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Leaking aircon with water stains

Reasons Why Your Aircon is Leaking Water With Solutions

Leaking aircon with water stains

The air conditioner (or aircon) is an essential appliance in countless homes across Singapore, especially due to the perpetually warm and humid weather we experience. With an aircon, we get to enjoy cool, crisp air that keeps us feeling fresh and comfortable.

However, one of the problems that often surface with the use of this appliance is dripping water or water leaks. To help you better understand the cause of this issue, we’ve listed some common reasons for a leaking aircon. We’ve also included some solutions and prevention tips so you won’t have to worry about water stains!

Causes of a leaking aircon

Causes of a leaking aircon (infographic)

Faulty or damaged parts

• Broken condensate pump

The condensate pump is a component within the aircon that helps to discharge water into the condensate drain pan. It can be found below the cooling coil.

When the pump is functioning well, it helps to prevent leaks. However, when it’s broken or malfunctioning, water may overflow and start to drip from the aircon.

 

• Rusted drain pan

The purpose of a drain pan is to collect water that drips from the evaporator coil. 

Due to the presence of air and moisture, drain pans that are made from metal can rust. This rust can subsequently eat away at the metal, causing holes and gaps to form and water to leak from the drain pan.

Low refrigerant levels

The refrigerant is an important part of the aircon system as it helps to absorb heat and cool down the air. If refrigerant levels are low, ice can form around the evaporator coil. When this ice melts, water begins to leak from the aircon.

If you notice a bubbling or hissing noise coming from the appliance, it could be a sign that the refrigerant is leaking from the aircon. Immediate assistance from a professional will be required to fix this issue.

Higher water levels

Frozen evaporator coils

Evaporator coils are metal wires found in the interior of an aircon unit. When dust builds up on the coils or refrigerant levels run low, ice can form. This results in water levels beyond the system’s capacity, leading to water leakages.

 

Leakage of air

In the case of a properly functioning aircon, warm air that enters the appliance should pass through the vent. However, in certain cases, this warm air may fail to do so and this is known as an air leak. The result is condensation on the refrigerant coils and subsequently water leaks.

 

Low external temperatures

When the temperature surrounding the aircon becomes too cold (below 15.5°C), its interior coils may freeze. Once the ice melts, water will drip from the appliance. Furthermore, the lubricating fluid found within the aircon will become thick and lead to a unit malfunction.

Due to the high temperatures in Singapore all year round, this is unlikely to be a cause for concern.

Installation issues

Man in plaid shirt installing an aircon

If you notice water leaking or dripping from the aircon despite the fact that it is new, improper installation could be the cause.

An aircon unit that’s placed on a tilted surface could result in water leaks. Additionally, if the unit is not sealed properly, warm air from the environment will come into contact with cool air from the condenser. This leads to condensation and water dripping from the aircon.

Irregular cleaning and maintenance

The buildup of dirt and dust can cause water to leak from an aircon. Thus, regular cleaning and maintenance are important for the proper functioning of your appliance.

 

Clogged air filters

Dirty aircon filters on top of dismantled aircon unit

Air filters that are clogged by dirt and dust make it difficult for air to pass through to the evaporator coils. When this occurs, the coils turn icy. 

When the aircon is switched off and temperatures within the appliance rise, the ice melts and results in excess water that overflows out of the drain pan.

 

Clogged drain line

The accumulation of dust and debris in the drain line can cause clogging to occur. As water is unable to escape from the aircon quickly enough, the drain pan overflows and water drips from the appliance.

 

Clogged condenser unit

The condenser coil is one of the main parts of a condenser unit, which is found outside your home. When dirt, dust and debris accumulate within the unit, it experiences blockage and the condenser coil becomes more susceptible to leaks.

How to fix a leaking aircon

The right method to fix a leaking aircon depends on the cause. While cleaning of the various appliance parts is possible without the help of a professional, other causes such as the leakage of air and broken condensate pumps require the help of an expert.

Need help fixing your leaking aircon?

Our professional team can help to identify the issue with your appliance and fix it promptly!

Read on to find out how to clean the different parts of the aircon!

Clean the filters

Cleaning the filters is often the easiest and fastest as compared to other parts of the aircon.

  • Step 1: Remove the filters
  • Step 2: Vacuum on low power to remove any dirt and dust or wash the filters with lukewarm water
  • Step 3: Leave the filters to dry before fixing them back

 

Clean the condensate drain pan and drain line

As the buildup of rust can be detrimental to the integrity of the drain pan, it’s important to check and clean the pan regularly. You can use rust removal products or natural chemicals like vinegar to remove traces of rust.

