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Serving Courtenay, BC and Surrounding Areas

After Hours Service Available


Serving Courtenay, BC and Surrounding Areas


Temprite Climate Solutions Blog

Why Water Is Leaking from Your Air Conditioning System


Do you know how your air conditioning in Campbell River, BC cools the air in your house? If you know a bit about HVAC, then you’ll probably answer that it’s because of the refrigerant inside the air conditioner. When you go and stand by the outdoor condenser unit while the AC is running, you’ll feel hot air coming out of it, and that seems to indicate that the air conditioner is pushing heat outside of your home.

This is generally correct. Now, what job does water play in the AC cooling the house? This might make you think for a second. You hear water dripping inside the air conditioner at times, and water can lower the temperature of air. But does water have anything to do with how an AC cools the air?

The answer is no it doesn’t

Which brings us to the question in the title: if an AC doesn’t use water to cool the air, why are you seeing water dripping out of the AC?

The Condensate Drainage System

Let’s go back to that dripping noise you occasionally hear from the AC cabinet. This is the noise of the water you’re now seeing drip out of your air conditioner. Where is it coming from, what purpose does it serve?

This water doesn’t actually do anything useful for the air conditioner. Rather, it’s a byproduct of how the AC works. This water needs to be removed from both the air conditioner and the house using something called the condensate drainage system.

Here’s how the condensate system operates: As the indoor refrigerant coil absorbs heat from the air by evaporating cold refrigerant, it also causes moisture in the air to condense along its surface. It’s similar to the condensation you see on a window or along a glass with a cold beverage in it. This water drips off the coil and falls down into a shallow condensate pan, where a drain and a pump draw the water down through a line and then outdoors where the condensate water drips onto the ground. 

Failures in the Condensate System

The reason you’re probably seeing water leaking from the AC is because one of several problems has affected the operation of the drainage system:

  • The condensate drain has become clogged with algal growths or other obstacles, which will rapidly cause the pan to overflow.
  • The pump for the condensate drain has burned out, making it difficult to drain the water from the pan and again leading to overflow.
  • The condensate drain has become detached from the bottom of the pan (this often occurs because of corrosion) and the water drips through the hole.
  • The condensate pan develops cracks, allowing water to drip out. 

Another possibility is that the condensate system becomes overloaded because the evaporator coil freezes over and then thaws, causing the condensate system to get overwhelmed. 

When you see this happening, it’s best to call an HVAC technician about it. They can determine the cause of the leaking and have it fixed. Ignoring the leak will eventually cause the AC to shut down or develop mold inside it.

Temprite Climate Solutions is here for all your air conditioning needs in Courtenay, BC and the surrounding areas. For a job done right, call Temprite!

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