Aug 29, 2023 | FAQ

Why Does My Air Conditioner Sound Like Running Water?

The hot climate in the US can make life unbearable without air conditioning. So, when something appears to be amiss with your unit, it’s natural to feel a sense of panic. Air conditioning systems play a crucial role in providing comfort and clean air in both residential and commercial spaces. During hot and humid weather, they help regulate indoor temperatures and maintain air quality free of allergens.

If you’re experiencing strange noises from your AC, such as dripping, splashing, rushing, or bubbling and gurgling, rest assured that it’s a common issue. It’s essential to identify the root cause of these sounds to troubleshoot your AC and prevent any potential damage or malfunction before seeking assistance from an expert. We have the solutions and answers you need.

Table of Contents
  • How do air conditioners work?
  • Why does my air conditioner sound like running water?
  • Most common problems of AC water sounds
  • Optimal ways to fix the problem
  • Your AC service provider in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties

How do air conditioners work?

Your air conditioner works by cooling down the humid air and redistributing it. Condensation during the cooling process is common. For the central air conditioning system, this condensation is drained through the drain line into the drip pan. The AC typically evaporates the humidity.

The window units operate in the same way, but their drip pan is located at the bottom of the unit. Therefore, it’s common to hear water moving around the unit. You should be more concerned if you notice water sounds from the air conditioner in the room. If installed correctly, the window unit should be slightly tilted towards the outside to allow for proper drainage.

Why does my air conditioner sound like running water?

The primary function of your AC unit is to reduce humidity in the room by evaporating it, preventing water buildup. However, if you hear a running water sound from the air conditioner, it could indicate that excess condensation is not draining correctly, causing the drip pan to overflow. This could lead to various issues, with the primary concern being water leakage into your home.

Most common problems of AC water sounds

It’s not uncommon for an AC to make a water noise, and there could be several reasons why your air conditioner sounds like water dripping or other sounds. However, it’s crucial not to ignore these signs. Identifying the cause of the water noise can help you troubleshoot your AC and potentially save valuable time and money.

While you may not be sure of the exact cause until you seek professional help, most water sounds are related to the following problems:

Frozen Coils – If you hear a dripping sound coming from your cooling unit, it’s likely due to the presence of frozen coils. When your system’s temperature drops too low, moisture in the coils freezes, and as it melts, it drips onto the surrounding metal, producing an audible leaky sound. Before seeking professional help, you can try turning off the thermostat and fan to allow enough time for any frost in the unit to melt and dry out.

Blocked Condensation Drain – The condensation drain within your cooling system should be able to remove any excess moisture. However, if this component is obstructed or old, it may not perform its intended function, leading to the presence of a dripping sound. If you’re aware of the location of the drain, you can easily clear any blockages on your own. However, before proceeding, ensure to refer to your system’s manual, as the exact location of the drain may differ based on the model.

Expired Drain Pan – As your cooling unit ages, it may begin to wear out, leading to various issues. One such problem is a rusted and outdated drain pan that may catch excess water, causing droplets to fall onto the floor. Fortunately, a quick solution to this problem is to replace the drain pan with a new one.he exact location of the drain may differ based on the model.

Evaporation – Another common reason for the presence of watery sounds in your AC system is evaporation. If your unit is functioning correctly, any excess water produced during the cooling process will evaporate. During evaporation, it’s normal to hear an occasional drip sound. However, there’s no need to worry unless the dripping sound persists or becomes bothersome.

Optimal ways to fix the problem

After finding out the root causes of the watery sounds from you AC, and they are continuous, it will crucial to follow a few important steps:

  1. To avoid condensation dripping and the risk of electric shock, turn off the AC unit at the thermostat and breaker panel before checking the drain line and drip pan.
  2. Check out the drip pan for overflow, you can do it by emptying it, which can reduce water pooling in your home.
  3. Clogs in the condensate drain line can cause an overflowing drip pan, so try to clean the drain line to remove any obstructions and reduce the risk of overflow.
  4. If the drip pan is still overflowing even after cleaning the condensate line, a broken condensate pump may be the issue. Call Smart Heating and Air Conditioning to repair or replace the broken part.
  5. Replace your air filter every one to two months to avoid airflow blockage to the evaporator coil, which can cause the coil to freeze over and drip excess water into the drip pan when it melts.

Your AC service provider in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties

If the AC noises or other issues in your home are becoming bothersome, it’s recommended to seek the assistance of professionals. Smart Heating, a relatively new company, having started only two years ago, has already established a strong presence in Alameda and Contra Costa County.

The company is ready to deliver a comprehensive range of services, including air conditioning installation and repairs, to ensure your home remains cool and tranquil during the upcoming months. With a responsible and 24/7 available team you can avoid many problems.

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