Updated at: 10-10-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

What did you know about your air conditioner? It is also responsible for removing humidity from your home. This is why it’s important to get your air conditioner’s drain line cleaned regularly. You may be asking yourself: “How much water should come out of my AC?” Depending on the ambient humidity level, we estimate between 5 and 20 gallons of water every day.

To begin answering this topic in further detail, we must first understand why an air conditioner drains.

Why Does An Air Conditioner Drain Water?

In addition to cooling the air, an air conditioner removes the humidity from the air. Your air handler, not your compressor, is the one that removes the water.

How Much Water Should Drain From Your Air Conditioner? - Waypoint

Your air handler and compressor (outside) make up your HVAC system (inside). A freon gas fills the copper coils in your air handler during cooling mode, making them extremely chilly.

As you may recall from your high school biology class, what happens when you leave a cold water bottle out in the sun to melt? It shrinks!

Water begins to condense on your air handler coils because they are so cold in comparison to the temperature of your home’s interior.

Coils and drain pans are filled with condensate, which is drained from the home through the condensate line and into the sewer system (noted in the pictures above).

Important Notes

If your air handler does not correctly drain condensate, you could wind up with a moldy condition like the one pictured. You should insulate your condensation line (the white PVC pipe) to prevent more condensation and water damage or mold from occurring.

How Much Water Should Drain From Your Air Conditioner Then?

On average, we estimate that we use between 5 and 20 gallons of water each day.

If Your Air Conditioner Is Not Draining Water

If your condensate line isn’t draining at all, either your HVAC system isn’t removing the humidity from the air or your condensate line is plugged (read more about that below).

Use a hygrometer from your local hardware shop to check the humidity in your home. If your system’s humidity reading rises beyond 50%, it’s time to call in a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning technician. Your system is most likely not cooling the house, as well.

The following could possibly be included in your system:

  • Coils in the evaporator unit have frozen (over-cooling)
  • A malfunctioning condenser pump (if you have one)

If Your Air Conditioner Is Draining Too Much Water

Condensation line blockage or backup is the sole thing that can cause your air handler to drain too much water.

Water damage, mold, and wood rot might occur around your air handler as a result of this.

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Pour a third of a cup of vinegar down the condensate line every three to six months to keep it clear.

To clear a clog in your condensate line, use a wet/dry vacuum.

The drain pan could also be corroded or broken. When the evaporator coils produce condensation, the drain pan is responsible for collecting and transporting the water to the condensate line.

What’s going on with your air handler?

What Should I Do if There is a Need to Add Some Water?

Make sure the water is clean and safe to drink (drink) before adding it to your air conditioner unit if you want to add it yourself during use or at night. Water from the evaporator coils of the air conditioner may collect in the condensate drain pan. You may want to check the quality of the tap water before using it without any treatment. Using water directly may result in a worse quality product because of the water’s contamination level.

The Method for Adding Clean Water is as Follows:

  • It is advisable not to add water to a small-capacity air conditioner with a cooling capacity lower than 5 tons. Heat exchangers have a hard time evaporating more than a certain amount of the substance. Water contact with the heat exchanger might cause catastrophic harm if leaks occur.
  • This is the ideal way to add water to a large-capacity air conditioner: first turn on the machine’s fan at full power for about 10 minutes, so that most of the water in its heat exchanger is evaporated into steam, and then add cold water to the necessary capacity. Turning on the air conditioning isn’t a good idea right now.
  • For 30 minutes after adding water, monitor the device’s outlet air temperature before turning it on normally. Temperature spikes may be the result of water leaking somewhere. You can resume normal operations after 30 minutes if the temperature does not rise abnormally.
  • For the first 10 minutes of regular operation, keep an eye on the gadget. If the device isn’t having any issues during this time, leave it running as normal; otherwise, shut it down and disconnect the power immediately.
  • After shutting down the machine, inspect the heat exchanger for water leaks. If it’s okay to use, follow the instructions above to add water and restart it after ten minutes.
  • When adding water, use cold water instead of hot or warm water.
  • After adding water, restart the machine to see if it functions properly.

Where Can I Use the Water from My Air Conditioning Unit?

The water in the air conditioning unit can be utilized again as long as it is not beyond a specified temperature. If, on the other hand, the water is contaminated with dirt or has been standing for an extended period of time, it will have a detrimental impact on our daily activities and productivity.

As you go from one type of air conditioner to another, the water temperature changes. After operating our air conditioner in the summer, if any cool water falls into it, the water can be drained and then put to the cold water for future usage. Electricity or detergent can be added, but it is recommended to avoid doing so as a rule of thumb.

How to Remove Harmful Substances from Water?

Sediment filters, centrifugal separators, and other water treatment devices are common. Pure water can be expected after passing through these steps, depending on the brand’s varied manufacturers and their unique development methods.

For large-scale purification requirements, organizations may choose the appropriate equipment for separation requirements based on their actual needs and processing capabilities.

Should my AC drain pipe be dripping water?

After using the air conditioning unit for a long time, you may find that there is water coming out of the drainage pipe and the water leaks all over the ground. This may occur because

  1. Using the air conditioner for an extended period of time may cause the drainage pipe to overflow and cause water to leak all over the floor. As a result, this may happen.
  2. Using the air conditioner for an extended period of time may cause water to flow from the drainage pipe and onto the floor. As a result, this may happen.
  3. Seepage has occurred as a result of faulty plumbing installation.

