Is Aircon Water Leaking An Emergency Repair?
In the everyday sense
Most people would ignore an aircon water leak until they deem it too much of a nuisance that they are forced to call an aircon servicing company to help fix it. While one can certainly still have their aircon function even while it is leaking water, it is certainly not advised to prolong the leaky situation. When the aircon starts leaking water, it means the aircon is working harder to help cool the room, and it not only contributes to a higher electricity bill, but will lead to a more expensive aircon repair bill down the road.
During COVID-19 Pandemic
So while it may not be an aircon emergency in its truest form, it is still considered an aircon issue that requires immediate attention. However, this has come to change when the Coronavirus pandemic hit in the start of 2020. Singapore went into lockdown mode announced on the 3rd of April, and it was termed as a ‘Circuit Breaker‘. During this period, only essential businesses were allowed to operate, limited only to emergency repair services. Aircon servicing companies in Singapore was considered an essential service but could only provide urgent aircon services. In this sense, aircon water leaking is considered an emergency repair, and allowed for aircon repair services to carry on.
This might be a hint that you might want to think twice if you are hesitant to contact an aircon company to fix your aircon water leak.
Dangers of Aircon Water Leaks
After confirming that your AC unit is surely leaking, check where the leak is coming from, and if the liquid is water or refrigerant. To help you tell these two apart, refrigerants have a sweet, chloroform scent.
If you can’t fix the aircon leak problem on your own or you’re just unsure, it would be best to let a professional aircon service company diagnose it for you. If left unchecked here are the consequences you might have to face:
- Damage to the AC unit itself
When you continue using your aircon despite it leaking, you put undue pressure on the compressor, which would cause it to work harder, therefore driving up the electricity bill. This continued stress will ultimately cause irreversible damage to your aircon unit. Even though you could initiate an aircon repair, which you could try to do yourself, the repairs may now be more expensive than if you contacted an aircon leak repair specialist in the first place.
- Leaking harmful refrigerant coolant
Refrigerant coolants are the liquid flowing through the evaporator coils, which cools the warm air entering the aircon unit. This coolant whether it be Freon or R410A all contain Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), which when exposed to the atmosphere is not only hazardous to you, but also the environment. After leaking, refrigerants will turn into gas. When inhaled, it may cause health problems such as:
- Chemical burns
- Irritation of the eyes, ears, and throat
If you think your aircon is indeed leaking, there’s a high chance that it is just leaking water. But, there are chances that it might be a harmful substance instead. In any case, both situations of aircon leaking can be considered an emergency, and needs for an aircon service right away.
How to Know If Aircon is Leaking Water or Gas?
What are the signs of aircon leaking gas or water and how can you check why your aircon is leaking?
Signs It May Not Be An Aircon Gas Leak
1. Ice build-up on evaporator: Layers of ice on the evaporators coil could be a cause of your aircon gas leakage. This is usually caused by a drop in the refrigerant coolant. This can be linked to a leakage in evaporator which makes the coil to accumulate ice.
2. Aircon dripping water is a likely sign: If the aircon unit is dripping water to the floor, that is another way to tell if aircon is faulty and in need of aircon servicing. Inadequate level of refrigerant lowers pressure in the unit leading to ice build-up. When the ice melts, the water overflows the condensate drain and starts dripping on the floor.
3. Aircon blowing hot or warm: If your aircon is not blowing cold air, there is a surge of warm air coming out of the aircon vent or it is no longer cooling as it used to do. It is possibly from lack of adequate refrigerant in the airconditioner.
4. A huge spike in your electricity bill: When the aircon blows warmer than usual, it puts undue stress on the compressor, leading to more aircon problems. A spike in your electricity bill could be a tell-tale sign of gas leakage.
How to Tell It Is Gas Leakage? 5. Strange or hissing sound from the aircon: A strange or hissing sound coming out of the aircon vent is a sign of gas leakage. The sound is produced from the high pressure the refrigerant is going through to escape from the hole in the evaporator coil. This hissing can also be as a result of a leaky compressor valve. At this point a professional check is advised.6. Unknown sweet scent: A smell that smells slightly sweet in the apartment or workplace coming from the aircon unit during operation is an indication of aircon gas leakage.7. Corrosion on Aircon Unit: Singapore is relatively humid, the atmosphere retains a lot of water vapor, and when this gets into the component of the aircon unit, it corrodes it. A sign of corrosion in aircon is the discolouration of the copper tubing into black, blue or grey. Corrosion can also happen to the aircon’s drainage tray, which is one of the related problems of aircon leaking water.
8. Low Gas Pressure: It’s not always due to a gas leak when you have low gas pressure, but it can be likely. Low gas pressure can be tested by professional aircon servicing company.
What is Gas Leakage?
