Air conditioners chill the air using refrigerants. There is no direct use of water in an air conditioner from a functional perspective. The aircons, however, remove moisture from the air by condensing it to form water. This water is discharged out as waste. If, however, there is a leakage or fault in the aircon system, water may drip and your system. If water finds its way near circuits, it could damage the aircon and also cause a shock hazard. Singapore is a tropical country and is situated near the sea. The humidity level is high throughout the year. You must know the reasons why water could drip from an aircon.
Before understanding the reasons for leakage, let’s understand how moisture and aircons are related.
Air conditioner working cycle:
- The condenser compresses the refrigerant gas, and the gas passed through the fins of the condenser
- The compressed gas loses heat and is circulated to the evaporator
- The compressed gas expands in the evaporator coil making it chilled
- Air flowing over the coil gets cold, and the moisture precipitates over the coil
- A drain pan placed below the coil collects the water and discharges it through the wastewater pipe
Common causes of dripping water / leakage from the air conditioner
- Clogged air filters: Clogged filters restrict airflow. If a filter is clogged, there is little air flowing over the chilled evaporator coil. The coil is not able to exchange enough heat and overcools. This causes the formation of ice, which may cause water to drip through the length of the indoor unit.
- Clogged drain pipe: If the connection between the drain pan and drain pipe is clogged, the pan may overflow, causing water to drip for the aircon.
Alternatively, if the drip pipe is clogged with debris, it may not be able to discharge the water before the drain pan overflows.
- Indoor unit orientation: The wall-mounted aircon unit should ideally be horizontal. If it is not mounted horizontally, the tilt can cause the water drain pan to overflow at the tilted side.
- Drain pipe height:The drain pipe should have a vertically downward orientation. Any loop towards the upper side would require pressure to force the water out of the pipe. If this is the case, the accumulated water in the drain pan may not be able to pressurize water to clear the loop. In this case, your aircon would drip.
- Refrigerant level:The system must have a recommended level of refrigerant. Deviation of pressure towards the higher or lower side can create problems. Water drips from the aircon in case of low refrigerant pressure.
Low refrigerant pressure causes the gas to over-expand at the evaporator. Expansion of air causes cooling. In this case of low pressure, the evaporator coils’ temperature falls below the freezing point, and ice begins to form. Water drips when this accumulation becomes huge, and air circulates over the mass of ice.
- Cracked or corroded drain pan: If the drain pan is cracked, or corroded, the pan would leak, and water would drip down the indoor unit. In case the connection between the drain pan and pipe is improper, a similar situation could arise.
Locating the cause of the leak
You may be able to locate the cause of the water leakage. There is, however, only one that you could fix manually.
- Check the airflow at the vent and inspect the air filters
- Lift the front hood of the aircon and see if the evaporator is dirty, or is having ice formation
- Check how much water is being discharged from the drain pipe.
Based on these conditions, you may figure out what is the cause. Cleaning the filter is the only thing you can do yourself. A professional aircon technician can do the other fixes.
To prevent problems like this, it is recommended that you get your aircon installed professionally. Book the services of a competent aircon servicing company so that you can remain worry-free. MCL Air Conditioning is a company that provides quality installation, aircon servicing, aircon repair solutions at competitive prices in Singapore. MCL air conditioning serves in all areas of Singapore. The staff is well-trained professionals who perform a quality job every time. MCL is reliable aircon servicing company in Singapore.