If water is leaking from the air conditioner, this may be due to normal operation, condensation process or proper leveling. The first step to stop the leak is by finding out if the leak is coming from inside or outside of the home.

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This is a normal process when cold air comes in contact with warm air, and the moisture condenses over the vent. Think of when drinking a cold glass of water on a hot day. The glass is not leaking, yet moisture forms on the outside.

To reduce this effect, keep the AC running during the day, just set the temperature to a warmer temperature to save electricity.

Verify that the air conditioner is leveled.

If the unit has wheels, verify that they are all properly attached.

Make sure the unit is not resting on any other items that can make it tilt.

Another option is to install a drain hose, keep in mind that drain hoses depend on gravity to move water.

Remove the drain cap and rubber plug from the back of the unit.

Next Step Clear the unit from debris.

Check the unit"s base container and clear it from debris. Debris such as leaves, dust, pine needles, residue and others forms of debris could cause restriction of the water draining from the unit. This dripping restricted water can be seen as leaks.

Drain excess water.

In humid weather, excess water may cause the base pan to overflow. To drain the water:

Remove the drain cap and secure the drain pipe to the rear hole of the base pan.

Press the drain pipe into the hole by pushing down, but more away from the fins to avoid injury.

The drain hole at the back of the unit should be unplugged and clear of debris.


Moreover, for window air conditioners and other chassis models that can slide out of the wall, it is advisable to gently slide out the air conditioner to clear the base pan for debris; such as leaves, pine needles and other kinds of debris.

Check if the drain hose is connected properly and not kinked or clogged.

The unit must be installed securely and braced firmly to wood, masonry, or metal.

The unit should be installed where the sunlight does not shine directly on the unit during the hottest time of the day. Or, an awning or sun shade has been installed.

The unit must have sufficient outside clearance around all sides, top, and bottom for optimum air flow.

Water draining from the A/C unit outside the home is normal. The cooling process produces condensation, it collects in the base pan, and drains to the outside. When higher humidity is present, more water is collected in the pan. If water is not draining properly from the unit unto the outside:

Check for a clogged drain pipe, and clean the drain pipe if necessary.

Check for dirt and debris in the base pan, and clean it if necessary.

If you notice vapor or water spitting out from the air vent, this is not a leakage issue. Here is the explanation for this occurrence:

Misting (smoking) from air vent.

The vapor, mist or smoking form of water coming from your air vents is normal. It occurs when the room is humid, and the air coming from the vent is so cold that the moisture (in the air) condenses immediately.

This mist can be seen as water vapor, and not a refrigerant leak. There is not enough refrigerant in the system for it to be seen visibly even if it were leaking.

Water spitting/spraying out of the air vent.

Water spitting or spraying from the air vent can only happen when the fan behind the front grille picks up water from the base pan, and slings it out of the air vent. Normally, the water in the drain pan drains faster to avoid reaching a high enough level for such to happen, but if the humidity is high, or on a raining day, the water in the base pan may collect faster than it drains.

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As long as the unit is tilted to the back, the water will not overflow from the front of the unit.


Sanmi is a Home Appliance expert and author of this help library article. Please leave him feedback below about the page.