Additionally, ensuring that the drain line is clear of dirt and debris will allow water to flow out of the aircon smoothly and prevent choking.

  • Step 1: Locate the drain line and the access point
  • Step 2: Pour some distilled vinegar down the drain line
  • Step 3: Leave it to sit for 30 minutes
  • Step 4: Rinse the drain line with water

 

Clean the evaporator coil

Evaporator coil in an aircon

When a layer of dust accumulates on the evaporator coils, air is unable to come into contact with the coils, causing ice to form. Hence, proper cleaning will help to resolve this issue.

  • Step 1: Spray the coil with some aircon cleaner or a mixture of detergent and warm water
  • Step 2: Leave the solution to work its magic for a few minutes
  • Step 3: Wipe the solution off with a cloth

 

Clean the condenser coil

Cleaning the condenser coil of dirt and debris and removing any blockage will ensure the proper functioning of the condenser unit.

  • Step 1: Remove dirt, dust and grime with a soft-bristle brush and an aircon cleaner
  • Step 2: Rinse the coils with warm water

How to prevent the aircon from leaking

Regular cleaning

Removing filter from aircon

Cleaning your aircon regularly will prevent any dirt or debris from accumulating in the appliance. This includes cleaning the filters, condensate drain pan and coils. If you have a busy schedule or simply find it a hassle, contact a professional company to assist you with the task!

 

Regular inspection

Scheduling for regular inspections of the aircon unit is helpful in identifying potential problems before they occur. Additionally, if problems are already present, they can be rectified before they become more serious.

Keen to schedule an inspection or need aircon servicing?

At Fixwerks, our team of engineers are equipped with the knowledge and experience needed to inspect and service your aircon efficiently and effectively.

Frequently asked questions

Is a leaking aircon dangerous?

While water leaking or dripping from the aircon can damage your home and walls, it isn’t dangerous. On the other hand, a refrigerant leak can be dangerous and should be addressed immediately.

 

Can I still use my aircon even while it’s leaking?

You aren’t recommended to continue using your aircon while it’s leaking as it could damage the appliance. Instead, get in touch with a professional repair company to assist you with the leak as soon as possible.

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Wine enthusiast? 5 tips on how to prolong your wine chiller lifespan

CHILLWERKS

Wine enthusiast ? 5 tips on how to prolong your wine chiller lifespan

By Fixwerks | April 7, 2017

1. Arrangement of bottles

You have just purchased your new wine chiller and cannot wait to load it up with your favourite merlot or chardonnay. Before you place anything inside, always read the instruction manual for the best way to arrange the bottles in your chiller. Placing boxes or other large items in the chiller are not recommended as they may block the thermostat or internal fans. This may lead to complications causing your wine chiller to break down.

2. Check door seals

Over time, door seals tend to harden causing a gap between the door and chiller. This allows hot air to enter the wine chiller causing the compressor to overwork. In extreme cases, ice starts to form due to condensation and ultimately, the compressor will fail leading to costly repairs.

Tip: Ensure door is closed tightly and check the door seals by shining a torchlight around the door and observing if any light passes through. If light passes through, contact a technician to replace or repair the gasket as soon as possible.

3. Placing chiller at right location

Wine chillers are designed as freestanding or built-in. A space that is inadequate for a wine chiller can shorten its lifespan. Before your purchase, consider an appropriate space for the wine chiller.

1) For freestanding chillers, ensure sufficient space of at least 50mm at all sides for adequate cooling of condenser coils. Insufficient cooling leads to compressor failure which is costly to repair.

2) For built-in chillers, ensure the recess is sufficient and according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Heat is expelled through vents at the bottom hence leave sufficient space and do not block these vents.

4. Maintenance

Like all refrigeration systems, a wine chiller works the same way as your air conditioner. Dust and debris can impede airflow to the condenser causing the chiller to have lower efficiency which in turn affects cooling.

Cleaning the internal and external fans every 6 months help prolong compressor life.

Using a hard brush, clear dust particles on the fan. Vacuum the compressor area to ensure it is free of any dirt or debris. Wipe down with a damp cloth.

5. Cleaning Internally

Wine chillers are normally set at temperatures between 8-14 degrees. Mould and microorganisms collect and multiply on the inner casings due to the damp and dark environment.

Once a year, remove all bottles and shelves to do a thorough cleaning of the inner cabinet using vinegar and water solution. Dry all items with a cloth before assembling back the shelves and bottles.

Wine chillers are expensive but with the correct maintenance and tips mentioned above their lifespan can be prolonged to last a good 10 years.

For professional maintenance as well as diagnostic for your wine chiller, contact Fixwerks to engage their service engineers.

