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10 Common Reasons for Aircon Leaking Water & How to Fix Them

Air conditioner dripping water is a common problem that every 200-300 Singapore residents encounter on a daily basis. This unexpected problem can lead to discomfort, damage to your property, and increased energy bills. In this article, we will dive into the most common causes of aircon water leakage and provide practical solutions to keep your cooling system running smoothly. We will also cover some case studies to give you a better insight of the dos and don'ts.

Where does the water come from?

The indoor unit of your air con has a component called the evaporator coils which helps to cool the warm air. As warm air touches the condenser which is cold, condensation process kicks off and water droplets are formed. These water droplets drip into the drainage pan which is component to help drain the water through a drainage pipe that leads to outdoor or your bathroom.

aircon leaking water
Aircon leaking water from the front

Here are 10 most common reasons why your aircon may be leaking water:

1. Clogged Drainage Line

This is the number 1 reason for water leaking from your air conditioner. When the drainage line is clogged water can accumulate until they start to overflow from the drain pan. Drainage lines need to be monitored and cleaned periodically to avoid this problem. If it becomes clogged with dust, dirt, or debris, the water will not be able to flow through and will back up into the air conditioner. Regular maintenance, such as clearing the drain line using a mixture of water and bleach, can prevent this issue.

aircon drainage line

2. Excessive Dust and Debris

Accumulated dust and debris on the evaporator coil can insulate it, preventing efficient heat exchange and leading to freezing and subsequent water leakage. This can be prevented with regular aircon servicing to keep the evaporator coil clean.

dirty aircon evaporator coil causing water leakage

3. Blocked or Disconnected Drain Pan

The drain pan under the evaporator coil is designed to catch condensation. If this pan becomes blocked or is not properly connected, it can lead to water overflow and leakage.

4. Clogged or Dirty Air Filters

You will be surprised that air filters clogged with dirt can cause excessive coldness trapped in the unit resulting in ice formation which would eventually start dripping on to the floor.

Clogged air filters resulting in water leakage

5. Refrigerant leaks

If there is a refrigerant leak in the AC unit, it can cause the evaporator coil to freeze, leading to water leakage.

Aircon Gas Leakage causing water leak

6. Broken condensate pump

In some AC units, a condensate pump is used to remove the water from the drain pan. If the pump is broken, the water will not be removed, causing leakage.

7. Worn Out Components

Over time, various components of the air conditioning system, such as gaskets, seals, and hoses, can deteriorate, leading to leaks.

8. Improper Installation

Incorrect installation can result in various aircon problems, including water leakage. The drainage system must be set up correctly to ensure efficient water removal. If you have recently had a new aircon unit installed and are experiencing water leakage, it's essential to have a professional technician assess the installation.

9. Humidity and High Temperatures

Singapore's humidity levels can pose a challenge for air conditioning units. When humidity is exceptionally high, air conditioners may struggle to extract moisture from the air efficiently. This excess moisture can lead to more condensation on the evaporator coil and drainage system, causing water leakage. To counter this, consider using a dehumidifier alongside your air conditioner.

10. Not Doing Regular Maintenance Service

Routine maintenance is crucial for preventing aircon water leakage. Engaging a professional HVAC technician in Singapore to inspect and service your air conditioning unit annually can identify and address potential issues before they escalate.

How to fix A/C water leak & the cost of repair:

1. Chemical Flushing of Drainage System

Clogged Drainage Line can cause leaking of water as the water is unable ot flow through the drainage system.

Chemical flushing of an aircon drainage pipe is a process of cleaning the pipe using a chemical solution to remove any buildup of dirt, debris, and other substances that may have accumulated in the drainage system.

Chemical flushing involves pouring a special cleaning solution into the aircon's drainage pipe. The solution is allowed to sit for a period of around 15 to 30 minutes, to dissolve any buildup inside the pipe. After the solution has softened the rigid debris, it is flushed out with clean water, along with any dissolved debris and buildup.

Cost of chemical flushing: Around $80. Book through our platform to get attractive discounts.

2. Realigning the drainage tray or drain pan

The drainage tray can be found in the indoor aircon units, which helps to accumulate water and passes it to the drainage system. if the drain pan is not placed properly then it can cause water to leak out. This usually happens when you have had a recent aircon servicing and the technician and not placed the drainage tray in the right place. This problem can be fixed by positioning the tray in the right slots and does not involve any additional cost.

Cost of realigning drainage pan: No additional cost.

3. Replacement of drain pan

When the drain pan is damaged either because of mishandling or because of aging, it needs a complete replacement.

Cost of drainage pan replacement: Around $80 to $120 depending on brand, includes supply, transport and labor cost.

4. Chemical Wash and Chemical Overhaul

When the aircon has been in operation for several months without any cleaning service, the air filter and the evaporator coils can accumulated hard debris, dirt and mold, which results in ice formation inside the aircon unit as the cold air is trapped inside the unit because of clogging. Eventually, the ice would start melting and can cause excess water formation and result in the leakage.

In such a case, it is recommended to do a chemical wash or preferably chemical overhaul for the much needed deep cleaning for your aircon unit.

Cost of chemical wash/overhaul: Check pricing and learn more here - Chemical Wash and Chemical Overhaul

Video tutorial on how to fix aircon water leakage

Solved Aircon Water Leaking Cases

Case 1 - Aircon leaking water in the apartment after a new aircon installation:

Mr Tan reached out to us with a complain of recurring water leakage after a new aircon installation. He had contacted another HVAC company a week ago regarding the same problem and the technicians had performed a chemical overhaul, but the problem of water leaking came back a day after. When Mr. Tan reached out to us we gather all past records and instructed our technical team to check the alignment of A/C system installation. Our technicians visited Mr. Tan' condo and identified the installed drainage system was not alignment properly, resulting the water from the evaporator coil to flow backwards.

Conclusion -
If your aircon is newly installed, please contact the original installer as it may still be under warranty.

Case 2 - Aircon leaking water from front, fixed in 6 hours:

Stella opened an aircon repair request at 3am on our platform with a problem statement of 'Aircon Leaking Water'. She informed us that another aircon servicing company suggested very expensive Chemical Overhaul. A tech team was instantly assigned for the same day for a service slot of 9am. The technician quickly identified that the aircon drainage pipe was completely choked and performed a chemical flushing of the drain pipe which solved the problem at a much cheaper cost.

Conclusion -
Chemical overhaul is not the go to solution to fix aircon water leakage and proper troubleshooting is needed to identify the root cause.

Case 3 - Normal cleaning service will not fix the leaking problem:

Ms Chua open a request on our platform stating that she did a general aircon servicing a week ago, but the aircon started to leak water. When our technicians proved Ms Chua she mentioned that the her aircon is used heavily for the last 2 years and she only does general aircon servicing once a while. After troubleshooting our technician identified that even thought the aircon air filters were clean, the aircon evaporator coil was clogged which caused the water leak. The technician performed a chemical overhaul by dismantling the entire A/C unit and thoroughly cleaned the components. After chemical overhaul the water leaking was fixed.

Conclusion -
If you are a heavy user of the air conditioning, then Chemical Overhaul at least once a year is recommend to avoid water leaking issues.

If you want to fix the water leakage from your aircon unit, get assistance from a professional technician who can accurately troubleshoot and fix the problem. Request for an Aircon Servicing!

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