What to Do If Water Is Pooling Around Your AC Unit
Looking outside your door or window to see a growing pool of water around the air conditioning unit of your HVAC system is startling to any homeowner. There are many reasons why you may find water pooling around the air conditioning unit, all of which require professional air conditioning repair. Our air conditioning repair specialists explain the most common causes of water pooling around your air conditioning unit and what needs to be done to stop your HVAC system from developing catastrophic or irreparable damage.
Condensate Line Problems
One of the most common locations where water may pool around your air conditioning unit is underneath and around the condensate pipe. The condensate pipe is part of your HVAC system that drains the condensed water produced when the hot air is replaced by cooler air. Under normal circumstances, the water drains down the condensate line and out through your waste water system. Several different types of problems may develop with your condensate line. The constant moisture in the line encourages the growth of algae, which may develop into a thick mat so that water can no longer pass through, resulting in water pooling around the pipe. Mineral deposits may also clog the line, preventing water flow. A backup or clog in the main drain line of your home can also cause water to back up into the condensate line. Over time, the condensate pipe may crack or loosen from its connection to the main air conditioning unit.
The first thing to do if there is water around the condensate line is to check whether the pipe is attached to the drain pan. If it is, next check the pipe for any visible cracks. Check your main drain to ensure that your other waste water such as from your washing machine is flowing away. After these troubleshooting steps, if water is still pooling around the condensate line, an air conditioning repair visit is necessary to diagnose and repair the problem with the pipe.
Condensate Pump Problems
Your air conditioning unit houses a condensate pump which has the job of pumping the water condensed from the hot air into the drain line and into the waste water pipes. A mechanical problem with the condensate pump may cause water to accumulate and pool around the air conditioning unit because it has nowhere else to go. Because the condensate pump contains mechanical and electrical components, this type of air conditioning repair is best left to HVAC system professionals experienced and trained in troubleshooting pump problems.
Other HVAC System Problems
If the pool of water is around your outdoor condenser unit, the problem is not with the condensate pump or pipe, but rather with one of the components of the condenser unit. One of the simplest causes for water pooling around your outdoor condenser unit is a dirty air filter. In most air conditioning systems, the air filter is located inside your home near the air handler or air blower. Slide the air filter out and replace it if it is visibly dirty. If you do not know how to replace the air filter, an air conditioning repair specialist will do it for you.
Another common cause of water pooling around the outdoor condenser unit is a low refrigerant level. When the refrigerant level is abnormally low, the condensed water may freeze in the form of ice crystals on the coils and then melt in the outdoor heat, making a pool of water around your air conditioning unit. This problem requires professional assistance to recharge the coolant level in your air conditioning system. Ice can also develop in the condensate pipe as a result of low refrigerant levels, causing a backup in the pipe and spillage of water. One way to stop the pooling of water is to shut down your air conditioning system until all the ice has melted. If the ice redevelops and starts making a new pool of water, you will need professional air conditioning repair services to remedy the problem