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Water Dripping From Your Ceiling? It May Be Your Air Conditioner

It’s hot outside. Temperatures are blazing all across Atlanta. Your air conditioner has been put into full-time use.

And then problems begin to occur. You look up and find water dripping from your ceiling. You walk into a room to find a water-soaked floor.

Many frantically look for the problem: a leaking toilet, a crack in the plumbing, an overflowing sink. But few ever look to their air conditioner as the problem.

As air passes over the evaporator coil of an air conditioner, the temperature is lowered below the saturation point. Throughout this process, moisture is sucked from the air and begins to fill a collector located under the coil. This is called the condensate pan.

As the pan fills, it must continually drain to prevent it from overflowing to the surrounding area. It must also drain quickly to prevent it from becoming a petri dish or bacteria. Failure to do so can lead to personal health problems and property damage that can climb into the thousands of dollars.

Cooling coils come in many shapes and sizes. The condensate pan is located at the bottom end of this coil. They come in both vertical and horizontal placement, with the ultimate purpose to be collection of condensation.

If you look at the coil box or the handler’s service panel, you might notice several ¾-inch pipe openings. Some will be in use; some will not. The unused plugged openings are reserved for different orientation and are connected depending on the layout of your system. If problems occur in your home, a technician might choose to reposition the cooling coil and condensate pan to better handle the job. However, if the drain is connected above the two lowest fittings on the coil box, if done wrong it could be susceptible to overflowing before the water has a chance to drain away.

Today, most condensate pans are made from plastic. With older equipment, it may be galvanized steel. A dirty pay can contribute to increased allergens in the home and help weaken immune systems. Older pans can rust out and cause a variety of health issues even when the system appears to be working correctly. Cracked or broken plastic pans can also potentially cause problem and leak into the system. And depending on where it is connected to your home, can impact it in a variety of ways.

Water can be one of the most devastating forces within your home. If you notice a water problem, no matter how small, find the cause and fix the solution immediately.

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