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Why is there water around my furnace?

Your furnace shouldn’t be leaking water, but when a furnace is not maintained it is not uncommon that we see this issue. Not tending to the leak can lead to rust, water and property damage, mold, and having to replace your furnace sooner than expected.

We’ve compiled a list of four common reasons why your furnace might be leaking water.

1. Condensation drain pipe/trap is blocked
High efficiency furnaces produce condensation. Over time the condensation pipe or the condensation trap can become clogged with debris like algae and other sediments. Algae and sediments create a sludge blockage in the condensation trap preventing water from draining properly. This can produce a visible leak as the water is forced out through other areas.

Commonly, condensation from the furnace and air conditioner is directed towards a floor drain through a PVC pipe or other tubing. When a floor drain is not accessible nearby, a condensation pump may be installed to direct the condensation to an alternative drain.

2. Check the condensation pump
Not all HVAC systems use a condensation pump, but if yours does, you’ll want to make sure that it is working properly. If you pour water into your condensation pump it should trigger the water removal process–similar to a sump pump. If the pump isn’t triggered after adding adequate water you will likely need to have your condensation pump repaired or replaced.

3. Drain pipe was not installed optimally
When the drain pipe is not set up correctly, for instance the downward angle isn’t sufficient, it can lead to poor drainage, as well as leaks.

4. AC Drain Blockage
Sometimes the problem is actually with the air conditioner. An air conditioning system has an indoor and an outdoor coil. Air conditioners produce condensation as well, particularly in the indoor coil at your furnace. When the furnace is not running but the air conditioner is running through the indoor coil, the furnace can appear to be leaking. When this happens the issue is often with the indoor AC coil having a condensate drain line blockage.

Water leaks in your HVAC system need to be fixed to avoid health risks, water damage and early failure of your furnace and air conditioning equipment.

We highly recommend yearly tune-ups/maintenance from Black Diamond Heating and Air to help avoid the common furnace water leak problem. Clearing the condensate drain is part of our low priced furnace or ac tune-up which is an amazing value that prolongs the life of your HVAC equipment.