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Choosing the right refrigerator: 5 questions to ask

Choosing the right refrigerator: 5 questions to ask

1. Space

Start by measuring your kitchen space as you don’t want more fridge than you have room for. Always leave at least 50mm gap at all sides for adequate cooling and air circulation. Leave enough allowance for the doors to swing open whether for single or french door design.

For built in fridges, follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for recess size as under sizing can pose problems in the long run.

2. Food Arrangement

Do you cook often or use the fridge for storing food for the next day? If it’s the former, look for fridges with larger freezer storage to store your week’s worth of groceries. For the latter, fridges with adequate levels of storage are more suitable. Always consider what items you will be storing before purchasing a fridge.

3. Budget

Fridge pricing can range from S$700 to S$4000 depending on functions and size. Once you have ascertained the points above, look for a fridge that is within budget as most manufacturer warranty covers parts for up to 3 years.

Common part failures such as electronic boards are expensive to replace once warranty expires so opt for extended warranty whenever possible.

4. Energy

Refrigeration efficiency is determined by how much power it consumes to reach a certain temperature. Two types of refrigerant are available in the market namely R600A and R134a. With regards to energy saving, R600A is 17-18% more efficient than R134a.

Do consider that your fridge compressor is not running 24/7 as it shuts down once the fridge is cool enough.

5. Maintenance

Maintenance for fridges are just as important as air conditioners. Dust and debris buildup can cause a drop in cooling efficiency. Do consider the following points before your purchase.

*R600A is more efficient however, it is a flammable gas which means future repairs can only be done at the workshop.
*R134a has a slightly lower cooling efficiency but is a non-flammable gas hence maintenance can be done without hassle.

According to appliance and plumbing experts My Plumber, the right unit for you will balance the right configuration, appropriate size, energy consumption, efficiency, and style.

Using this guide ensures you select the correct fridge before spending a substantial sum as they are more points to consider other than cooling. For professional maintenance as well as diagnostic for your refrigerator, contact Fixwerks to engage their service engineers.

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5 ways to maintain your Refrigerator

5 ways to maintain your Refrigerator

The refrigerator is the most hardworking appliance in the house. It helps to keep our food cool and most importantly, it helps to prevent the growth of bacteria. We all know how important this appliance is but do you know that refrigerators do require some form of ‘servicing’ and maintenance as well?

Getting a reliable refrigerator repair service for your broken refigerator might be troublesome so why not prolong the lifespan of your refrigerator? Here are 5 ways that you can maintain your refrigerator to extend the lifespan.

1. Condenser coil needs to be cleaned regularly

The condenser coil will get dirty due to dust and this will affect the efficiency of the refrigerator cooling system. When the refrigerator cooling system is not efficient, the compressor will overwork and it will be a matter of time that the compressor breaks down.

Solution: Simply remove the refrigerator external vent cover which is usually found behind the refrigerator and vacuum all the dust found in the area. It would be advisable to switch off the refrigerator first.

2. Do not overload the refrigerator

The refrigerator needs to have proper air flow circulation internally for it to be efficient. If the refrigerator is overloaded, the items may block the cold air circulation and this may result in the refrigerator being not cold enough.

Solution: Spread out the amount of groceries being bought each time or purchase to a bigger capacity refrigerator if necessary.

3. Ensure proper ventilation around the refrigerator

The refrigerator needs to have proper ventilation around it so that the heat generated from the cooling system may be dissipated to the surroundings. When this does not happen, the refrigerator cooling system will be running inefficiently and this may lead to possible failure of equipment.

Solution: Plan properly before purchasing a refrigerator. Ensure there is sufficient space around the refrigerator for ventilation.

4. Ensure door seal is tight

The door of the refrigerator must always be closed tight to prevent hot air from entering the refrigerator. The door gasket is responsible for keeping the doors closed tightly. If the door seal is not tight, the refrigerator will end up running continuously and this will cause an increase in energy consumption.

Solution: Check whether the door seal is tight regularly. If the door seal is found to be loose, replace a new door seal from the supplier by providing the model number of the refrigerator. If the door seal is no longer in production, purchase a door strap instead to seal the door tightly.

5. Clean any spillage immediately

According to waste and junk professional Luke Hancock from Bin There Dump That rentals, if there is any spillage of raw meat juice or liquid content in the refrigerator, be sure to clean it immediately. This is to prevent any propagation of bacteria and foul odour.

Solution: Never place any liquid content into the refrigerator with no lid cover. Be careful when handling any container with liquid content in and out of the refrigerator.

We hope these tips will help maintain your refrigerator in good running condition. In the unfortunate event that the refrigerator breaks down and you require a reliable and experienced refrigerator repair service engineer, feel free to contact Fixwerks to get it repaired.

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