My furnace is leaking water- How do I fix it?
Furnaces are without a doubt the most reliable equipment for winter. It keeps you and your family warm & cozy during the harsh winters of Canada.
However, while furnaces are saviors of winter, they can experience problems. One of the most common problems faced by furnaces is leaking water.
The sight of water pooling up around the furnace can give you a scare. Furnace leaking water affects the moisture level in the house. This is one of the major causes of the growth of mold and mildew around the house. It will not only make you sick; but also burn a huge hole in your pockets.
If the leakage is not dealt with on time, your furnace may fail and need replacement. It is recommended to get the furnace leaking water fixed before it becomes a serious problem. Leaking water is a pretty common problem in furnaces. But, if left untreated, it will cause hefty repairs.
Five common reasons why your furnace is leaking water
1. Condensation leak
If you have a high-efficiency furnace, condensation is highly likely the reason your furnace is leaking water. High-efficiency furnaces produce condensation as a by-product. This water usually flows through a PVC pipe into the floor drain in your furnace room.
But, if pipes break/clog or the floor drain clogs, it can cause water to leak out of the furnace.
Remember, condensation only occurs in high-efficiency furnaces. Standard-efficiency furnaces use metal exhaust pipes and hence, no condensation takes place.
2. Issues with humidifiers
If your furnace is equipped with a humidifier, it can be a potential reason behind leaking water. Humidifiers add moisture to the warm air that the furnace creates. However, if there is a crack in whole-home humidifiers, the water can puddle up on the floor.
Many things can cause leaks in furnace humidifiers, such as a problem with the creation of steam by the spray, and clogs in and around the humidifier.
3. Clogged furnace filter
With time, dirt and debris accumulate in the filters. It leads to poor airflow through a furnace coil, resulting in freezing up of the coil. Eventually, a frozen coil can result in a furnace leaking water.
Moreover, dirty filters can reduce the efficiency of a furnace resulting in overheating. It can lead to a furnace breakdown altogether, requiring an expensive furnace replacement. We recommend you get your filters cleaned or changed regularly to avoid hefty damages.
4. Broken Condensate Pump
Furnaces produce condensation and drain water into the floor through pipes. But, not all homes have built a drain into the floor. If you have one of such homes, then you must use a condensate pump. It is used to drain condensation water out of your homes. It can also crack or break resulting in a furnace leaking water.
5. Heat Exchanger Issue
The chances of a furnace leaking water because of a heat exchanger are low. But, if all the other possible causes are not found, then heat exchangers should be checked.
Heat-exchanger is a metal shield that prevents exhaust gases like carbon monoxide from entering the house. But with time and usage, heat exchangers may crack.
What can water leak from the furnace cause?
Even though furnaces leaking water is a common problem, it is not something to be taken lightly. As such leaking water does not pose an immediate risk, but if left untreated, repercussions can prove to be bad.
Rust decays the working part of the furnaces and can eventually lead to cracks. Cracks may expose you and your family to harmful gases like carbon monoxide. Repairing cracks and breaks in a furnace can be a costly affair.
Damage to internal electrical components
Water leaks can damage the internal electrical components of furnaces. This can result in a complete furnace breakdown.
Example- Water leaking in a furnace can destroy the circuit board, stopping the transmission of signals.
Risk of electrical shocks
Water leaks may also put you and your family at risk of electrical shocks. Be careful, especially with kids. If you see water pooled up around the furnace, don’t walk barefoot and use wood/plastic/any electric insulator while dealing with it.
What to do if your furnace is leaking water?
Now it’s time to know what to do when you see water pooling up around your furnace.
Here are 3 simple steps to follow when you notice water coming out of a furnace
- First of all, don’t panic. Turn off your furnace safely using a wooden or plastic stick. Wood and plastic are insulators of electricity. It will reduce the chance of electric shocks.
- Clean up water pooled up around the furnace carefully. You can use cloth towels or paper napkins. Try to clean and dry as much as possible.
- Contact a local HVAC expert for quick furnace repairs. Don’t DIY your way around furnaces, it may prove to be fatal. You can do filter cleaning yourself but leave the rest up to professionals
Tips to prevent your furnace from leaking water in the future.
We recommend regular maintenance of furnaces. Generally, at least two maintenance services a year are recommended. Keep in mind, that getting your furnace tuned up after a busy season is a must. Don’t skip it.
With regular check-ups, technicians can find small cracks or leaks before they get worse. Locating and fixing water leak issues on time will save you from cold and spending huge money on repairs.