Why Does My Air Conditioner Sound Like Running Water?

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Air conditioning systems serve many purposes, making them an essential appliance in the home or workplace. They increase comfort levels during hot, humid weather and ensure that we breathe clean allergen-free indoor air. Yet, for some home and business owners, these same cooling units that are meant to provide comfort can be a nuisance if they start producing strange, unusual, irritating noises.

Is your ac unit making water noises such as dripping, splashing, rushing, or even bubbling/gurgling? Well, you are not alone. AC unit making water noise is a common problem. There are many reasons why your air conditioner sounds like water dripping or running water, but none of them should be ignored. Identifying each of them can help you troubleshoot your ac and save valuable time when there is insufficient cooling before you call a cooling expert.

Why is my air conditioner making a water sound Texas Air Repair

My AC Is Making a Dripping Noise

This is one of the most common sounds that you’re likely to hear from your cooling unit, especially on an overly warm, humid day. Typically, the AC cools down your space by drawing in warm, moist air, cooling it, and then redistributing it back into the room.

As the air is cooled down by the condensing coils, the trapped air moisture condenses and is removed from the air in its liquid form – the condensate. The condensate is collected in a pan while the cold, dry air is blown back to the room, hence lowering the indoor temperatures.

During a sweltering hot, humid day, the cooling cycle in the ac unit is higher, leading to more condensation. As the water collects in the drip pan, you’re likely to hear a dripping noise as the more water drops. Some systems are built to evaporate that condensate while others have a condensate drain pipe that drains that water to the outside.

If the dripping noise is becoming a nuisance, you can locate the condensate pan and empty it. If this doesn’t solve the problem, then you could be staring at a more severe problem.

The dripping water noise might be a red flag for a blocked condensate drain pipe that is not draining the condensate properly. Check the exterior section of the condensate pipe and ensure that it is not blocked by dirt and debris if you’re familiar with your system. Consider using a wet/dry vacuum to dislodge any blockages inside the condensate drain pipe.

My Air Conditioner Sounds Like Water Running

Air conditioners are built differently. Self-evaporating air conditioners are designed to evaporate the condensate once it collects in the condensate pan. Other cooling units are made, so the condensate drains outside from the drain pan through the condensate drain pipe.

Whichever the make and model, your ac is designed to ensure that the drain pan is never full and overflowing. However, this is not always the case.

If your central air sounds like water running, likely, the drain pan is already full and now overflowing. Usually, this can happen if you are thawing a previously frozen air conditioning unit. However, if you start experiencing running water from the drip pan, yet your unit is just working fine, you might be dealing with a blocked condensate drain pipe.

Check to see that the condensate pipe is not blocked by dirt and debris from the outside. You could also use a wet/dry vacuum to clear off any blockages in the drain pipe. If this persists, be sure to call Texas Air Repair experts to troubleshoot your system. Remember never to keep your unit running whenever you’re having persistent water running noises as you risk damaging your unit.

My AC is making gurgling or bubbling sound

A gurgling or bubbling noise from your cooling unit is usually an indication of a pressure issue. A refrigerant leak can lead to low pressure in your unit, while a refrigerant overcharge can cause too much pressure, leading to an imbalance in pressure inside the unit.

When this happens, air from the outside may force itself inside the unit through areas it shouldn’t get through, hence causing the gurgling or bubbling noise you’re hearing.

This problem may be beyond your DIY scope, and should only be left to the experts to diagnose and correct. Trained ac professionals have the skills, knowledge, and tools necessary to diagnose and repair the problem.

My AC Is Making a Hissing Sound

Your air conditioner could also be producing a continuous hissing sound. This strange noise is a warning that something is amiss. Hissing ac sound could point to:

  • Refrigerant leaks. This happens if the copper refrigerant lines have holes or cracks hence letting out the pressurized gaseous refrigerant.
  • Internal valve leak: when the compressor valve that controls the pressurization of the refrigerant leaks, you might start noticing a strange hissing sound.
  • Compressor problems: A malfunctioning compressor is also likely to start hissing if the pressure inside is too high.

AC Services in San, Antonio, Houston, and the Areas in Between

Water and refrigerant leaks can cause severe damages to your unit and your home that might lead to expensive repairs. To ensure that your system is always tweaked and working efficiently without such strange noises, ensure that you schedule routine preventative maintenance plans. This way, you’ll avoid messy and unexpected air conditioner issues.

At Texas Air Repair, we can help diagnose and repair root cause issues that may be causing the strange ac water sound noises. 

Call us today and enjoy the best air conditioning and heating in San Antonio and Houston

Henry Rodriguez

Henry Rodriguez

Henry Rodriguez is the owner of Texas Air Repair with physical locations in San Antonio and Houston.

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Texas Air Repair offers air conditioning, heating, and indoor air quality services to residential and commercial customers in San Antonio, TX & the surrounding areas with their 25+ years of experience. 

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