An other possibility for leakage is if the drainpipe does not function properly or if water builds up inside of it. You should choose with an AC brand that has a high-quality drain system.

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Air Conditioner Leaking Water Inside

It is possible for the central air conditioning system to leak or drip excessive amounts of water into the room for a number of different reasons.

Clogged Condensate Drain Line

As a result of the clogged condensate drain line, water slowly leaks into the room. The condensate drain pipe can be cleaned or replaced to resolve this issue.

Loose Pipe Joints

When pipe joint components fail to seal properly, water seeps slowly. As a long-term solution to this problem, all joints should be tightened.

Bad Insulation Around Air Conditioner Condensation Piping

Insulation around AC pipes can be improved or sealed around perforations to reduce heat loss and condensation buildup, which can be done to prevent this problem.

Do air conditioners drain water

Have you ever wondered why air conditioners aren’t designed as closed-loop air coolers like refrigeration units are? ACs can drain water due to the fact that there are some strong causes for it.

Cooling the air and removing humidity are both critical components of air conditioning, and they are both accomplished by these devices.

Because dry air cools faster and seems cooler to people, the air conditioner constantly removes moisture from the space.

To remove moisture from the room, it must first be extracted from elsewhere. Extracted water and condensation are discharged from the system via the drainpipe. In other words, if air conditioners don’t drain water, there must be a problem.

Should AC drip water outside

There is a lot of condensation going on within the AC unit, thus it should be dripping water outside. Because there will only be damp areas below the drain pipe, the water normally doesn’t come out in great amounts.

If you turn off the air conditioner for just 5 to 15 minutes on a hot summer day, you may not be able to find a drop of water at all.

Keep in mind that the drainpipe is the only place where the air conditioner should drip water; if water is dripping from another part of the unit, call a professional right once to get the leak corrected.

How much water is normal in a drip pan

The purpose of the drip pan of an air conditioner is, as the name suggests, to collect and hold water. It’s very natural to observe water pooling in a drain while simultaneously draining out of it. If the water in the drip pan is not draining and is spilling over the borders, things can go wrong.

In terms of how much, it can be claimed that until the water reaches the drip pan’s margins it is perfectly normal. However, if the water rises above the drip pan’s edges, you should investigate the problem, such as a clogged drain hole or dirty filter.

How much water should drain from the split air conditioner

For a certain area, the amount of air conditioner water that needs to be drained is highly dependent on that location’s environment. The amount of water your split air conditioner will drain in 24 hours if you live somewhere with very little moisture in the atmosphere is 5 to 7 gallons. That is, if it continues to function throughout the day. A single day’s water usage can be as much as ten to twenty gallons if you live in an area with a lot of moisture in the air.

How much water should drain from the window air conditioner

Although window air conditioners are thought to drain more water than new ACs, the reality is that they drain less water than new ACs because of their lower power consumption and working load. The mechanism of window air conditioners, according to some experts, is the primary cause of their low water use.

In order to reduce the temperature of the AC and improve its efficiency, the water in a window air conditioner is kept inside the system and is spread by the fan.

When the drain pan is full to capacity, the AC’s rear begins to drip with water. It rarely drains more than 20 gallons in a single day, with most days seeing a flow of 10 to 15 gallons.

How much water should drain from a portable air conditioner

When it comes to clogged drain pipes and dirty filters, the portable air conditioner is thought to be more susceptible. Water overflow can occur if these things aren’t able to restrict the flow of water, or if the water drains too quickly due to a narrow route.

Water drainage will be higher for portable air conditioners than for other types of air conditioners because they are better at eliminating humidity from a room and so have to work harder.

On a good day, a portable air conditioner may easily drain between 10 and 20 gallons of water.

How to Clean Your Air Conditioner's Condensate Drain Line | Home Matters blog | ahs.com

How much water should drain from the air conditioner in the car

When there is a lot of humidity in the air, a car’s air conditioning system drains water from the exterior or the bottom of the vehicle. There are varying estimates of how much a car’s air conditioning system uses each day, from 5 to 12 gallons a day. Using the air conditioner continually for a long period of time, especially in a full burst, may increase this amount.

Water pouring out of the car is normal till you don’t see any water stains or scratches in the vehicle. It’s important to seek medical attention if this is the case, as continuing without doing so could result in more serious problems.

AC drain line clogged symptoms

  • Smells of mold or mustiness, either coming from vents or ductwork, as well as the AC unit itself.
  • Inside or from the inside portion of the AC, water is leaking.
  • The cooling is inadequate or has deteriorated to an unacceptable level.
  • Air conditioner malfunctions or shuts off on its own in the middle of the day.
  • The air conditioner is unable to start or does not turn on at all during the start-up process.
  • Drain pipe is not releasing water as expected.

Final Thoughts

The water that was once humidity should be naturally drained from your home by your air conditioner. Condensate production ranges from 5 to 20 gallons per day on average. A dry climate or a malfunctioning system can prevent water from draining. A clogged or damaged drain pan may be to blame if condensate is leaking into your home.

During our home inspections in the Tampa Bay, FL area, Waypoint Property Inspection conducts HVAC system inspections.