On a regular day when you’re just trying to go about your business, noticing an unmistakable and potentially damaging issue like water leaking from your furnace can really be a nightmare. At some point in our lives, we all will most likely experience a significant issue with our furnace like leaking water, but the difference between a good and bad day when your furnace begins to malfunction is if you know what to do next to solve the issue. Here is what you should do and what you should know if you notice that your furnace is leaking water.
Turn Off Your Furnace
The moment that you notice that your furnace is leaking water, it’s essential that you turn the system off. Do not try to clean up the water until you have shut the power off, and upon doing so, soak up as much water as possible and thoroughly dry the area. Once cleaned up, keep a dry towel near the source of the leak until you have located the origin of the issue.
Check Your Furnace Filter
Once you’ve turned off your furnace, you can feel free to check and see if your furnace filter could be contributing to the problem. We recommend that you regularly check your furnace filter every 30 days and change it based on the type and thickness you have (whether it be 1” to 5”). It’s unlikely that a furnace filter would single-handedly cause leaking from your furnace, but it is possible that an old or dirty filter could contribute to the issue.
Consider The Reasons That Your Furnace May Be Leaking Water
Once you’ve turned off the furnace and checked the filter, you can consult a few common causes for a furnace leaking water. Here are five of the most often seen reasons that your furnace would malfunction and begin leaking water:
- Venting Pipe Condensation (High -Efficiency): If the exhaust that flows through your furnace cannot get through properly, it will cool down and cause condensation, causing your furnace to leak. If you notice that water is leaking from either the exhaust or intake vent piping (the top pipes of your furnace) this is most likely the cause, paired with improper slope of the venting. The venting is designed to go back towards the furnace, but failure to do so will result in short cycling of the furnace or excessive swings in water build up.
- Condensation Clog/Malfunction (High-Efficiency): If you have a high-efficiency furnace, it most likely creates condensation that should be whisked away through a drain pipe. If the pipe is clogged or malfunctioning, the condensation will be forced back into the furnace cabinet and leak inside the unit.
- Condensate Pump Leaking: If you have a condensate pump sitting beside your furnace (see photo below) it’s designed to move excess water from the furnace to a nearby laundry tub or stack for homes that don’t have a floor drain near the furnace. Sometimes the pump housing can crack, the tubing can crack, or the float can simply get stuck. All of these issues result in water trickling out on the floor, with the only upside being a slower amount of water than a large volume all at once.
4. Internal leak: The secondary heat exchanger cover contains a gasket which over time, or when improperly manufactured, can lead to a small water leak being trapped inside the furnace. Unfortunately, by the time this is seen it may have caused a large amount of internal damage inside the furnace (see photos below).
5. Humidifier Leak: Most furnaces have some kind of humidifier paired with their system which can at times leak. First, find out if your furnace has a humidifier, then you can assess if it’s the source of the leaking water. It typically is caused by an old clogged pad that hasn’t been changed.
Call The Experts
Regardless of if you were able to identify the issue yourself or not, your next step should always be to call the experts for repair. Once you’ve discovered the furnace leaking, call the experienced HVAC technicians at HAMCO and we’ll be ready to help get your furnace running correctly and your home safe from water damage.
Have you noticed leaking from your furnace?
Don’t hesitate, call the experts at HAMCO!
HAMCO Heating & Cooling Ltd. has been proudly serving the Greater Hamilton Areas HVAC needs for over 70 years. We are dedicated to providing our clients with quality products and reliable service.