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My AC Is Dripping Water: What’s Wrong?

an AC unit

Many of us can’t imagine a home without air conditioning. That’s especially true in the summer when the AC is the only thing keeping us from melting. While air conditioning is synonymous with comfort, it can also be a source of unnecessary stress. Imagine coming home, ready to relax, only to see a puddle of water under the AC.

It’s not fun to have a leaking AC. Not only is it messy, but it also means there’s something wrong with your unit. If your AC is dripping water, it’s important to get to the bottom of the issue before it snowballs into a more costly problem.

Here are some troubleshooting methods that can help you solve the leak. If none of them work, it’s time to get professional help. An HVAC professional will have your AC running smoothly again without any pesky leaks.

Why Your AC Is Dripping Water and What You Can Do

Your AC is a complicated system, and there are various possible reasons why it’s leaking. You’ll have to do some detective work to find the culprit. These steps can help you out.

Clean the Air Filters

Dirty air filters restrict airflow and can cause several problems with your AC. Leaks are one of them. When dirt and debris clog the air filters, less air passes through the evaporator coils, causing them to freeze.

The ice will eventually melt, producing excess water with nowhere to go. That could explain why your AC is leaking. You can prevent this issue by replacing the air filters every three months.

Inspect the Installation Work

Is your new AC leaking only after a few days on the job? The installation work might be to blame. An obvious sign of improper installation is if your unit is crooked.

If you can’t tell, ask an HVAC professional to come over and inspect it. If needed, the HVAC technician will redo the installation to fix the leaking issue.

Replace the Drain Pan

Another common AC issue that causes a leak is a damaged drain pan. The drain pan captures the water that drips from the evaporator coil. But if it’s cracked or broken, that water will end up on the floor, causing a mess in your home.

You can resolve this problem by having a professional install a new drain pan.

Unclog the Condensate Line

A clogged condensate line is another possible reason for the annoying leak you’re dealing with. This component leads the water in the drain pan to the outside of your house. If it’s clogged, the water will flow back into the drain pan and leak into your home.

You can try to remove the clog by pouring diluted vinegar into the drain pan and following it up with water. If that doesn’t work, let an HVAC specialist deal with the stubborn clog.

Check the Thermostat

If your thermostat is malfunctioning, it can cause the evaporator coils to become too cold and freeze. The melted water will leak into your home once the temperature returns to normal. Prevent this issue by checking your thermostat and ensuring it’s on “auto” and “cool.”

If the leak persists, your thermostat might have a wiring issue. That’s a job for an HVAC professional. Never attempt to fix faulty wiring yourself.

Most of the issues behind a leaking AC require technical skills to fix. While there’s nothing wrong with being a hands-on homeowner, it’s best to leave your AC problems to the pros. They have the tools and expertise to tackle complicated issues, and you’ll soon be able to enjoy a leak-free AC.

an air vent

What To Do if Your AC Is Not Cooling After Power Outage

Power outages are no fun, and their impact on your AC can last even after the electricity’s back. If your AC is not blowing cold air after a power outage, it likely needs a reset. You can follow these steps to get your unit to run again.

Use the Thermostat to Power Off the AC

Before resetting your AC, ensure it’s off and unplugged. That way, you can work safely and prevent damage to the unit. You can use your thermostat to power it off. Look for the system switch and toggle it to the “off” position.

Turn the AC Off at the Circuit Breaker

If the power outage caused your AC’s circuit breaker to trip, you must reset it to enjoy cool air in your home again. First, find the circuit box that powers your HVAC system. Next, flip it to the off position and then back to the on position. Then, you’ve successfully reset it.

Wait for 30 Minutes

You might be dying to feel cold air blowing on your face again, but wait at least 30 minutes after resetting the circuit breaker. That gives the HVAC system’s internal circuitry enough time to restart, preventing future issues.

Use the Thermostat to Turn on the AC

After waiting half an hour, set your thermostat to “cool” mode. That will tell your AC that it’s time to blow cold air again. If your unit turns on and runs smoothly, it has no damage from the power outage. But if it refuses to start, you might be dealing with a failed compressor or capacitor. That’s the time to call in an HVAC technician.

If restarting your AC’s circuit breaker doesn’t solve the problem, it means there’s a complex underlying issue. That means it’s time to let HVAC professionals take over. They will find the root cause and perform the necessary repairs or replacements. You and your family will be enjoying cool air at home again soon.

a living room

What Does It Mean When My AC Sounds Like Running Water?

Air conditioners are magical appliances that remove the humidity in your home to cool you down. If everything’s running smoothly, the excess water it pulls from the air will automatically drain away from your home to the outside. Unfortunately, things don’t always go smoothly.

Take it as a sign there’s something wrong if you hear running water sounds from your AC. That means the drip pan is likely overflowing, and the water has nowhere to go. The usual culprit behind this issue is a clogged condensate line. The water that collects in the drain pipe can’t flow through the line and will instead back up. That explains the water sound you’re hearing.

An overflowing drain pan is never good news because the water can leak into your home and cause substantial damage. Homeowners can try to unclog the condensate line, but it’s better to let a seasoned pro handle it.

Here are some other AC sounds to be wary of.

Gurgling or Bubbling

Gurgling or bubbling sounds could mean an issue with your AC’s refrigerant line. This line should be airtight but can develop sealing issues. Small amounts of air will enter the line and cause bubbles. That creates a gurgling sound as the refrigerant circulates through the line. You should always let a professional handle refrigerant issues.


Hissing is another alarming sound you should never ignore. If an AC is making this sound, it usually means the refrigerant is leaking. Another possible explanation is that there’s a blockage somewhere in the HVAC system. There might be an obstruction in the refrigerant line that’s disrupting the refrigerant flow. Or the air filters might be dirty and hampering the airflow. If you suspect a refrigerant issue, contact an HVAC specialist.

Let the Pros Handle Your AC Woes

Our air conditioners work hard to keep us nice and comfortable at home. But that doesn’t mean they are indestructible. They can develop issues over time, like clogs and leaks. Most AC problems are complex.

Even if you’re confident in your DIY skills, save them for other tasks around the home. Let an HVAC specialist deal with your AC troubles. A licensed professional can perform repairs and replacements.

ABC Can Diagnose and Fix AC Problems

If you’re concerned about your AC unit, contact ABC Home & Commercial Services. Our licensed professionals can provide any needed AC diagnosis and repair and are available all day and all night. Our experts can even provide routine AC maintenance to help prolong the life of your system. In addition, they can help you solve common problems like if you notice your AC is not cooling below 75 degrees.

Stephen Richardson

Stephen Richardson is the HVAC Director for ABC Dallas and Fort Worth. Stephen has over 37 years of experience in the HVAC industry and has been with ABC for 21 of those years. Before joining ABC, Stephen held positions as a Building Engineer, Refrigeration Service Technician, and AC/Refrigeration Mechanic. In his off-time, he enjoys cooking, restoring vintage tractors, and SLR photography.

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