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Why does my A/C unit drip?

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Why does my A/C unit drip?

If you arrived here, it is because you are “over a barrel”, due to your A/C unit bad working. A/C drips water from split, it leaks from the internal unit or water squirts. They are many descriptions of a same problem, the water loss of your air conditioner unit.

Why does an A/C machine produce water?

First of all, we are going to see why an A/C produces water, because there is much ignorance about the “creation” process of that mysterious water which comes from our machine.

One thing we must understand first is that our air conditioner unit doesn’t produce water  by itself; it condenses it, then it gathers it and finally it channels it to a plughole that must be made or get connected when we do the A/C installation. But  why does it condense water? In order to explain it, I’m going to use an easy to understand analogy:

Let’s imagine a hot summer day, let’s imagine we are in plein August, on holidays in the coast, in beachfront house admiring the Mediterranean Sea. Given that all August days are very hot, we began to get hot and thirsty, so we get some snacks and a beer, a soda or a big bottle of water from our fridge.

Humidity condensation in a glass of water

As we enjoy the views, we come back to our balcony with the chosen drink. After a few minutes we see some drops appeared in our glass or the bottle. It sweated!, some might say.

Well, what it actually happened is that environmetal humidity has condensed, due to the temperature difference between our glass or bottle and the exterior, which is hotter and moister.

With this easy example we can understand why an A/C “produces” water, because it condenses environmental humidity from our house, thanks to the internal part of heat exchanger of our A/C, where there is a refrigerant at a lower temperature than the environmental one.

But why is it caused that water loss or why water comes from the A/C?

Okay, having now understood how it is “produced”, let’s see now causes which can lead the A/C to drip or lose that water.

A/C plughole is obstructed

Between the different reasons, the most common one is plughole to be obstructed. In general, split A/C units have a not too big plughole, due to its factory settings and because split A/C don’t have to have a difficult installation, not like any other kind of A/C units; it’s easier to handle a small pipe than a big one.

Even so, even if using a standard diameter pipe (16 mm), this pipe has the enough capability to evacuate all the water an A/C condenses. But on time, this pipe gets obstructed and finally clogging, making impossible water to flow, for water which an A/C unit condenses isn’t strong enough to remove dirtiness or a blockage. We can say this is “dead water”, which falls for its own weight, but it hasn’t enough dragging pressure, except for environmental pressure.

In order to solve the problem of an obstructed plughole and if your air conditioner loses water in the frontside, we will have to find plughole and, if possible, blow strongly for unblocking. This way we will help water to flow from drainage system to be proper and we will avoid the A/C to drip.

My air conditioner filters are dirty

A dirty filters may cause, among many other breakdowns, leaking problems.

Another possible cause why water drips from the A/C is because of filters. As we mentioned in a previous entry, filters are vital for the proper working of our unit, because apart of filtering air, they are responsible for many “breakdowns” which don’t actually exist. The dripping and water falling are one of those non-existent breakdowns produced by a bad air filters maintenance.

Maybe you are interested in seeing which are the most common breakdowns that may your air conditioner not to cool down.

But how is it produced?

This problem is produced because of having a very dirty filters, our A/C unit can’t remove all the cold is producing, which arrives to a gas pressure descent, this will make the internal unit to behave like a freezer and it will become literally one, reaching in some occasions to produce a huge amount of ice.

How to clean properly air conditioner filters.

When our machine stops or we decide to stop it, this gathered ice will begin to defrost and release from the internal heat exchanger, generating an amount of ice pieces and water which will overflow the tray which collects the unit water, producing a dripping of this and making us wonder why my air conditioner machine drips.

Glue seems to not have worked or plughole is broken

It may also happen some juncture in which glue was used is detaching or a pipe gets broken or it cracks, this is something very odd to happen when unit was long ago installed, but it occurs in some occasions, specially if a bad quality flexible pipe has been used to do plughole, because it ends bending too much and cracking; it is because of these cracks water filters and it ends dripping.

Do we have the bottle which collects water at full capacity?

It may seem a nonsense, but this “breakdown” is pretty common. As we said before, water which produces our A/C unit is “dead water” which only flows because of gravity and its own weight. This can be picked up by plughole with a bottle, a container or a bucket and in some occasions plughole pipe gets into that container or bottle, getting sunken. If that happens, it is very likely water starts to spill and air conditioner drips frontly, so check from time to time if you have that bottle full!

Other reasons why A/C drips

Another reason why A/C drips is because of gas lacking, and if we add unit filters, heat exchanger or fan are dirty, they are the main source the air conditioner gets frozen or it drips. If you have all these components clean but the internal unit still freezes, you will have to think you have a gas lacking and therefore a gas leaking.

Another reason, an odd one, is that tray which collects water is broken, this tray is called condenser tray and its mission is to pick up water and channel it to plughole. If this tray gets broken or it cracks it may cause air conditioner unit to drip.


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