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Outdoor AC unit drains water excessively when heat is on

This system is a heat pump system. Recently the outdoor coil and compressor sweat/drain water excessively when the heat is on. I know the outside unit works as a evaporator when the heat is on, but why is the amount of water coming from the unit so excessive. We are talking gallons that drain from the upstairs deck. Feels as if the coil is freezing and thawing releasing tons of water. The question is why is it doing it now and not before. The inside unit heats fine. Thank you.

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This may not work, because I had the same kind of problem with my dehumidifier. The coils needed to be cleaned off (there was a lot of gunk on the coils). I don't know if there is some sort of drainage hose, but that needed to be cleaned out too. A garden hose worked just fine. I now do this once a year or so, & the dehumidifier works great.

Posted on Feb 21, 2012

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SOURCE: excessive water. I have

You are doing the right thing here. Its kinda goes against what your try to do if you evaporate the water that you just took out of the air to cool it?? So you have done the right thing. just keep your filter clean and you will be in good shape. also service the unit before you shut it down for winter and then again just before you start it up for summer and it will give you good service for a long time.. hope this helps .. let me know... Jon

Posted on Aug 07, 2011

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I have a small 5000 btu window unit air conditioner made by arctic king does not have a hole for the excess water to drain.


I've repaired a lot of window units because someone has drilled a hole in the pan, to drain water, and hit the coil. Please do not drill any holes in anything! These units utilize condensate water to help reject the heat in the outdoor coil. If water is reaching the outdoor fan, it either does not have the proper "lean" or slope, or it's designed to allow water to reach the fan, and not much you can do. If it is designed to allow water to cool the outdoor coil, and you were to drain that water so that no condensate water cools the outdoor coil, this will allow the unit to operate with an excessive outdoor coil temp, and shorten the life of the compressor, or cause the unit to operate poorly/warm supply air temp. Try to give it just a little more "lean". Hope this helps!

Aug 18, 2017 | Heating & Cooling

Tip

Why your unit is freezing up.


To understand why your AC or heat pump is freezing up, it helps to know how your system works.

There are 7 major parts to an AC system, 9 with a heat pump.

1 - Condenser/heat pump (The outdoor unit)
2 - Air Handler (the indoor unit unless the system is a package unit, then all is outside in one system. The air handler is usually found under the home, in an attic, or in a closet.)

In the condenser are the following major parts.

3 - Compressor
4 - Condenser coil
5 - Condenser fan
6 - (HPs only) reversing valve

In the air handler are the following major parts.

7 - Blower motor
8 - Evaporator coil
9 - (HPs only) electric heat strips

Some systems known as "dual fuel systems" use another heat source in place of the heat strips, usually a gas furnace. I will address gas furnaces in another post.

When an air conditioner is operating properly several things are taking place.

1 - The compressor is compressing or "pumping" refrigerant through the system.

2 - through changes in pressure, the refrigerant makes the evaporator coil get very cold, and the condenser coil gets very hot.

3 - The blower motor/fan circulates air across the evaporator coils, as the room temperature air (Also known as "indoor ambient") goes through the cold coil, it exits, cooled approximately 15 to 20 degrees cooler than when it entered. (In a ducted system, the blower is also the fan that circulates the air throughout the home.)

4 - The condenser fan circulates air across the condenser coils. As the outdoor air goes through the condenser coil, it removes heat from the coils that are very hot. This in turn removes heat from the refrigerant so it can run its cycle again, and through pressure changes, cool the evap coil.

5 - With a heat pump, the reversing valve reverses the flow of refrigerant in the condenser and evaporator coils.
In AC mode, the evaporator coils get cold, and the condenser coils get hot. But in heat mode, the evaporator gets very hot, and the condenser very cold.

Now, whichever coil is getting cold will freeze up if there is inadequate air flow across the coil, as the refrigerant in it is far below freezing, and there is not enough airflow to keep the humidity in the air from freezing on the coil.