All aircon unit are filled with Freon gas (R22 or Freon coolants in some cases), a generic term for Chlorofluorocarbons or CFC’s from which the refrigerant (the cooling factor in all aircon) are made from. There are a numbers of ways to tell if an aircon unit is leaking gas. Below are some points to note.
Why does an aircon gas leak needs to be solved immediately?
Gas leaks from your aircon unit are potential health risk: Refrigerant is a lethal toxic gas and leakage is a potential health risk in a number of ways. When refrigerants leak, it can lead to health issues like nausea, skin irritation, and asphyxiation in some cases. So it must be handled carefully and disposed of safely by a qualified professional. This is why you need to speak to our team of certified professionals at DW Aircon Servicing Singapore.
Environmental Hazard: Aircon dripping water can seep into the ground water and finally contaminate the surrounding water table, leading to a major health and environmental hazard for many households that depend on the water source. While aircon gas leak into the atmospehre can speed up the depletion of the ozone layer.
Deprived Comfort: Comfort is one of the key reasons for installing an aircon unit, a gas leak from aircon unit will definitely take this away.
Huge Cost in Electricity Bill: An unserviced aircon gas leak can potentially raise the electricity bill and it might lead to even more serious damage to the aircon unit’s compressor costing you hefty sum in electricity bill, or even more cost, in the price of a new aircon unit.
Cost-saving: Instead of the heavy cost down the road, regular aircon servicing will help your aircon prevent such aircon issues, and increase its lifespan.
At DW Aircon Servicing Singapore, we understand why clients might hesitate about fixing the leaking aircon. Most air conditioners made before 2010 are filled with R22 and will be phased out due to its effect on the environment, and are now consequently more expensive. R410A aircon gas is now the oft-used type as it is considerably safer for the environment. However, it is still harmful when exposed to air or not disposed of correctly.
However, considering the risk, it is really not worth it to delay that call to us once one or a couple of the signs of aircon gas leak have been discovered. Delay increases the chance of exposure to hazard chemicals in the refrigerants. It is a cost and life-saving measure to call in the expert as soon as possible.
What to do while you wait for the expert?
- Turn off the aircondition unit to allow the ice build-up to melt to limit damage to the evaporator coil.
- Clean up the aircon dripping water in the enviroment/home/office/building to prevent further damage.
Why you should consider calling in our experts?
Whether your aircon is a condominium, commercial, landed or HDB; our teams of technician are always ready to deliver aircon service that will make you chose us. What really set us apart from others is our decade of exceptional service to our customers. We listen to the clients; carry out proper checks on the aircons,diagnose the issues and fix the problem at an affordable cost and at a quick turn-around time so you get to enjoy cool air again.
Reasons Why Your Aircon Is Leaking And How To Fix It
There are quite a few reasons why your aircon may be leaking so here’s how to troubleshoot and fix it.
Frozen Evaporator Coils
Frozen coils are usually the main culprit for your aircon leaking water. Open the front panel of your aircon and see if there is a layer of ice on your evaporator coils. When this problem continues without be rectified it can lead to further damage to the aircon compressor. Frozen coils are attributed to occur when there is a refrigerant leak or there is a reduction of airflow on the coils which might subsequently lead to the clogged air filter.
There can be many attributions to why your evaporator coils might have been frozen, and the best way to determine the cause would be to call an aircon servicing company to check it out. If you would still like to know how to determine it yourself, you can read on Ways to Check Why Your Aircon Is Leaking Water.
Damaged drain pan
The drain pan helps to collect any condensate but when this overflows, could cause your aircon to leak water as well. Corrosion might also cause the aircon water tray to have openings that will cause the condensate to leak from where it’s being held. The pan is made of iron which makes it susceptible to rust because of a combination of water and oxygen.
How to fix: The drainage tray is not easily accessible due the fact it is closely located near the aircon drain pipe, which is not something you can access easily either. As such call an aircon servicing company to help you check it out.
Clogged drain line
Clogged drain lines are some of the common reasons why the air conditioner starts leaking. This is the pipe that receives the condensate from the drain pan and sends the excess outside. The drain pipe can be clogged with dirt due to the lack of proper aircon cleaning, and thus cause a backflow of the water collected in the drainage tray. This is commonly diagnosed if the aircon leak seems to start at the back of your aircon.
How to fix: As this part is inaccessible to you and requires some aircon repair, get a professional aircon service company to help you unclog it.
Dirty air filters
Most people neglect their air filters until something goes wrong with their aircon, but as a matter of fact, they greatly contribute to dripping and water leakages in the air conditioner. A dirty air filter blocks the airflow in the evaporator coil which causes it to freeze. Therefore, when it melts, the water leaks out of the aircon. When your aircon starts showing signs that it needs to undergo an aircon servicing, do it before it leads to further problems with your aircon.
