Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC/Leaking A/C


Hi Jim. Last year after going all summer running our A/C consistently, right at the tail end of summer water suddenly started dripping from our ceiling right under our fan/heater unit. We hired someone to come out and troubleshoot and they tried to clear our drains for condensation (took a couple of tries and to this day it always drains directly to our secondary drain rather than the primary). Fast forward to this year, we went all summer again running the A/C consistently with no problems. But now it's suddenly started leaking from the ceiling again and we called a different place and they came to troubleshoot. They told us our coil is old, dirty and leaking. They can repair it for a pretty penny or put in a new system for a prettier penny. So I have multiple questions regarding our situation:

1. Would a leaking coil cause water to come out of the ceiling after running it all summer with no problems? (We had a hole punched in the ceiling so we could be sure there was no pooling going on.) Wouldn't it have more to do with a plugged drain?

2. If we got the drains cleared and did our best to clean the coil, even if it leaks, wouldn't the pan catch it and drain it safely away?

3. Will any of these symptoms cause problems with running the furnace during the winter?

Thanks so much for your willingness to answer questions on here!

There is no water associated with your air conditioner cooling coil other then the condensate that forms on the outside  of the coil, The condensate water is natural, if a cooling coil isn't condensating it's not cooling.
The condensate water drains down the outside of the coil and drips into the drip pan, the drip pan is only about 1-1/2" deep and can easily over flow if the drain pan drain connection gets clogged or the drain line gets clogged some place along the way.
The drain line is gravity flow and has to run down hill all the way.
I don't know what all your drain line consists off, fittings, slope, material, etc.
In the winter when the furnace is running or the ac is not running there is no condensate water being formed on the system.
The second "trouble shooter" you called is trying to get your money for something you don't need, he's a scam artiest, stay away from that company.
Give me a description of your drain line, size, material, fittings, connections, length, main line secondary over flow, what they drain to etc. and I'll tell you what needs to be done.

Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jim Barnhart


Fifty + years conditioning the air.


Answer questions about , residential and commercial. Answer questions about sheet metal fabrication. Fifty years plus experience. No answers for oil equipment, No answers for kitchen appliances, No answers for laundry appliances, I don't specialize in one particular area of the HVAC area, I'm more of a General Practitioner, Limited in refrigeration/

Hands on since 1950

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.