What to do if the split system flows into the room: common breakdowns and how to fix them

Alexey Dedyulin
Checked by a specialist: Alexey Dedyulin
Author: Maria Khodun
Last update: May 2019

Split system is a technique that maintains a comfortable temperature in the room. Therefore, any breakdown of it is a real test for owners. A particularly unpleasant situation arises when the split system flows into the room - what to do in such a situation, you will learn from the article.

We will tell you all about the causes of leaks in HVAC equipment and how to deal with breakdowns. The article we presented discusses situations with a common blockage of the drainage channel and serious technical problems. Based on our recommendations, you can timely eliminate or prevent a brewing problem.

Should water flow or not?

A split system is a complex engineering design for air conditioning, in other words a type of air conditioner. It consists of two block parts: internal (evaporator), and external (compress-condensate unit).

This technique is capable of not only cooling the air during the heat, but also heating it in the cold, until the heating is connected. Moisture is an indicator of the proper functioning of HVAC equipment.

Principle of operation split systems based on the fact that freon or a newer version of it, passing through the evaporator, gives the room cold and absorbs heat. In the cool season, everything happens the other way around.

Condensation must be discharged through the drain pipe.
A side effect of this process is the formation of condensate, which accumulates and is discharged into the street through a drainage pipe. It is connected to an external unit

But there are still situations when a “drip” signals a malfunction in the equipment.

How to understand that a breakdown has occurred?

First you need to determine where the leak occurred.

There are three main locations.

  • Directly from indoor unit.
  • Separate drops or large splashes come through the blinds of the split system with air flows.
  • Water flows along the wall on which the indoor unit is located in the room.

Having determined the location of the drop, you can decide how to deal with it.

To get started, do a quick check. You should check the condensate bath, if the leak started during the heat season, when the air conditioner has been working for a long time in cooling mode, then this is a completely normal situation. When the tank is full, water will overflow and a leak will form. To stop the flood, you just need to drain the water.

Reason for the drop
Also, the cause of the droplet is often pollution on the condensate bath. If you do not clean it, the dirt may compact and form a blockage.

Inspection of the condensate tank during the heat should be done once every few days, since the equipment at this time works at the limit of possibilities, as well as before the onset of cold weather. If after this the drops do not stop, then, probably, a serious equipment failure has occurred.

The most likely causes of failure

Below we will consider the most common causes of breakdowns due to which the split system may “cry”.

Reason # 1 - clogged drainage system

Most often, the blockage of the drainage channel is to blame. Different debris is clogged in the drain pan of the indoor unit or in the hose, therefore, cleaning split systems, whose steps are described in our recommended article.

How can the hose be clogged? Caught insects - wasps, moths, flies. In addition, water collects in the drainage pipe in summer, making it an ideal place for insects.

Insects in drainage cable
Wasps, flies and moths often cause leaked air conditioning. Therefore, it is recommended to carry out preventive cleanings before the first inclusion in the season, as well as once a month

Due to repair work on the external wall, putty, particles of building materials or coarse dust may get into the hole in the hose.

This situation is relevant if repairs are carried out in the apartment above yours. In this case, all the garbage will fly towards your air conditioner and clog it. Therefore, it is worth covering the external unit with film.

Reason # 2 - pump malfunction

When there is no way to remove condensate in the classical way to the street through a drainage pipe, models with a pump (pump) are installed.

Outdoor unit split system
Such split systems are mounted either on the facades of historic buildings, or in rooms that are located below ground level. For example, in the basement, the pump itself is installed on the drainage system

Typical causes of leakage:

  • The pump itself is defective or even out of order. In this case, you need to contact specialists for its repair or complete replacement. Please note that such parts should only be replaced on models of the same brand.
  • Problems with the air exhaust pipe. It is bent, clogged, pinched, or depressurized. Any changes with the tube can be triggered by the influence of time, the choice of poor-quality materials, improper installation, etc.
  • The float chamber (sensor) is clogged. He is near the pump. To solve the problem, you need to clean it. After that, dry, reinstall and test.
  • Weak or inactive contact may be due to poor-quality assembly of the device or manufacturing defects. Contact a service center or a specialist.
  • Emergency power off. Suddenly they turned off the light or the device did not turn off correctly. You need to wait until the intelligent system turns off and only then pull the plug out of the socket. The evaporator is still cold and condensation is dripping from it, and the pump continues to operate.

The pump requires a careful attitude, like any part that operates under voltage. Preinstall residual current device - RCDs, if there are frequent blackouts in your area.

Reason # 3 - icing of the drainage tube

In cold weather, the drainage tube freezes. This happens if the air conditioner is turned on at minus temperature outside the window, and the condensate, at the exit of the cabin, becomes ice and clogs it. Or because of the large difference between day and night temperatures: minus at night, and during the day - zero or plus.

Outdoor unit split system
In situations where the climate equipment is used in the cold season for heating, sometimes condensation freezes in the system

Reason No. 4 - poor-quality installation

Unfortunately, not all installers can host installation of split systems correctly. Sometimes the consequence of such work is a floating air conditioner.

This may include many errors. The wrong angle of drilling and installation of the drainage tube was chosen, without taking gravity into account, which causes air congestion in the tube, which interfere with the normal flow of condensate.

The drainage pipe hall occurs because substandard materials were used or work was done in a hurry. For example, instead of special drainage tubes, electro-horns are placed, which crumble after a few months.

Professional installation
Experts recommend not saving on a professional installation. It makes sense to choose the installers as carefully as the split system model

Unprofessional work near the indoor air conditioning unit inside the apartment. For example, when you need to lower the ceiling. During the repair period, not many will want to allocate additional funds for the work of air conditioners. Therefore, inevitably there will be problems with the location of the system and the removal of condensate.

