use bleach solution and water to clean the pipe. 
  • Use a wire to remove the clog inside the drain pipe. Do this once every month, especially during the summer, to prevent clogging.

While you can easily remove the blockage, if the pipe is broken, you might need to replace it with the help of a professional.

5. Cold Temperatures

Running your air conditioner in cold weather can cause the evaporator coils to freeze. This can happen towards the end of summer when the temperatures in Ottawa start to drop significantly. Avoid using your air conditioner if the outdoor temperature drops below 60 degrees.

6. Low Refrigerant Levels

When the refrigerant levels drop below a certain point, the pressure in your AC unit also drops, causing the evaporator coil to ice up. As the ice melts, the water overflows the drain pan and causes leaks.

Low refrigerant levels may also indicate a leak in the system, which can cause health problems and damage your AC unit. Besides freezing coils, you should watch out for signs like hissing or high-pitched shrieking sounds, increased humidity levels, and if check your AC starts blowing hot air.

If you suspect a refrigerant leak or low levels, call your Ottawa air conditioning repair expert immediately.

7. Lack of Maintenance

Lack of maintenance can lead to many issues, including leaks. Here’s what your maintenance should include:

  • Clean the AC unit and filters once every month. 
  • Inspect the unit for loose or damaged parts. 
  • Tighten any loose bolts.
  • Check refrigerant levels. 

Additionally, call your air conditioning service & repair expert annually for preventive maintenance. Technicians can fix minor issues, fill the refrigerant tank, and fine-tune loose parts. But more importantly, they can catch potential issues early and save you from costly repairs down the line.

Call Air Conditioning Service & Repair Expert Now

Water leaking from your split AC is a sign that something might be wrong. It could be anything from improper installation and dirty air filters to low refrigerant levels and poor maintenance. Whatever the reasons, do not ignore this issue. Fix it promptly to avoid costly repairs in the future.

Is your air conditioner leaking water? JD Swallow Heating & Cooling is here to help. Our experts offer professional AC installation, maintenance, and repair. Contact us today to book your appointment.

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