Air conditioners are complex systems that rely on several parts, including a compressor, evaporator coil, condenser coil and refrigerant to regulate your home’s temperature and humidity level. While these machines are usually sturdy and reliable, it’s not unheard of for AC units to make strange sounds, which may indicate that something is awry. One of these sounds is dripping, gurgling, bubbling or running water. These worrying noises can be traced back to several causes.
This is a frequent air conditioner sound you may hear on hot, humid days and is no reason for alarm. Simple condensation buildup is likely the culprit. As your air conditioner operates, moisture from the indoor air collects on the evaporator coil and drips into the drain pan underneath. This pan is designed to collect and move the condensed water a safe distance away from your home via a drain line.
Although, if the drain becomes plugged or broken, water can accumulate in the pan, producing a dripping or splashing noise as freshly collected condensate drips into the pool underneath. If the dripping noise becomes an annoyance, identify the drain pan under the indoor portion of your air conditioner and remove the water.
Also, take AC dripping sounds as a warning sign that the condensate drain line is plugged and needs to be cleared. A float switch ought to automatically shut off your conditioner before the drain pan overflows and creates water damage, but the float switch could always break. Plus, if your AC keeps turning itself off because of a full drain pan, you’ll need to correct the issue before your unit will function normally again.
While air conditioners make condensate as a part of the cooling process, they do not run on or consume water. What this means is your AC shouldn’t sound like running water. If you hear this sound, it may mean the evaporator coil has frozen over and is now thawing and dripping water onto the ground.
This can develop for a few reasons, including:
Refrigerant is a vital ingredient in the cooling process. If a leak has formed or air gets stuck in the refrigerant line, you might hear gurgling or bubbling as the refrigerant flows. Similarly, your system could possibly gurgle due to overcharged refrigerant. Always leave AC repairs to a professional who can ensure the correct refrigerant charge.
A hissing noise from your air conditioner could be the result of one of these issues:
If you hear a sound like running water from your air conditioner, take steps to determine and address the cause to avoid additional damage. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can identify and service any concern causing your AC to sound like running water, whether that’s condensation buildup, a refrigerant leak, a clogged drain line or a frozen evaporator coil. Each and every AC repair comes with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! To learn more or request a repair estimate, please contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.
© 2023 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.