How to fix: The air filter should be cleaned regularly every 3 months or less. This promotes clean air, stronger cooling and the easy This prevents water from leaking out of the air conditioner.
If you are having a new air conditioner unit and you notice there are some water leakages, then it most likely due to a faulty aircon installation. you should not think of filters and drain lines as the reason behind it. The incorrect aircon installation is what has caused water leakage. Therefore, you should start by checking if the air-conditioner was installed on a flat surface. This is because it needs to be installed a slight downward angle for the water to drip off easily. Additionally, you should check if the seals are properly fitted because if not then the warm air from the outside will meet with the cold air from the condenser leading to condensation which contributes to leakages.
How to fix: When there is improper installation don’t try to fix it on your own because you might end up damaging other components. The best thing to do is to contact a reputable aircon service company that does aircon installations to come have a look.
Low Levels of Refrigerant
Refrigerant coolants help to cool the warm air and billow it out for your comfort. If there is not enough gas, then the aircon will not blow cold air, and the air might fail to condense on the evaporator coil, leading to your aircon leaking water. You might also hear some bubbling noise or hissing sound which indicates that there is a likelihood that the aircon coolant is leaking and you need an aircon repair immediately.
How to fix: You will simply need an aircon gas top up, but if you suspect that the aircon leaking water may be leaking refrigerant instead, you need to contact us quickly, as it is harmful to you and the environment.
The air conditioner is like any other home appliances that require regular aircon servicing to function optimally. Therefore, there is a need to ensure that the air conditioner is cleaned and maintained regularly because if there is poor maintenance then it will be prone to water leakages.
How to fix: When doing your own aircon servicing, take note to take care of these 3 aircon parts.
Leakage in the condenser coil
The condenser unit is your outdoor aircon unit and its major parts comprise of the condenser coil, the compressor, and the fan motor. As it is located outside of the house, it is likely to accumulate a lot of grime and dirt which would lead to a blockage. As such, all the above factors of aircon leaking will also show up here.
How to fix: You will need to disconnect the air conditioner from the power source, then dismantle its various outer parts to access the condenser coils. Normally if it is only a little bit of grease and dirt, you can use a brush and a cloth with effective cleaning agent to wash it down.
However, if the condition is serious enough, it might require an aircon chemical overhaul service. To seek advice about your aircon’s condition, please feel free to chat with our friendly aircon customer service who can tell you more on what you might need done!
Ways to Check Why Your Aircon Is Leaking Water
As there are quite a few reasons why your aircon may be leaking, this article will help you go through the steps needed to pinpoint the cause, so you may call an aircon service company to help you solve it.
Identify the buildup location for water
Before you consider taking your leaking aircon for repair, we advise you to check the location of the water dripping. Run your aircon and see where the leak is sprung. If the water puddle is formed at the front part of the aircon, then the problem could be coming from the internal components. If it was from the back, then it may likely be a drainage pipe issue.
Check the Filter For Blockage
When the aircon filter is clogged, it limits the flow of air in and out of the system. As such the warm air outside of the aircon unit is condensed on the fan coil, but is unable to be blown out as cold air fast enough. The trapped cold condensate will eventually turn to ice that melts, causing the leaking water.
Perform a normal aircon servicing or call a professional aircon servicing company to do a thorough one to ensure that is undoubtedly clean.
Check the Drainage Tray
The condensate pan or drainage tray may crack or rust due to it being metal and coming into contact with moisture.
To check for a faulty aircon water tray, use a flashlight to see the drainage tray. The drain pan is inside the air handler. Broken condensate pans will have a condensate, debris or backups.
Check For Low Refrigerant Coolant
Low refrigerant levels in your AC means there is not enough coolant to cool the warm air into cold for your aircon to blow out. This will cause the evaporator or condenser coils to freeze and create pressure on your compressor. The ice build-up will eventually melt, causing aircon to leak water.
If the cause is indeed low refrigerant levels, then a gas top up to solve the aircon leak is all that’s needed. However, low level of coolant could also mean that there is an aircon gas leak. A tell-tale sign is if you also hear a hissing noise from the back of your aircon. In this case, you need to call for an emergency aircon service immediately.
Is It Cold Weather?
It may seem like a dream to switch on the aircon during cold weather or rainy seasons. However, this can actually be more stressful for your aircon. When the outside temperature is cooler, the evaporator fan coils may freeze due to the inability to convert warm air into colder air. As such, it would lead to the same situation as frozen coils, where eventually the ice melts and your aircon leaks water.
If you find water at the front of the system in the morning after a cold night, then you can turn off the unit whenever it’s cold outside.
Schedule aircon leak repair with DW Aircon Servicing Singapore
If your air conditioner is leaking water, and the troubleshooting methods we mentioned above are not fruitful, contact us at DW Aircon Servicing Singapore. Our team of skilled professionals is ready to service and repair your air conditioner.