Things that can cause poor airflow are,

1 - Dirty/clogged coils
2 - dirty/clogged filter (will only effect evaporator coil)
3 - Closed/blocked vents (will only effect evaporator coil)
4 - Malfunctioning or dirty fan

Low refrigerant will also cause a coil to freeze up, reduce efficiency and cause the system to run for long periods of time. Not to mention, shortening the life of the unit.

With a heat pump, in heat mode only, the condenser (outdoor) coil will routinely begin to freeze up in cold temperatures. This is due to the fact that the refrigerant is below freezing, and the cold outdoor ambient temp is not warm enough to keep the condensation in the air from freezing on the coil.

Note, a properly working AC should never freeze up.

A heat pump is equipped with defrost controls to prevent ice buildup.
Some are controlled by timers, some by temp.

When a HP is going into defrost mode, the condenser fan shuts down, the reversing valve reverses the flow of refrigerant and the once cold condenser coil now gets very hot, defrosting the coil. (Many people have said this process sounds like the unit is coming apart, or about to explode and are frightened by the "smoke" which is really just steam from melting ice that comes off the unit.)

During defrost mode, the secondary or "auxiliary" heat comes on to ensure that you are still getting warm air from the vents. (Again, this can be electric heat strips or a dual fuel system)

If you are experiencing cold air from the vents during defrost, that means your auxiliary heat is malfunctioning.

The auxiliary heat is used for three purposes.

1 - during defrost mode to maintain warm airflow (automatic)
2 - when the HP cannot maintain the set temp due to extreme outdoor temps. It comes on when the indoor temp drops several degrees below the set temp on the thermostat (automatic)
3 - For emergency heat source when the HP is not working. (Manual)

To recap....

Iced up coils?

Poor airflow
low refrigerant
Malfunctioning fan
failing defrost system


There are two things that can be done in a pinch to help de-ice frozen coils. This may get you by until the repairman can get there, or you can fix the system if you are a do-it-yourselfer.

HPs frozen outdoor coil in heat mode, not going into defrost?

Cover most of the vents, and turn the system onto cooling mode until the outdoor coil is thawed. then uncover vents and return to heat, or emergency heat. (this usually takes 15 min or less)

Frozen coils in AC mode with a heat pump?
Turn the system to heat with the thermostat on just high enough to get the system to come on. (again, usually takes 15 min or less to thaw.)

AC only, with frozen evap coils? (this can sometimes be seen frozen all the way outside to the compressor on the copper lines.)

Turn the system off, and the fan switch from "auto" to on".
This will usually defrost the coils within 1 to 2 hours.
(If your system has the furnace in line before the evap coil, turn the system to heat, and the furnace will defrost the coil within minutes.)



on Dec 25, 2008 | Carrier XHB123D X/Y Series Heat/Cool Air...

1 Answer

Wall AC Unit blows cold air for a little bit then blows hot air. If I turn it off for a while, it will do the same thing.


When you mansion water in the pan, do you mean the indoor coil pan or the outdoor catch "pan"? I've seen some models have a drain plug that's on the bottom of the outdoor panel or underneath. And that plug should remain installed. It uses that water to cool the copper freon tube that curves along the bottom of the outdoor section. With plug removed it can overheat. Basically it does not drain onto the ground outside, it retains its water. And the air entering side of outdoor coil is clean? May sound like repetition(forgive me). The side you see clearly is the air leaving side. The dual shaft motor has a run capacitor that may be weakening. And the outdoor air that passes thru the outdoor coil may be recirculating out then directly back in to the unit causing it to overheat. Anything blocking airflow outside? 10 mins of runtime then shouting down tells me its overheating. It may even be the electrical circuit. Loose connections can cause high amperage, low voltage issue and cause the ac load to over amp. Over amp=over heat. Hope this helps!

