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Why Your Air Conditioner Keeps Filling With Water

Air Conditioner

AHHH, a pool of water again!!

Air conditioners are meant to provide comfort and convenience in our lives. Unfortunately, if your AC has started filling with water, it is a nuisance and an added mess.

The accumulated water can damage your device, floors, and walls by dripping excessive water. Before you call an HVAC expert, it is good to know the possible reasons for the accumulation of water and ways to handle it by yourself.

You can always call an expert if you cannot perform the job well.


There can be multiple reasons your AC fills water, but the most common is a clogged drain pipe. The condensation coils cool down the air that passes over them.

During the process, the air loses some humidity which is left behind in condensation on the coils.

The condensation drips off into the drain pan and exits via the drain pipe. If the pipe is clogged due to debris and dust, the water won’t expel efficiently, resulting in standing water in the drain pan.

A few other reasons for standing water in the drain pan can be:

  • Frozen evaporator Coil
  • Improper system installation
  • Clogged filters

Read further as we explain why AC fills with water and its quick fixes.

5 Reasons Why Your AC Keeps Filling With Water (+Quick Fixes)

Air conditioners require regular maintenance to keep working efficiently. If you encounter any problem, the first thing to do is check the clogged filters and get them cleaned as soon as possible.

Here are a few common reasons your AC fills with water and its quick fixes:

1. Clogged Drain Pipe

Airconditioning Water Leaving

As mentioned, a clogged drain pipe is the most common reason for standing water in the drain pan. The air passes over the condensation coil that extracts heat and colds the temperature down.

During the cool-down process, the air loses some of its humidity, which is left behind in condensation on the coils.

The condensation drips off on the drain pan and escapes via the drain pipe. If your drain pipe is clogged due to accumulated dirt or dust, it won’t pass the water efficiently, resulting in standing water on the drain pan.

Quick Fix

Cleaning the blocked drain pipe is a straightforward process that doesn’t require any special tool or expertise.

Here are a few steps to do that:

  • Locate the drain pipe and visually inspect it for any debris causing the blockage.
  • Manually remove the dirt and be careful not to push it down further.
  • Once the debris is removed, pour 1 cup of distilled white vinegar into the pipe.
  • Wait for 30 minutes before turning on the air conditioner.

2. Frozen Evaporator Coil

Evaporator Coil

Air conditioners have an evaporator coil that holds the chilled refrigerant the compressor uses to cool the air. If the refrigerant level is low, the evaporator coil will start freezing, resulting in standing water in the drain pan.

Quick Fix

The main reason for a low refrigerant is a line leakage. Therefore, you must inspect the lines for leakage and get it fixed by calling an HVAC expert.

3. Improper System Installation

Air Conditioning Installation

It is always recommended to get an air conditioner installed properly by an HVAC expert. Doing it yourself or hiring an inexperienced person can cause problems that can later cause water dripping issues.

The installation of the outlet of the drain pipe should always be on the lower side of the drain pan to ensure the water flows towards it and expels easily. The water will accumulate before expelling if the outlet is placed on the other side.

Similarly, the drain pan requires support underneath it to help it stay stable without being saggy and wobbly.

Quick Fix

You can call an HVAC expert and get your drain pan adjusted accordingly. It will keep the water flowing out easily without causing any trouble of dripping.

4. Blocked Air Filter

Block Air Conditioner

A blocked air filter is one of the main reasons for minor AC malfunctions. Cleaning them regularly and maintaining your device will protect you from such problems.

The air filter’s purpose is to purify the air before introducing it into the room. In doing so, the filters trap dust, debris, and pet hair.

With time and due to lack of cleaning, this debris starts clogging the airflow resulting in an overworked compressor. Once your airflow is blocked, your AC stops working as intended resulting in excess water building up and accumulating much faster than normal.

Quick Fix

You can check the AC manual to see how many filters you have and how to clean them properly to enhance your appliance’s life and efficiency.

5. Cracked Drain Pan

Air Conditioner Drains

A drain pan is positioned under the coils, and its purpose is to catch the water dripping from the coils. The pan is usually made of plastic that gets brittle after constant interaction with water.

If your AC is dripping water, chances are the drain pan is cracked or broken, leaking water instead of making it go to the drain pipe.

Quick Fix

You can call an HVAC expert to access the drain pan in your AC. You must replace the entire evaporate coil if it is cracked or broken.


The air conditioner is a great invention that relaxes you after a long day. However, no one likes to see water dripping from the system as it is a clear-cut sign of a problem.

If you notice your AC is leaking water, the best thing is to check the filters, evaporator coils, and drain pan before calling an expert for help.

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