Portable Air Conditioner Leaking Water – What Could Be Wrong?

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One of the functions of many portable air conditioners is to gather water through condensation. However, the water in these appliances may leak, causing moisture damage to its surroundings. Now you’re wondering why your compact air conditioner is leaking water. Also, what can you do about this problem? We researched for you, and here’s what we found.

A portable air conditioner can experience more water leaking than usual because of a drain line clog, lack of Freon, or a dirty filter. Verifying the source of the problem allows owners to use the appropriate repair methods.

Take note that certain portable air conditioner models might also become susceptible to unique concerns, which can lead to water leaking. Keep reading as we tackle these specific cooling units in greater detail. We'll also talk about some ways to solve water leaking problems in portable AC units.

An air conditioner on wood flooring, Portable Air Conditioner Leaking Water—What Could Be Wrong?

Is It Normal For AC To Leak Water Inside?

Water leakage from an air-conditioning unit is typically a normal occurrence. This event can happen because of two reasons: the thermostat setting and the outdoor temperature.

However, condensation inside the air conditioner will occur regardless of the cause. Take note that condensation happens when water vapor cools to its dew point (the temperature at which airborne water vapor condenses). Another occurrence of condensation can take place when the air becomes humid.

An air conditioner, particularly a portable unit, will condense more water vapor than usual if you set the thermostat to a low setting and it’s a hot day. If left unchecked, the appliance’s water-holding container may fill faster than normal, causing leaks.

Why Is My Portable Air Conditioner Leaking Water From The Bottom?

Portable air conditioner

The causes of a portable air conditioner leaking water can come from different origins. Some of these reasons are:

Drain Line Clog

Aside from water vapor, a portable air conditioner can absorb other particulates, including dirt, dust, and other debris. These unclean substances can lodge into the cooling unit’s drain line, causing the water to back up and leak.

Low on Freon

Freon is a colorless gas commonly used in air conditioning to absorb outside heat for the air conditioner to cool. An air conditioner lacking this refrigerant can cause its evaporator coils to have an ice buildup. Turning off the appliance will melt the ice, causing the leak.

Find out more information about Freon by reading our post on its use in central air conditioners.

Dirty Filter

Owners should clean the filters in their portable air conditioners at least once per month. These parts block dust and other filth from entering the appliance. But dust and dirt buildup can occur over time, preventing water from flowing in the unit properly.

How Do You Drain A Portable Air Conditioner?

Female hands moving a portable air conditioner into a house

A portable air conditioner water container can become full. If left unattended, the excess condensed vapor will leak from the appliance.

But before you can drain your compact AC unit, disconnect the appliance from its power source to prevent electrocution and short circuits. After doing that precautionary step, choose among these options to complete this objective:

  • For partially evaporative systems, remove the drain plug and channel the water to an empty container.
  • Attach a drain hose to the drain plug. Then, put the other end of the hose to an outside location for routine and mess-free water draining.
  • Connect a condensate pump to the drain plug. This additional system can automate the draining process but acts as an extra expense.

Check out this condensate pump on Amazon.

Take note that the steps mentioned above may not apply to your specific model. It’s best to consult your owner’s manual or call the appliance maker’s customer support hotline to know the existence (or lack thereof) of additional procedures you may need for this operation.

Additionally, watch the video below to learn more about this method in draining a portable air conditioner:

What Is The Best Way To Clean An Air Conditioner Filter?

Asian woman changing the dirty air purifier filter after using

As mentioned in a previous section, a dirty filter can encourage water leaks in portable air conditioning units. Follow the guide below to learn how to clean the filter properly:

What You’ll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Cloth or rag
  • Warm water
  • Mild detergent (optional)

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Disconnect the portable air conditioner from the wall outlet.
  2. Remove the filter cover, which might be at the back, top, or bottom of the unit.
  3. Take out each air filter carefully.
  4. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove loose dust, dirt, and debris from the filter.
  5. Rinse the filter under warm water. If the screen has a heavy muck buildup, you can scrub it using a cloth dipped in warm water and a mild detergent mixture.
  6. Set the filter to air dry.
  7. Reinstall the filter to the portable cooling unit once it dries completely.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t use harsh chemical cleaners or boiling water to clean the filter. These cleaning techniques aren’t fit for removing filth buildup from fairly fragile air conditioner filters.

The video below will also give you more insight into how to clean a portable air conditioner filter.

Why Is My Haier Portable Air Conditioner Leaking Water?

Aside from the relatively common reasons for portable air conditioner leakage, a Haier compact cooling unit may also experience water leaking because of:

  • Loose connections: Exhaust hose couplings that don’t have a proper connection will lead to unwanted moisture buildup and wasteful operation.
  • Rickety drain plug: Ensure this part is tight to prevent water from dripping from the appliance's bottom area.
  • Misalignment: A Haier portable air conditioner needs to be in a hard and flat spot for it to function efficiently and reduce the risks of water leakage.

Haier portable air conditioners that continue to experience water leaking from their units, along with other problems, should consult their owner's manual. Requesting help from the appliance maker may also aid in putting a stop to this issue.

Check out this product on Amazon.

How Do I Stop Water From Coming Out Of My LG Portable Air Conditioner?

Preventing water leakage can help portable air conditioner owners save time and potential moisture damage. Here are some tips to aid in the prevention of water leaks from an LG portable air conditioner:

  • Use the ‘Dry Mode.’ As its name implies, this feature helps keep the room cool yet slightly arid to avoid excess moisture buildup.
  • Reshape the vent hose. Make the hose’s pathway into an ‘S’ curve, which allows water to flow naturally from the AC to the outside area.
  • Ensure that the drain cap and plug are secure. Twist these parts until they’re tight. Don’t overtighten the cap and plug, or else you’ll risk breaking them.

Also, drain the tank when you see the ‘FL’ letters on the display. It means that the water container is full and needs draining. If you opt to bring the portable air conditioner outside, be careful when moving the unit. Rough-housing the appliance may cause the water in its container to leak out.

Check out this product on Amazon.

For more information about stopping water from dripping out of an LG portable AC, watch the video below:

How Do You Clean A Portable Air Conditioner?

Aside from cleaning a portable air conditioner’s filter, it’s also ideal to remove filth buildup from other parts of the appliance. Here are some ways to maintain the pristineness of a compact AC and its optimal serviceability:

  • Wipe the case with a clean, damp cloth. Doing so will remove loose dust and dirt from the appliance’s surface, which might get into its internals if left unchecked.
  • Vacuum the vent hose. Remove the hose and run a vacuum cleaner with a long attachment in it to suck up the gunk from its inside.
  • Clean the condenser coils. Use a vacuum hose or compressed air to remove dust buildup from these parts.

Finally, cover the portable air conditioner with a sheet or towel if you’re going to store it for extended periods. That way, you can avert potential dust buildup during storage. You can read our post on the best air conditioner covers you can buy to help with your purchasing decision.

The video below can tell you additional details about the portable air conditioner cleaning tips mentioned in this section.

Final Words

Portable air conditioners may leak water because of many reasons. The causes for this problem may include a clog, unclean filter, or Freon shortage. Owners can take advantage of specific methods to solve and prevent a compact AC’s water leak from occurring.

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