What would we do without our air conditioners? Given the tropical climate of Singapore, you would be hard-pressed to find a household without a functioning aircon. However, as with any electrical appliance, constant usage and a lack of maintenance can result in your cooling appliance malfunctioning.
One of the most common problems you will encounter is water leakage. When your aircon starts leaking water, you could face numerous issues, including mouldy walls and poor aircon performance! So why is this happening, and what can you do to prevent this? Read on to find out.
Why is my aircon leaking water?
There could be several reasons why your aircon is leaking water. Here are the possible causes.
Reason #1: Poor installation
Poor aircon installation is the leading cause of water leakage. If you notice your aircon leaking water, it usually means the pipe is installed at a greater height or the fan coil unit (FCU) is not installed correctly. For the former, incorrect installation of the drain pipe can cause water to accumulate, clogging the piping and resulting in water leakage. As for the latter, if the FCU is not set up correctly, water cannot flow smoothly. As a result, water begins leaking from the front panel of the aircon.
Reason #2: Dirt and debris
When your aircon is not maintained regularly, dirt and debris will accumulate over time, blocking or clogging essential components. One of these key parts is the aircon drainage pipe. When the piping is clogged, water cannot flow outwards. Instead, it accumulates and overflows to the main unit.
One detail many homeowners overlook is that their air conditioning condensate drains are tied to their bathroom drains. So if the inside of your bathroom floor tray is choked full of hair or dirt, it can also cause water leakage in your AC unit. So remember to clear any dirt or debris in your bathroom drains regularly or engage professionals to perform aircon cleaning. Additionally, we recommend opting for a drainage pipe at least 16mm thick. Some homeowners utilise a standard 13mm drainage pipe, which is more susceptible to clogging.
Two other crucial components to take note of are the air filter and FCU. When either part is clogged, airflow is blocked, and the cool air cannot fully discharge. This causes the evaporator coils and pipeline to freeze. Subsequently, ice starts to form over the coil, and when it melts, excess water is accumulated in the drainage pan. When the pan reaches maximum capacity, it overflows and causes water leakage in the main AC unit.
Reason #3: Poor or no insulation
Insulation is another crucial factor in preventing your aircon from leaking water. Adequate insulation stops the cables from freezing or heating up (depending on the room temperature), thus preventing moisture build-up. However, if there is insufficient insulation or lack thereof, condensation may occur on the aircon trunking.
Reason #4: Damaged drain pan
If your aircon installation is outdated, the drain pan responsible for collecting the condensate may become rusted or damaged. When this happens, water will not be collected correctly. Instead, it will leak through the main unit.
Reason #5: Refrigerant Issues
When your air conditioning system is low on refrigerant, it can’t effectively absorb heat from your indoor air. This leads to the evaporator coil becoming colder than it should. When the evaporator coil gets too cold, it can freeze, forming a layer of ice on its surface. Once the system cycles off, this ice begins to melt, producing excess water. Since the drain pan and drain line are not designed to handle this excessive water volume, it can result in water leaking from the indoor unit.
Reason #6: Clogged Drain Line
Over time, the drain line in your AC system can accumulate debris, algae, mould, and other contaminants. This accumulation can restrict or entirely block the drain line’s flow, preventing the normal drainage of water. When the drain line is obstructed, water can back up in the system, ultimately leading to water leakage. To address this problem, contact a professional HVAC technician to clean and clear the drain line effectively. Additionally, installing a condensate drain line cleaning schedule can help prevent future clogs and maintain proper water drainage. Regular maintenance and cleaning can help ensure your AC operates efficiently and avoids problems like these.
DIY Tips: How you can Address Minor Aircon Issues on your Own
Addressing air conditioning issues on your own can help keep your system running smoothly, but remember that professional help is often the best solution for more complex problems. For minor issues like a clogged air filter, simply replace or clean the filter according to the manufacturer’s guidelines to maintain proper airflow and efficiency. If you notice reduced cooling efficiency, check for obstructions around the outdoor unit, ensuring it has adequate airflow. Condensate line blockages can sometimes be cleared using a wet/dry vacuum or a pipe cleaner. Additionally, inspect and tighten any loose electrical connections or faulty wiring that you may come across, but exercise caution and disconnect power before doing so.
However, it’s essential to understand that DIY fixes are not always the answer, especially when dealing with refrigerant leaks, frozen coils, or complex electrical problems. Attempting to address these issues on your own can be dangerous and may lead to further damage. For these and any persistent or major air conditioning issues, it’s still best to seek professional help from a qualified HVAC technician who can diagnose and resolve the problem safely and effectively. Regular professional maintenance can also prevent issues before they become major problems, ensuring your AC system runs efficiently and extends its lifespan.
What should I do when my aircon starts leaking water?
Do not panic if you notice your aircon or aircon pipe is leaking. Contact a qualified technician immediately once you spot the issue. An experienced technician will conduct a thorough inspection of the aircon system and pipeline to identify the cause of the water leakage. Subsequently, they can propose the most suitable solution to rectify the issue.
If the issue is due to poor installation of the pipeline, the technician will readjust/re-gradient the pipeline to allow the water to flow downwards towards the drainage outlet. Conversely, if the issue lies with a poorly installed FCU, the technician can help re-install the component using Spirit Level Instrument Measuring Tools.
However, if the problem is caused by a clogged component(s), the technician will recommend a chemical wash to clear any dirt or debris blocking the affected part(s), thus resolving the water leaking issues.
Engage a Top Aircon Repair Service in Singapore with Jetstyle Aircon
At the end of the day, regular maintenance is essential to prevent your aircon from leaking water. Even simple measures like cleaning and dusting your AC unit frequently can make a difference, preventing dust and dirt from accumulating and clogging your drain lines. You will find that a well-maintained aircon can allow your air conditioner to operate more efficiently and last longer!
Jetstyle Aircon is one of the leading aircon servicing companies in Singapore, providing multiple services, including aircon installation, servicing, cleaning, repair, and maintenance. With over 10 years of experience in the industry, you can rest assured that you will receive quality and efficient service. Do not hesitate to contact us today if you notice any water leakage from your AC unit.