Condensation forms in commercial AC units during normal appliance operation. In simple terms, when warm air comes in contact with the cold evaporator coils, the natural vapour or humidity will condense on the surfaces. This process is similar to the condensation that occurs when a glass of cold water is exposed a warm room. The moisture which forms on the evaporator coils cannot be avoided.
Therefore, manufacturers have incorporated a drain pan in air conditioners to collect the water. The water is then pumped out through the drain line. Unfortunately, this setup can sustain damage or malfunction such that the water in the evaporator flows into the building. If this problem remains unchecked, your walls, ceilings and floors could get permanent water damage.
If you have noticed this leakage problem in your commercial or industrial space, you should consider this short discussion on the causes of AC leaks and some simple solutions.
Blocked Drain Line
The most common cause of AC leaks is probably the clogging of the drain line. If this hose is blocked, the condensate cannot flow efficiently out of the unit. Therefore, the drain pan will fill, and the water will start flowing back into the building. The line can become blocked due to the accumulation of mould, sludge, dirt and general debris. If this is your case, you should unclog the drain line by using a wet-dry vacuum or other similar equipment to restore functionality.
The pump is an essential component that forces the condensate in your drain pan down into the drainage line. If the pump is not operating as expected, the flow will not be efficient, and water will keep pooling in the pan. Over time, leaks will occur. If your pipe is clean, this is the most probable cause. The condensate pump might be malfunctioning because of a lack of power, motor damage or clogging by dirt. You should consult an air conditioning repair technician for assistance.
Damaged Drain Pan
The drain pan is customarily manufactured using metal materials. Therefore, the unit is durable and resistant to damage and the stress of prolonged usage. However, the element is not infallible. The long-term exposure of the container to moisture can take a toll on the metal after years of usage. The component can become corroded or otherwise damaged such that the water flows through the pan. If this is your case, you should perform an immediate replacement.
If you cannot determine the cause of leaks in your AC, you should consult an expert for repairs.