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Why Is My Furnace or Air Conditioner Leaking Water?

A local furnace leaking water

If you notice your furnace is leaking or dripping water, it is a sign that it needs attention.

If you are seeing water dripping around your HVAC equipment the sooner it is dealt with the better. A prolonged leak can lead to rust, damaged internal components, mold growth, water damage to property, and even having to replace your furnace sooner than you’d like.

A Blockage in the Condensation Drain Pipe/Trap

One reason for water leaking from your furnace is a clogged condensation drain pipe or clogged condensation trap. High efficiency furnaces run at lower temperatures which produces condensation. Leaks are generally small at first but are important warning signs. Ignoring leaks can be costly. Not having a high efficient furnace maintained on a regular basis can lead to bigger problems. Air Conditioners produce condensation particularly to the indoor coil so both require a method of removing this water. Leaking condensation and/or blocked traps can lead to home damage and long term problems with your equipment. Therefore, they should not be ignored.

Usually the condensation from the exhaust is directed towards a floor drain through either PVC or other tubing. Sometimes a floor drain is not accessible nearby so a condensate pump may be installed to direct the excess water to a different drain.

Over time, debris, algae and sediments can accumulate and create a sludge blockage in the condensation trap preventing water from draining properly. This can produce a visible leak as the water is forced out through other areas.

Check the Condensation Pump

If your HVAC system uses a condensate pump, you’ll want to make sure that it is working properly. You can do this by pouring water in it. Once the water reaches a certain level it should trigger the condensate pump to remove the excess water–much like a sump pump. If after you have added sufficient water but the condensate pump isn’t triggered, you may have found the reason for your water leak.

Drain Pipe Set Up Wrong

Another common reason for water leaking from the furnace is a poorly set up PVC drain pipe system. If the drain line was installed in a less than sufficient downward angle it could prevent the condensation line from draining properly.

AC Drain Blockage

There are two coils in your AC system. An indoor and an outdoor coil. Another common issue with water appearing to leak from the furnace is when the air conditioner is running through the indoor coil. If water appears to be leaking from the furnace while the AC is running, the issue is often a condensate drain line blockage in your indoor AC coil.

Water leaking into the inside of your furnace components can pose many dangers. The bottom of the furnace and other parts can become rusty and stop working, an electrical short can occur, and the life of your furnace may lessen.

The Solution Is to Determine What Is Ultimately Causing the Leak

Is it equipment? Is it the drain line itself, a connection perhaps? If you aren’t sure, contact Black Diamond Experts. If it is a blockage, then it will need to be cleared away. If the condensate drain line is damaged it will need to be repaired or replaced. We highly recommend leaving this to a professional as it can require working with water around electrical components (which should be turned off for safety).

Considering that our low priced furnace tune-up includes clearing the condensate drain, Black Diamond Experts’ Signature Tune up gives you a phenomenal value and an excellent way to avoid the common furnace water leak problem.

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