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Why is my A/C leaking? Check the condensate drain line

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As a homeowner, you know how important it is to make sure that your system is kept in optimal condition at all times. However, sometimes issues occur that could cause your A/C system to malfunction no matter how well you've maintained it. For example, did you know your air conditioner has a condensate line? Many people don't, but that line is an important part of what makes it function properly; therefore, if that line starts to leak, gets clogged or becomes frozen, your entire HVAC system could stop working. So let's talk about what might cause your HVAC system to leak and what you can do to help avoid that from happening.

What Is Causing My HVAC System to Leak?

There are several things that could cause your HVAC system to leak. Here are a few of the most common causes of A/C leaks:

  1. Clogged Condensate Drain Line
  2. The most common cause of an A/C leak is due to a clogged condensate drain line. Over time, the condensate line of your HVAC system can get clogged with algae, rust, dirt or other debris. You will know there is a problem if you start to see water dripping through your ceiling. If this happens, you should call an HVAC company immediately to clean out the line before it does damage to your home and your system.

  3. Disconnected Drain Line
  4. If your air conditioning system was not installed properly, the drain line fittings might not have been secured properly and could eventually pull away from the air conditioning unit. This could also occur if your home has experienced some significant shifting. When this happens, the condensate will then drain through your ceiling. However, the location of the leak will be determined by whether or not it was the primary or secondary drain line that was affected, and if the A/C system is located in your attic or in your house.

  5. Dirty Condensate Pump
  6. If your HVAC system, more specifically the pump, develops a problem and begins to malfunction, this could also cause your system to leak causing flooding in your attic or other parts of your home. And because this will create sitting water; algae, mold or mildew could grow and eventually clog your unit.

  7. Frozen Evaporator Coil
  8. In addition to the three possibilities we mentioned above, there are several other issues that could cause your HVAC system to leak. If your systems air filters are dirty and clogged, or if your system is low on refrigerant, these could also cause your system to leak as well.

Other Less Common Causes of an HVAC Leak

As you can see, there are plenty of things that could cause your air conditioning system to leak. However, there are a few issues that are less common, but they do happen, such as: a cracked condensate pan, if there isn't a p-trap and air vent on the drain line to help prevent a water backup from occurring, or if condensation builds up in any ductwork that has not been properly insulated.

How to Prevent an HVAC System From Leaking and Causing Damage

Water leaking from your HVAC system can cause significant damage because the water leakage will usually occur slowly and over time, which means you probably won't notice there's an issue until the water has built-up enough to leak into your home. That's why it's so important to try to prevent this type of occurrence from happening. Here are a few preventive measures you can take to help ensure this doesn't happen to you.

  • Have your A/C system cleaned and refrigerant levels checked annually.
  • Change or clean your A/C filters every 90 days.
  • Make sure your air conditioning system has a secondary drain line.
  • Have a drain pan overflow shutoff switch with a float installed.
  • Make sure the drain line has a p-trap and air vent installed.
  • During your next A/C service visit, ask the technician to inspect your central HVAC system to make sure it was installed properly.

Contact the HVAC Experts in Newnan, GA

Owning a home is an extremely satisfying experience; however, it's imperative that you have a preventive home maintenance schedule in place to ensure the upkeep and preserve the value of what is probably your largest investment. So remember to include an annual HVAC inspection with your preventive home maintenance schedule, if you want to avoid paying for major repairs that could have ultimately been prevented had you known about them before they turned into a serious problem. If you need professional service for your HVAC system in Newnan, contact Hammond Services today.


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