Due to poor-quality rolling, freon leaked and, as a result, the heat exchanger freezes.

Icing Split Systems
Icing of a split system results from a decrease in refrigerant level. If such a problem was discovered, then it is worth contacting specialists

The pipes that hold the freon tubes are loosely twisted and therefore the liquid drips onto the floor, but is not discharged. They should be tightened with a key, previously lubricated with a paste for sealing (sealant). In such a situation, the main thing is not to overdo it, otherwise you risk breaking the thread and damaging or completely breaking the part, and such repairs will certainly cost a pretty penny.

Unprofessional thermal insulation of a freon pipelinelocated under the indoor unit of the split system. A breakdown of this kind occurs due to the rush or inexperience of the craftsmen.

Reason number 5 - clogged filters

Filters ensure the cleanliness and freshness of chilled air, and also protect the system from contamination.

Clean filters
Clean filters are not only a guarantee of clean air in the room, but also a guarantee that condensate will not leak into the room. It is recommended to clean them during the active operation of the system once every few weeks.

For high-quality cleansing, you can use the services of specialists or do it yourself. Knowing the main causes of a drop in a split system, you will choose the right method of dealing with it.

Options for solving the problem

As soon as you find that water has started to flow, immediately disconnect it from the power supply. You can clean the drain pipe yourself. To get started, take a medium-thick wire and make a small hook. Then carefully push it into the drainage tube and push it forward with rotational movements.

From time to time, take it out and clean it. If you feel that the wire abuts something, then the cause is a blockage. Thanks to the pre-formed hook, you can easily get any midge-bug. In addition, you should clean the condensate tank, bath, and filters from bacterial contaminants using special means.

Steam cleaning
Professional use steam cleaning, which will cope with bacteria and germs. Steam comes under pressure through a special pipe

If there is ice, then you should wait until the ice melts itself. Then he will turn to the master.After such express cleaning, a general one can also be carried out.

To do this, you need to disassemble the indoor unit. Using a screwdriver, remove the drain pan, then attach a high pressure washer (water hose) to the drain pipe and rinse for 5-10 minutes. If you find that the problem is in unprofessional installation, then it is worth calling specialists.

To prevent breakdowns, the air conditioner should be regularly cleaned, which consists of washing the filters and the drain pipe. In warm weather, climate equipment must be cleaned every 2 weeks. From time to time, the condensation level of the split system should be checked.

Strainer cleaning
An effective way to check the condition of the strainer is to pour it with a thin stream of clean water

Now you know, if water has flowed from the split system into the apartment, you should immediately disconnect the device from the power supply. Then check the condition of the air conditioner. And if after all our recommendations, the water is still dripping, then immediately call the master.

Tips from experienced craftsmen

The most important thing is to keep the warranty card for the air conditioner, it will help to avoid misunderstandings arising during the warranty time. Order installation only from installers accredited by the manufacturer, and also follow the simple rules for operating split systems.

Before switching on, after a long break (especially after winter), clean the drain hose, rinse and dry the condensate tank. Open the top cover of the indoor unit of the air conditioner.

Wash the filter with a special antibacterial agent and dry it. Carefully inspect and wipe off dust from all visible parts of the machine.

Preventive filter cleaning
Timely cleaning of filters from old dust will protect your lungs and air. For prevention, you can use plain water

Remember to carry out preventative cleanings as often as possible. If, nevertheless, the split system has flowed, then you should call a specialist for diagnostics.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Tips from the masters will help to cope with a dripping conditioner:

An example of how to clean the condensate bath and drain hose. The author, step by step, shows how to clean the hose, as well as the types of contamination:

If you find that water is pouring from the climate equipment, then do not panic. Use our recommendations and check everything carefully.

It is important for each owner of the split system not to forget about regular cleaning of the main components: drainage, filters, condensate tank, etc., and try to keep the equipment clean.

Do you want to talk about how to get rid of leakage split systems with your own hands, or about what the masters you called did? Do you have valuable technological information on the topic of the article? Please write comments in the block below, post photos, ask questions.

Was the article helpful?
Thanks for your feedback!
No (6)
Thanks for your feedback!
Yes (40)
Visitors Comments
  1. Maxim

    We had such a problem with the air conditioner when the water stopped going outside and flowed right along the walls. The problem turned out to be in fact not as complicated as I thought, the pipe from which the water was draining simply clogged and the tank was full. So it was only necessary to clean it.But, of course, I had to tinker, so if you yourself are afraid to spin the block, then it is better to call the wizard.

  2. Irina

    Last year, too, I dripped water from the indoor unit, I wanted to call the master already. I figured it out myself. It turned out that the water drain pipe had moved out of place, either the birds had ruined the tube mount, or it had shifted from time to time. The tube was not tilted down, but in one place a sagging formed, in which, apparently, a cork appeared. I raised the sag and a lot of water immediately flowed out of the tube. Corrected the position of the tube by installing another mount and the problem was solved. The air conditioner has not flowed since.

    And there is such a problem - the installers installed foam insulation on the tubes leading to the outdoor unit, but did not install a protective box. Birds in some places glued this isolation. Will the absence of this insulation in some places lead to a breakdown of the air conditioner?

    • Expert
      Alexey Dedyulin

      Good afternoon, Irina. Typically, inter-unit communications are combined by wrapping with a special fabric. If such is visible under the foam pecked by birds and is intact, then there is nothing to worry about. If the birds began to destroy it, then it is necessary to put a protective box.

      The device of the connecting tubes themselves in the attached screenshot. It clearly shows that under the outer protective layer is the insulation of the tubes. Make sure these materials are intact.

      Attached photos: