Furnaces that are now working as air conditioners frequently leak water in the heat. You will naturally question what might be wrong if you notice this.
In the summer, there are a lot of possible problems that could cause water leaks in and around your furnace. The following are the main concerns:
- Condensation Line Blocked
- Defective Drip Pan
- Condensate Pump Broken
- Evaporator coils for frost
- Various System Issues
You can solve your summertime furnace water leak problems with the help of this advice.
We also go through how to fix furnace leaks, why furnace leaks are a concern, and what happens if your furnace gets wet.
Is A Water Leak From My Furnace Bad?
Yes, water leaks inside a furnace are awful, to put it succinctly. However, all furnaces produce water in the summer when they are in AC mode. Condensation led to the formation of this water.
Because cold air doesn’t contain as much moisture as warm air, condensation happens. Your air conditioner cools the air in your home, and when it does so, water practically drips out of the newly chilled air. Condensation is the term for this action.
Condensation is inevitable, thus furnaces are designed to effectively remove water from the system and from your home. A condensation line with a drip pan or a condensate pump are frequently used to remove this water.
Problems with either of these system types frequently lead to furnace water leaks. But as was already mentioned, there are a variety of other issues that could cause your furnace to leak water.
What Effect Does A Wet Furnace Have?
Whatever the cause, water getting into the wrong parts of your furnace can cause a lot of issues. The parts of your furnace will first rust, corrode, and then disintegrate as a result of moisture. Your furnace will thus function less and less efficiently, raising your operating costs.
Second, a lot of the components in your furnace are powered by electricity. These components will short when submerged in water, which may result in temporary or permanent damage.
The Environmental Protection Agency reports that moisture in your HVAC system can promote the development of mold and mildew. These microorganisms are particularly dangerous because they aggravate already severe upper respiratory disorders and potentially trigger the development of new ones.
What Is Causing The Water Leak From My Furnace?
The topic of furnace water leaks was covered above. Therefore, it is crucial to determine the origin of your leak and solve the problem.
Use a diagram of your furnace to assist you identify the furnace components that are explained further down. These are frequently included in the furnace owner’s manual and can also be found online by searching for the make and model of the furnace. A general furnace schematic that is freely accessible online is an alternative.
Always turn the furnace breaker to the off position before working on your furnace to prevent dangerous electric shock.
Condensation Line Blocked
Furnace leaks in the summer are most likely caused by a clogged condensation pipe. This line extends from your drip pan to the exterior of your house. As a result, all of the water that accumulates on your drip pan will safely drain away.
Instead, water will overflow your drop pan, seep into your furnace, the neighborhood, and into your floor if the condensation line is blocked or broken. Look for a drip pan that is entirely filled and slowly overflowing to spot a condensation line problem. . With your fingertips or a little tool, you may sometimes quickly unclog a condensation line that is blocked just at the opening. To clear obstructions in the condensate line, you can also snake it or blow it out.
Defective Drip Pan
The condensation line will be able to drain the water that is collected in the drip pan by the heat exchanger of your furnace. The drip pan frequently corrodes and rusts away, which causes minor leaks.
In either case, you might be able to patch the hole in your drip pan using materials like silicone caulk. This caulk is exceedingly waterproof, very simple to apply, and inert once dried. After your drip pan has dried, caulk all of the holes with the sealant, and wait for the caulk to dry before using the pan once more.
It is possible to replace your entire drip pan with a new one if you are unable to repair it.
Condensate Pump Broken
A condensate pump is a tool used by some furnaces to handle condensed water. In essence, this is a water pump that removes water from the furnace and house.
A condensate pump reservoir or drip pan that is overfilling without activating the pump might be used to spot a damaged condensate pump.
Check to determine if electricity is getting to the pump in order to start troubleshooting this problem. Sometimes the problem can be resolved by flipping a breaker back to “on,” while other times the pump may have an on/off switch that has been positioned incorrectly.
The pump, pump float, pump valve, and all other accessible areas should then be cleaned. The malfunction is frequently caused by algae or other build-ups, and a little cleaning will fix the issue.
Finally, try lightly hitting the pump’s microswitch with a piece of plastic or another non-conductive material.
Take caution; you don’t want to startle yourself in this situation. This easy step can frequently fix microswitch problems.
If the condensate pump cannot be fixed after trying these techniques, it is time to consult an HVAC expert. In the worst situation, a new pump will have to be installed in its place.
Evaporator Coils For frost
Your home’s air is exposed to extremely chilly evaporator coils as a result of your furnace air conditioner’s operation throughout the summer. A portion of the “cold” makes its way into your home’s air, raising the temperature there.
Your evaporator coils, on the other hand, will become excessively cold and begin to frost if not enough air is moving across them. When this frost melts, it frequently seeps into areas outside of the system’s intended collection. As a result, the water cannot be collected by the drip pan, condensate line, or condenser pump.
As a result, if your evaporator coils begin to often frost, your furnace may begin to leak water whenever the furnace or AC unit turns off. Frosting evaporator coils also indicate a problem with your furnace, which will result in greater utility costs and reduced comfort inside your home.
A clogged air filter and a damaged or unreliable blower are the two most frequent reasons for icing evaporator coils.
Obstructed Air Filter
Your blower fan might not have enough force to push enough air over your coils if your air filter is severely clogged. The evaporator coil will start to freeze as a result.
Fortunately, clearing or replacing an obstructed air filter is a simple solution. Depending on the type of filter, you may need to clean or replace it.
It is generally advised to change or clean your filter every month, as stated in this article from Energystar.gov. Remember to always swap out your old air filter for a new one with the same specifications.
If you detect frosted evaporator coils, the next problem to check for is a damaged or ineffective blower fan. The blower fan will eventually start to malfunction, just like all mechanical devices.
Make sure your blower is powered on before attempting to clean and oil all moving parts in accordance with the instructions in your owner’s manual.
To troubleshoot your fan system, call an HVAC expert if these straightforward methods do not solve the problem.
Various System Issues
Finally, if any other component of your furnace system malfunctions, it could cause condensation in the incorrect area of your system or frost to form on your evaporator coils. If you are having trouble identifying the precise reason of your summer furnace leak, it’s possible that you have a more significant and uncommon issue.
First, determine whether there is a nearby plumbing leak that resembles a furnace leak. In light of the fact that evaporator coolant is a liquid, another leak besides water may be present. Finally, engage a specialist to take the time to identify the leak’s origin.
How Can A Water Leak In A Furnace Be Fixed?
If your furnace is dripping water, you might want to follow the advice in the sections above. However, if you discover that you are unable to locate or resolve the issue on your own, contact an HVAC expert to resolve the issue for you.