Under no circumstances should you ever see water
around the indoor unit. This is a sign that something is either
dripping, leaking, or not draining. But don't panic, sometimes it
can be a very minor problem.
In the cooling mode, the indoor evaporator coil
and the suction line (the large freon line inside of black insulation)
sweats. That is part of the purpose of the black insulation, to
keep the condensation from dripping. Sometimes if the insulation
is missing or if it has open seems, it can cause dripping and obviously
this is an easy fix.
The evaporator produces a lot of water during the summer which
runs down the coil into a pan, then down a drain. The drain goes
either into the ground, outside the house or into a condensate pump.
Then in turn, the pump takes the water either outside the house
or into a plumbing drain. If the coil is dirty, the water, instead
of running down the coil, will hit the dirt, then drip onto the
floor. This is one reason why the coil should be cleaned annually.
Now if the coil is dirty, the water will mix with the dirt and
the dirt will end up in the pan and it will end up in the drain,
the drain trap and anywhere else it can cause a problem. It doesn't
take much dirt to clog a drain. And if your unit is in an attic
or a finished basement this can cause terrible damage. This is another
reason why it is important to always have a good clean air filter
and have annual inspections.
Sometimes the indoor coil can actually ice-up. And when the ice
melts, it drips onto the floor. Like water, you should never see
ice during the cooling season.
Indoor water problems aren't only during the summer. Many of today's
high efficiency furnaces produce condensate as well. They also have
to drain the water. There are many parts in the furnace that can
leak, drip, or crack, causing a water leak. Along with the furnace
comes the central humidifier which can cause leaks.
So keep your eyes open, if you see water try to trace where it is
coming from. Sometimes it is a simple fix. Sometimes not.
Below is a list of possible causes and things to check. Items
in blue usually require a service call. Items in red however can
be addressed, even fixed by the homeowner.
- Blocked pan, trap, or drain
- Faulty condensate pump
- Blocked pump tubing
- Indoor coil frozen due to malfunction, causing melting ice to
- Dirty or faulty evaporator coil
- Cracked condensate pan
- Broken fittings or pipe, unglued joints
- Kinked tubing
- Humidifier over-filling or leaking
- Suction line missing armaflex (insulation)
- Condensate pump unplugged
- Drain line moved, not pitched downward
- Floor drain clogged with dirt
- Leaking boiler drain
The bottom causes in red are common problems and can be addressed
by the homeowner. Try to check for these conditions first before
calling for service.
Hope this helps, remember - these are just rough guidelines and
not all possible situations are covered.