If this is equipment we recently installed, please
go no further, and call our office ASAP: 425.885.9100
If this is from equipment we have not installed or
worked on we suggest you call us as well to get a service technician
dispatched. If you would like to locate the source to identify the
severity of the leak, follow these steps. (We do not
suggest fixing the leak yourself unless you are familiar with the
varoius types of equipment for doing so.)
Water leak sources can be very tricky to locate
One thing for sure, it travels downhill. Things like
winds can affect this but can be eliminated if it's reasonably calm
outside. Water can travel long distances at very little grade and
these sources are hard to locate. Roof leaks can be due to poor construction
methods, materials or damage from falling or flying debris. These
are best left to a roofing professional to locate and correct and
will not be covered here. We will be covering only HVAC related leaks.
Water can also pool up in pocket areas or in materials such as insulation
and continue to drip or flow long after the source has stopped.
As far as HVAC equipment is concerned, water can come from a few
- Improperly installed or maintained drain lines or unlevel equipment.
- Improperly installed equipment which penetrated the structure,
roof or wall.
- Incorrectly set or calibrated thermostat settings, air conditioning
- Air flow restrictions, poorly maintained equipment
- dirty filter or trimming down air flow rates by closing or blocking
registers and diffusers.
Methods of leak location
Unfortunately there are not many. The best leak detectors
you have is 3 of your 5 built in senses. Sight, Touch and Hearing.
We definitely do not suggest tasting it and smelling may help if its
a sewage leak but otherwise may not be much more help.
Visually inspect where the water is coming from. Try
to determine the basic area of the leak then attempt to classify the
type of leak. Is it dripping from piping, equipment, structure or
ductwork. Although it may be evident what it is dripping from it may
be originating somewhere else and running to that point. Follow the
next to determine the source.
Is it dripping from:
Ductwork? If so, determine
as best as you can if it is coming from the inside of the duct (in
which case it more than likely will be showing at seams or corners)
or outside the duct. If it is inside, likely causes are clogged filter,
airflow reduction, low thermostat setting or equipment out of level
and causing drain pan inside to overflow. Clogged drain line could
also cause this but possibly would show elsewhere as well. If it
outside the duct and it is raining outside, then the leak may be
Plastic Piping? If so, is this a drain line? If this is a supply line (copper)
HVAC or Plumbing related. If it is a drain line, is it PVC - plastic
and white in color or is it ABS - plastic and black in color. For
the most part Air Conditioning companies use PVC for their drain
Some may use copper as well. If PVC is used (we use schedule 40)
is it supported at least every 5 ft of distance and does it have
1/4" per foot of grade, 1" every 8ft. If so there should
be no problem with drainage unless it is clogged. Various methods
are available for clearing the clog. If the piping is plastic and
black in color, then it is most likely a plumbing waste or drain
and should be checked by a qualified licensed plumbing firm.
Copper Piping? HVAC
companies use copper piping for drain lines and also for hydronic
supply and return lines. These hydronic lines are under pressure
should not be tampered with. Plumbers also use copper piping and
the same applies. Refrigerant lines are also ran in copper and insulated.
If oil or refrigerant is leaking, Stop and Call
a Professional. Refrigerant
is damaging to the Earth's ozone layer and we more than likely can
recover the remaining refrigerant with our specialized equipment,
repair the leak and get you back to a comfortable condition without
Structure? If so is
it raining outside? If not or has not then the problem is possibly
the equipment which penetrates the structure and one of the other
conditions described above applies.
Remember to call us if you need maintenance or repair
on your equipment which by design should help in eliminating future
HVAC related water leaks. Please do not use our online form for water
leaks as they cause damage and therefore are a priority type of service