Why is My Furnace Leaking?

Nov 5, 2019

When you get ready to fire up your furnace for the season, take a minute or two to look it over and check the area around it. If you notice wet areas on or around your furnace, you may have a water leak. Before you turn on your heating system for the first time this season, you may want to have a professional HVAC technician come in and do an inspection. Actually it’s always a good idea to have your system inspected and cleaned prior to the beginning of the cold-weather season when it will be in heavy use. This will ensure that your heating ducts are clean and that everything is in good working order. It will also troubleshoot any potential problems that could interfere with your service during the Winter months ahead.

There are two main types of home furnaces: high-efficiency and conventional. Both types have an outflowing pipe that removes condensed water from the heating unit to prevent damage. This is called the vent pipe. If you don’t know for sure which type of furnace you have, you can look at the vent pipe to easily find out. High-efficiency furnaces have a white PVC vent pipe. Conventional furnaces have a metal pipe.

If your furnace is leaking there are various issues that could be causing it. Each type of furnace can be affected by different problems that may result in leakage. Let’s look at the most common ones based on each model: High-efficiency furnaces may develop leaks for the following reasons:


The Drain Trap May Become Clogged

The first thing to do if you notice water in the area of your furnace is to check the drain trap where the water flows out. Dirt and debris can become stuck in the trap, preventing the water from draining away. This is an easy problem to fix. You can clear away this particular type of clog with a shop vac.


There May Be A Problem With The Humidifier, Drain Line, Or Condensate Pump

High-efficiency furnaces have built-in humidifiers which can become clogged, resulting in water leakage. All furnaces have humidifiers to infuse moisture into the heated air that blows into your home. If the humidifiers filter gets dirty and becomes clogged, water

will become trapped inside the heating unit where it can cause serious, sometimes permanent damage to your furnace.

A drain line is necessary mainly in newer homes that were not designed with floor drains as older-model homes were. In these instances, a condensate pump is installed on the furnace and a drain line is attached to the pup. The drain line is then run through to the nearest drain to carry the water away. Should either the condensate pump or the drain line develop a clog, the water will back up through the drain and flow into your furnace.

Conventional furnaces can develop these issues that may result in water leaks:


A Misshapen Or Oversized Vent Pipe

The vent pipe is responsible for removing the gases that are produced by your heating system’s combustion process. These gases must be carried out of your furnace right away so that they can cool down and leave water condensation inside. If the vent pipe is too large, air can get in and prevent the gases from escaping. This causes them to condense inside your heating system and the resulting water buildup can damage your unit.

If the vent pipe is not sloped sharply enough or if its curves aren’t designed correctly, the gases will become trapped in the condensation well get inside your furnace.


The Humidifier May Be Leaking

Conventional furnaces have the humidifier located on the outside of the unit. It is a small, attached device with outlets for drainage, water, and electricity. If the filter or the drain in the humidifier becomes dirty and/or filled with debris, this will prevent proper water flow and result in leakage.

The drain line and water feed tube are located on the outside of your conventional furnace as well, making spotting a clog relatively easy. However, if you attempt to clear away the clog yourself, you may cause serious damage to your heating system. Instead, call a trained HVAC technician right away.

Any time there is the possibility of water finding its way into any component of your HVAC system it is a serious matter. Water can cause any number of problems in your system, including permanent damage that requires total replacement of your heating and cooling system.


The fully trained, professional staff at New Albany Heating and Cooling can answer all of your furnaces HVAC-related questions, and they can inspect and clean your system thoroughly and efficiently so that you can look forward to a worry-free winter. Call us today at 614-636-5002 or come visit us on the web at www.newalbanyheatingcooling.com.