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Why Is Water Leaking Around My AC? A Minneapolis‑St. Paul Tech Answers

Uh-oh. Seeing water around your air conditioner? That’s never a good sign.

In fact, if you’re seeing water pooled around your indoor unit, it’s likely because of 1 of these 4 problems:

  • Leaky drain pan
  • Frozen evaporator coil
  • Clogged or disconnected drain line
  • A broken condensate pump

The good news is, we can help with these AC repairs.

Schedule a repair today

Or, continue reading to see why those problems cause your AC to leak water...

Problem #1: Leaky drain pan

To give some context…

Your air conditioner removes moisture from your home’s air at the same time it cools it.

This moisture removal process takes place in the air handler (the indoor part of your AC), and the process is outlined below:

evaporator dehumidifier process
  1. Moisture is extracted from your home’s air via the evaporator coil
  2. It drips into the drain pan
  3. Once enough water fills the drain pan, it exits your home via the condensate line

Over time, drain pans can become rusted, which causes them to develop leaks and holes. If your drain pan is worn out, that could explain the pool of water you see around your indoor unit.

Solution: Contact a professional to replace your drain pan.

Problem #2: Frozen evaporator coil

Some AC issues cause the evaporator coil (the part that cools your home’s air) to ice over. When the ice melts, water can overflow from the drain pan and spill into the area around your air conditioner.

The following 2 issues cause an evaporator coil to freeze:

  • Low refrigerant levels, which typically means you have a refrigerant leak in your system. Refrigerant is the liquid/gas that flows through the evaporator coil to cool your home’s air.
  • Poor airflow, which can be caused by dirt buildup around the evaporator coil, or a dirty air filter. When a limited amount of warm air is blowing over the cold refrigerant, the refrigerant can become very cold, which causes the evaporator coil to freeze.

Solution: Follow these steps:

1. Make sure your air filter is clean. A dirty air filter restricts air blowing across the evaporator coil, which can cause it to freeze over. So if your air filter is dirty, change it. If you change the filter and your AC continues to leak water, go to step 2.

dirty vs clean fiberglass air filter

If your filter is dirty like the one on the right, it could be causing your AC to freeze over

2. Contact an AC professional to check for a refrigerant leak or clean your evaporator coil.

Related reading: Signs Your AC Needs More Refrigerant

Problem #3: Clogged or disconnected drain line

If your condensate line is clogged or blocked with debris, all of the moisture that’s supposed to drain outside will back up into the drain pan.

Your drain pan can only hold so much water: If too much water enters your drain pan, it will overflow, which causes a puddle of water around the AC.

evaporator dehumidification process blocked

A clogged condensate line will cause water to overflow from the drain pan, which causes pools of water around your indoor AC unit.

Solution: Contact a professional to clear your condensate line.

Problem #4: A broken condensate pump

If your air handler is located in the basement, you probably have a condensate pump to help push all of the moisture up and out of your home.

Unfortunately, like most mechanical equipment, condensate pumps can and do break down over time. If your pump breaks, then water could overflow from the drain pan into the surrounding area.

Solution: Have a professional repair or replace your condensate pump.

Want a Minneapolis-St. Paul tech to fix your AC?

Schedule an appointment

We’ll fix whatever is causing your air conditioner to leak water inside your home. We’ve been around since 1918, so with 100 years of experience, we know how to handle the job.

Learn more about our same-day AC repairs by visiting our cooling services repair page.