The Main Causes of a Leaking Heat Pump and How to Resolve Them
A heat pump is a great choice if you’re looking for a cost effective, efficient, and environmentally friendly heating and cooling system. Although these systems work well, there is still a chance they can leak.
If you are noticing a leak coming from your heat pump, it can just be a normal part of the operation. Condensation is common during the operation of your heat pump, as it can form on the outdoor unit and drip onto the ground during the heating mode. And condensation will form on the evaporator coils and drip into a condensate drain during the cooling mode. If you notice a pond forming around the unit outside in the winter, this is also a normal part of the operation. The heat pump is designed to defrost the ice when the condensation starts to freeze, and then the water will drip onto the ground.
But, what about when the water leak is not part of the normal operation. If you’re noticing more than normal condensation from your heat pump, then it’s time to take a closer look at what is going on. A potential cause of water leaks is a problem with the drainage system. Your heat pump is designed to collect and remove the normal condensation through a condensate pan and a drain line. If your drain line is clogged with debris or algae, or your overflow pan is misaligned, it could overflow and result in a puddle around your pump. In many cases, the system will automatically turn off before this happens, but the problem will still need to be fixed before your pump runs again. Check these to see if this is a source of a leak, and these can be easily fixed with realigning the pan and cleaning out the clogged drain line.
One of the most common causes of leaks is ice on the cooling coils. This happens when the system has low levels of refrigerant, and this will cause ice to build on the coils. When the ice melts, it creates puddles below the unit that makes it look as though the unit is leaking. This refrigerant leak will require repair.
A dirty coil could also be a source of the problem. The cold evaporator coil in your unit collects condensation from the air, and then drains it into a pan, which then leads to another drain. If this coil is dirty, it will malfunction and cause the water to drip onto the ground. You can clean the coils yourself by wiping down the condenser coils with condenser coil cleaner or a solution of soap and water. Or you can have it serviced and cleaned by a professional.
Having your heat pump regularly serviced can help prevent these common causes of leaking. If you are experiencing leaking that isn’t from normal condensation, call Priority Heating and Cooling with questions about your heat pump!