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Can We Use Split AC When Water is Leaking?

September 4, 2023

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Summer is here, and it's hotter than ever. The only relief seems to be sitting directly in front of your beloved split AC. But suddenly, you notice droplets of water dripping out. Uh oh. Now what?

Can we use split AC when water is leaking? No, you should not use a split AC that is leaking water, as it poses serious risks of electrocution, damage to surrounding areas, and failure of the AC system. Call an HVAC company to fix the issue as soon as possible.

The Dangers of Using a Leaky Air Conditioner

Seeing water drip from your split AC can be concerning. Your first instinct may be to ignore it for the time being, but this can cause some serious problems. Here's why you should shut off a leaky air conditioner:

Risk of Electrocuting Yourself

Water and electricity don't mix well. If water gets on the internal electrical components of your AC, you could get electrocuted. Yikes! Better unplug that thing pronto until you get it checked out. Safety first!

Damage to Surrounding Structures

The leaking water can damage your walls, flooring, furniture, etc. Even if it seems like just a few innocent drops, over time, that moisture can lead to mold, warped floors, stained carpets, and ruined drywall. Protect your space by not letting a leaky AC run.

AC System Failure

The excess moisture is not good for your AC system. It can corrode coils, electrical parts, drain lines, etc., which ultimately shortens the lifespan of your unit. You're better off getting the leak fixed before using the AC again.


can we use split ac when water is leaking

Signs Your Air Conditioner is Leaking

Besides visible water dripping from your AC unit, there are some other telltale signs that your air conditioner has a leak somewhere in the system. Here are some clues to watch out for:

  • Increased Energy Bills: A refrigerant leak can make your AC work harder to try cooling your home, spiking your electric bills.
  • Reduced Cooling: If the AC isn't blowing as cold as it should, low refrigerant levels from a leak could be to blame.
  • Strange Noises: Hissing, gurgling or bubbling noises from the AC can indicate water or refrigerant leaks.
  • Dripping Water: Water dripping outside is obvious, but look for wet spots on walls and ceilings inside too.
  • Wet Spots on Carpet: Leaked water tends to spread out along the floor, so moist carpeting around the AC unit is a warning sign.
  • Condensation Outside: Heavy condensation forming on the outdoor AC coils or unit can signify a refrigerant leak.
  • Visible Ice: Icy buildup on the lines between AC units usually means a serious refrigerant leak is allowing ice to form.

Keeping an eye out for these common signs of a leak can alert you to an AC problem early on before it causes serious damage or becomes dangerous. Don't hesitate to call in an HVAC technician if you suspect an air conditioner leaking water.

air conditioner leaks water

What are the Causes of a Leaky Air Conditioning System?

Before you can tackle this wet situation, it helps to understand what's causing it. Here are some common culprits when split ACs start dripping:

Clogged or Disconnected Drain Line

There's typically a drain line that removes condensation from the AC as it runs. If it gets clogged with gunk, water can back up and leak out. Make sure this drain line is clear. Also, check that the drain pipe is connected. If it disconnects, this can cause internal water leakage.

Refrigerant Leak

Your AC uses refrigerant to cool the air. If there's a leak in the refrigerant line, not only will the AC blow warm air, but it can also lead to water leaks as a side effect. Refrigerant leaks require professional repair.

Loose Fitting

The various tubes and fittings on a split AC connect the indoor and outdoor units. If one of these fittings is loose, it could result in water leakage. Check for any loose connections that need to be tightened.

Extreme Humidity

If the humidity levels are very high outside, your AC will need to work overtime to remove moisture from the air. This can sometimes overwhelm the drain line and lead to leaks inside. Not much you can do about the weather, unfortunately!


outside air conditioning unit

Can We Use Split AC When Water is Leaking? What to Do:

Now that you know it's risky to keep running a leaky AC and what might be causing it, let's talk solutions. Here are your best steps:

  • Turn off the AC immediately to prevent damage or electrocution.
  • Unplug the AC unit as an extra safety precaution.
  • Use towels or buckets to catch the dripping water and limit damage.
  • Check the drain line for any clogs that need to be cleared out.
  • Examine any fittings and tubing for loose connections that require tightening.
  • Call an HVAC technician to inspect for refrigerant leaks or other issues.
  • Do NOT turn the AC back on until the leak is identified and fixed.


ac repair aldine

The Verdict: Better Safe Than Sorry

I know it's tempting to ignore a water leak so your AC keeps pumping out frosty air. But for your own safety, your home's protection, and the AC's well-being - it's just not worth the risk. Be patient, get the problem fixed properly, and soon you'll be back to staying cool in your dry, comfortable home. A few sweaty days are better than electrocuting yourself or causing major damage! Stay safe out there, friends.

About Cypress AC Repair Pros

The team at Cypress AC Repair Pros has been fixing AC issues throughout Cypress for over a decade. Our licensed techs can diagnose any AC problem quickly and make all necessary repairs so you stay cool. Call us for fast, reliable service at (281) 746-6952.


Is it safe to use AC if water is leaking?

No, it is not safe to use an AC that is leaking water. The water could get into the electrical components and cause a short, leading to electrocution. Leaking water can also damage surrounding floors, walls, and furniture over time. It's best to turn off a leaky AC immediately and call a technician to properly fix the issue before continuing to use it. Never take risks when it comes to leaking electronics and water!

Should a split system leak water?

A properly functioning split system AC should not leak water under normal conditions. If a split system AC is leaking water, it likely indicates an underlying issue. Potential causes of a water leak include a clogged drain line, refrigerant leak, loose fitting, or high outdoor humidity overwhelming the system. A split system AC leaking water is a problem that should be addressed by a qualified HVAC technician as soon as possible to prevent damage or dangerous electrical issues.

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