Many air conditioning systems for homes are stored in the attic, which keeps them out of the way of the living spaces. But if you start to notice that there’s water dripping from the ceiling of your house below the attic, it’s likely that you have an air conditioning system leaking water. This is something you need to have professionally repaired as soon as possible: it not only threatens the AC system, but it will ruin insulation cause water damage to your ceiling.
Where is the water coming from?
The air conditioner in your home isn’t part of the plumbing system, nor does it use water to cool down the air. (There are cooling systems called evaporative coolers or swamp coolers that use water, but these are uncommon in Southern California.) So why is there water coming out of the air conditioner?
The answer is that the water is a byproduct of the air conditioner’s process of heat exchange, which is moving thermal energy from inside your house and releasing it outside. The refrigerant moving through the evaporator coil in the attic unit of the AC absorbs heat from the air through evaporation, but this also causes the moisture in the air to condense along the coil. As this condensation collects, it drips from the coil, where a pan below catches it and a drain then removes it.
Why leaking may happen
Cracks in the condensate pan can allow the water moisture to drip out of the bottom of the AC’s cabinet. The effects of corrosion on the drain can cause it to become detached from the pan, leaving open a hole in the pan. It’s also common for the drain or drain line to develop clogs, and this will cause the shallow pan to rapidly overflow. The pump that draws water down the drain can clog or burn out, and this will also cause overflow.
When you notice your air conditioner leaking water, call on JW Heating and Air for repairs! We’re in the top 1% of Angie’s List-rated contractors and service the entire San Gabriel Valley.