Why is My Furnace Leaking?

Nov 5, 2019 | Blog

Why is My Furnace Leaking?

Daylight Savings Time is upon us once more, and you know what that means. Cold weather is on its way. It won’t be long until you are giving serious consideration to turning on your furnace, if you haven’t already done so. Before you put your heating unit into action for the season, do a bit of checking to make sure that all is well with your system. A little bit of attention now can save you a lot of money and aggravation (and chattering teeth) later on.

If you notice water on or around your furnace, it is important to contact a trained HVAC professional right away to prevent possible serious damage to your entire HVAC system. Winter is just around the corner and the last thing you want is to find yourself with furnace problems when the weather turns ugly.

Preventive maintenance is always the best choice. Having an annual inspection and cleaning of your heating and cooling system prior to putting it into use for the season will go a long way in ensuring your system will work perfectly all winter long. Not only will your heating ducts and vents be clean and free of dust and pollutants, a professional inspection will reveal any potential problems that can be prevented before they become serious.

The two basic types of home furnaces, conventional and high-efficiency, can each have specific issues that may result in water leaks. You will need to contact an HVAC technician for any of the issues, with one exception which you can fix yourself.

Each furnace type has a vent pipe that drains the condensed water out of your system. The vent pipe also serves another purpose: it can identify the type of furnace it is attached to at a glance. On a conventional furnace, the vent pipe will be made of metal. High-efficiency furnaces have white PVC vent pipes.

If you have discovered that your furnace is leaking, again, contact an HVAC specialist right away. Some of the most common – and potentially most damaging – causes of water leaks in furnaces include:

Conventional furnace issues:

A Badly Formed Vent Pipe

During the combustion process, your furnace releases gases that must be carried out of the furnace before they can have a chance to cool down and condense inside your heating system. This is what the vent pipe is for. However, if the vent pipe is poorly made the gases may not be able to escape. If the pipe is not curved properly, this will interfere with the elimination process of the gases.

Sometimes the vent pipe is too wide, allowing air to get inside and block the only way out for the gases. When they become trapped inside the furnace, they cool down and the condensed water remains inside with no way out.

Humidifier Leakage

The humidifier on a conventional furnace is attached to the outside of the unit. It is small in size with water, electricity, and drainage outlets. The humidifiers filter may become clogged with debris which will prevent the water from moving efficiently through the filter, causing backup and leakage.

Because the humidifier, drain line, and water feed tube are all located on the outside of a conventional furnace, it is easy to visually determine whether or not a clog is present. If so, do not try to remove the dirt and buildup yourself. That is a job for a professional. Attempting to fix the problem on your own can actually cause more serious damage.

High-efficiency furnace issues may be caused by:

A Blockage In The Drain Trap

Sometimes this simple-to-fix situation is the only problem, and it is easy to identify. Take a look at the trap that covers the pipe which the furnace’s drain pipe runs to. The trap that covers it can become easily clogged with dirt and foreign debris, preventing the water from flowing away. You can fix this problem yourself using a shop vac to remove the clog.

The Drain Line, Condensate Pump, Or Humidifier May Be In Need Of Repair

The high-efficiency furnace models have their humidifiers built-in so they are not visible to the naked eye. If the humidifier’s air filter becomes dirty and clogged, water will not be able to pass through as it condenses, meaning it will remain inside your heating unit where it can cause a great deal of damage.

There can be other causes of a water leak in your furnace. Pipes can become cracked or loose, for example. Any time there is water present in, on, or around your heating system, it should be taken seriously. Ignoring the problem can result in damage – possibly permanent – to your entire HVAC system.

Centerville Heating and Cooling offers a full range of HVAC services including inspection and cleaning, and repair of any worn or damaged components. Give us a call today and one of our skilled technicians will be happy to help you get your heating system ready for Winter. Our number is 937-353-1169. You can also visit us on the web at centervilleheatandcooling.com.