Water is Leaking from my Ceiling!

Condensation line leaks can happen anytime, but seem to be more common during our monsoon season.  Dust storms and winds can cause obstructions in your condensate line resulting in improper drainage.

In the Valley, we have two very common types of air conditioners.  Single packaged systems, or roof top units, are completely outside the home and are connected by the duct system.  On a split system, the condenser is usually outside and the air handler is inside the home.  In both cases, your air conditioner’s job is twofold.  It must both cool the indoor air, as well as, remove humidity.  The evaporator coil removes moisture in the air before it returns cool, dry air into your home.  This removal of humidity is what results in the condensation of water.  The water is then drained through your condensation line.

Single package systems usually drain off the roof and typically wouldn’t create any damage to the interior of the home.  Because the air handler is inside the home on a split system, a clogged drain line could potentially cause water damage to the inside of your home.

During our summers, when humidity is higher and your system is running more often, the evaporator coils remove more water than usual from the air.  Sometime the amount of water is more than the pan and drain can remove quickly and may cause the water to overflow.

The most common reason for water leaks is caused by obstructions in the drain line.  Obstructions can be caused by the system taking in too much dust and dirt from the air filter.  This is why we constantly remind our customers to change or clean their filters every 30 days during our monsoon season.  If an air filter isn’t routinely cleaned or replaced, the filter becomes like a brick wall to the incoming air which causes the evaporator coil to freeze over and form ice.  As the temperature fluctuates, the ice melts and the excess water spills over the drain pan’s edge and out of the unit.  An obstruction blocks the drain and prevents the line from draining properly.

In some cases, water leaking from your system could be caused by indirect issues, such as low refrigerant levels.  When the refrigerant is low, it can cause the evaporative coil to freeze.  This frozen moisture can extend over the edges of the drain pan.  When the ice outside the pan melts, it will go wherever it has the least resistance.

  • Most water leaks, caused by an air conditioning system, are minor but some can be very costly.  There are a couple very simple steps you can take in attempt to avoid this issue.  Each spring and fall, schedule a preventative maintenance call to make sure your system is performing as it should.
  • Change or clean your filters regularly.
  • If your air handler and/or furnace is located inside your home, we can install a drain emergency shut off switch.  This shut off switch attaches to the secondary drain line.  When a clog presents itself, the switch shuts down the entire air conditioning system to prevent any flooding.  The cost of the drain emergency shut off switch is relatively inexpensive, especially compared to most insurance deductibles and the inconvenience and mess water damage can create.  We install the shut off switch on all our new installations that fit the criteria.

If you are interested in the emergency switch, give us a call.  We’ll be happy to discuss if this would be a good option for you.

Back to Tips