Jun 27, 2015 | LG LWHD1800R Wall/Window Air Conditioner

1 Answer

Water leak in condensing furnace


Several problems can be associated with this problem

If running heat it is likely a drain hose or Drain connection that is plugged up. Simply blowing these lines out can solve your problem.

If running AC it is likely a Drain from the coil to the Drain line that is plugged up, or you have frozen the unit up. Check the unit outside, if the big copper line or compressor is frozen, turn system off immediately and call a service company to check the system out.

I also recommend changing your air filter every 3 months if you haven't done so.

Mar 06, 2014 | American Standard Heating & Cooling

2 Answers

The indoor unit of my 1.5 T , 2 yr old split ac is making noise like cracking of ice or plastic whenever the compressor is tripped or restarted. I've noticed water leakage (splash) from indoor un


indicates dirty evaporator fins that are icing up
that will overload the compressor and trip it
the ni oise you hear is the ice breaking up and the splashing is excessive water in the blocked drain that cannot run outside
get in a technician to clean and service the ac

Nov 24, 2017 | Heating & Cooling

2 Answers

I have a 5-year old Goodman furnace/AC. It has a drain trap on the side which looks like a cup with 2 hoses coming into it from and a drainage pipe coming out into the sump pump. Recently I noticed a...


Hello, it sounds like your condensate line is clogged and not be able to drain into the condensate pump or your condensate pan is cracked and leaking. Best thing to do is clean the condensate line with a shop vac and see if the water will start to drain, if not looks like the pan is cracked.

Jul 13, 2011 | Goodman GMS90703BXA Heater

1 Answer

My air conditioner just started leaking, why?


Dehumidify-cation is a product of air conditioning, the longer it runs the more water it will make. And the higher the humidity the more water it will make as well. Not knowing what kind of a system you have, the coil has a drain pan under it and the water will flow back to the outside coil section of the unit and either be thrown into the outdoor coil or flow out the back onto the ground (this is a window AC)
A split system the water will drain out a line to a drain or get pumped to a drain or out side.
I have seen water drip off the coil into the furnace when the fan is running, when this has happened cleaning the coil makes the water run down the coil as it supposed to, check your drain line that is not plugged. If a window unit make sure its sloped towards the outside to drain properly. Hope this helps

Jul 07, 2011 | Haier Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

MY AIR CONDITONER HAS JUST STARTED LEAKING WATER,SPLIT SYSTEM DOGS HAVE CHEWED FOAM AWAY FROM COOPER PIPES ON THE OUTSIDE UNIT


if the water is coming from the cooling coil on the furnace or blower package, that means the drain line is plugged. put a wet vacuum on the end of the drain line for a few seconds, that should **** out any residual sediment collected in the drain trap or drain line. if your concerned about the water collecting on the line that is missing the insulation, that is only sweat from the humid air contacting the cold pipe (suction line)and doesn't pose any problem as long as the exposed line is outside. it would be a good idea to reinsulate the line to prevent the sweat and the refrigerant temp from getting too warm . the low gas temp in the suction line is what keeps the compressor motor windings cool and prevents it from overheating and burning up. Don't let the dogs **** on the condenser (outdoor unit) the urine will corrode the fins and you'll start loosing capacity due to higher discharge pressures.

Feb 12, 2010 | Fujitsu Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

Have a ge ac in window unit asto5 model leaks inside just recently . connot find any plug to pull for draining outside excess water inside ac cabnit . does it have one? been running this ac all summer and...


No drain plug but this model should have a SLINGER RING AROUND the end of the fan blades which picks up the water & sling it on the back coil which it is so hot & evaporates to help get rid of excess water .. So as for the water running inside, the drain channel are plugging up, from the front coil to the back, & only need to add clorox bleach to the front coil area for now , to kill the slime or mold slowly blocking the channels..But first, TURN_OFF UNIT! (certain times of the year, mold & slime grows rapidily and thats what the bleach for..!

Sep 05, 2008 | GE Heating & Cooling

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