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My Furnace is Leaking Water – What Do I Do?

water and bucket

Help! My Furnace is Leaking Water …

Experiencing water leaks in your house can be vexing, time-wasting, and can result in expensive damage – in addition to costly repairs.

However, what should you do when your furnace is the culprit and the one leaking water?

Here are steps you can take if you are experiencing this problem and be sure to contact Furlong HVAC Services to request a repair service.

When you first notice that your furnace is experiencing a water leak, switch it off.

First off, ensure that the thermostat is not on. From there, rotate the shut-off valve, situated on the gas line, attached to your furnace and electric breakers affiliated with your furnace.

Chances are that the issue causing the furnace to experience a water leak in the first place is something only an HVAC expert can deal with; hence, you should consider calling us at 613-766-4632.

From there, mop up any residual water that has accumulated around the furnace base. Standing water left unattended isn’t good for your floor and furnace.

Note: You should mop the floor when the electrical circuit of the furnace has been switched off. Don’t be too hard on yourself for not fitting in a floor drain, and if you were wise enough to install a floor drain, check to make sure it isn’t clogged.

If from afar your furnace appears like an isolated island surrounded by a small pond, you should consider renting a dry/wet vacuum from a big hardware outlet to make the cleaning process simpler.

furnace repairman

Why Is My Furnace Leaking Water to Begin With?

Contingent on whether you’ve got an efficient furnace (90 or more AFUE high-efficiency rating) or a traditional furnace, various factors will cause a furnace water leak.

High-Efficiency: There’s a Clog or a Leak in the Condensate Lines

Highly efficient furnaces form condensation via the heat exchange process. When functioning ordinarily, the condensation created is safely drained away from your furnace through the drain trap and condensate line.

In case there’s a clog or leak in the condensate line, you’ll quickly see a wet patch surrounding the furnace.

High-Efficiency: Your Condensate Pump Isn’t Functioning

A condensate pump is responsible for pushing water through the lines as it is directed away from the furnace. The condensate pump can have mechanical issues, which usually result in water leaks. Sometimes, it may remain because of a complication with the check valves and float. It’s also likely that the condensate lines were not properly fitted, or backlog has led to a clogged condensate drain line or condensate trap and resulted in a furnace leaking and causing problems.

Conventional: The Metal Exhaust Pipe is Forming Condensation

If the rating of your furnace is below 90, it will come fitted with a metal exhaust vent pipe (compared to the high-efficiency furnace that comes with a white PVC vent pipe). The exhaust vent transports gases created during combustion through the exhaust pipe and discharges them into the air while still hot.

If this emitting pipe isn’t sized properly for your furnace, the additional air will trap gasses. Ultimately, the hot gas cools down – forming condensation, which causes the furnace to leak water.

For Any Furnace: Leaking Humidifier

Most homeowners opt to include an in-built humidifier in their heating unit in an attempt of making their households cozier during the drier winter months.

They contain water continually passing through them, and if they get clogged or spring a leak, it will appear as if it’s the furnace experiencing a water leak. Although a humidifier leak comes with its own fixes, a leaking humidifier remains to be a water leak.

A Furlong HVAC Services licensed professional will comprehensively scrutinize your humidifier and furnace when identifying the source. We can also conduct an inspection during your yearly furnace tune-up.

Ensure The Humidifier Pad is Replaced

The humidifier will still function even with a dirty or clogged humidifier pad, but of course, it won’t be operating at optimum. A full home humidifier with a blocked pad will cause a considerable drain on your energy, will make the HVAC system sluggish and will cause the humidifier to wear long before its shelf life.

A dirty or clogged humidifier pad also results in trapped moisture, which makes the indoor air quality diminish as it accrues bacteria and mold growth that disseminates through your household rather than clean, humid air dispelled from a well-maintained machine.

ac unit

For Any Furnace: It May Be the Air Conditioner

If it’s the cyclical season period whereby you utilize your AC one day and then switch on the heat the following, chances are that it’s not your furnace that’s causing the leak.

Air conditioners tend to take in a considerable amount of moisture from the surrounding air of your house, thus they also contain condensate lines and an in-built drain system that is discharged into a drain pan. Therefore, if there’s a water leak or clog, or the condensation pan blocks up and overflows, it could seem as if your furnace is the problem whereas it’s the AC causing the leak.

For Any Furnace: Heat Exchanger Issue

Heat exchangers are an integral component of your combustion process and furnace. It’s essentially a metal safeguard that inhibits the exhaust gases created during the combustion stage from gaining access into your ductwork along with the hot air. After the heat exchanger warms up, it causes the metal to expand and cools, reverting back to the original shape it held at room temperature. The bad news is that after years of repeating this process, it’s not surprising to see the furnace fail and leave you with a heat exchanger that cracked. If there’s a cracked heat exchanger, it can result in life-threatening carbon monoxide poisoning in the house.

There are also models with a secondary heat exchanger whereby water is converted from a vapour to a liquid to discharge more warmth into the secondary heat exchanger. This functionality is generally located on high-efficiency furnaces as it delivers additional heat for the unchanged amount of gas. In contrast, a conventional efficiency furnace will contain a single heat exchanger. A secondary heat exchanger will require just as much regular maintenance, which doesn’t mean they are less vulnerable to water leaks.

For Any Furnace: Dirty Furnace Filter

The possibility of a furnace water leak shouldn’t be the only reason for replacing your filter. A dirty filter can inhibit airflow, which can overwork your furnace and subsequently cause it to overheat. Ultimately, this leads to the furnace system breaking down altogether, which is obviously a costly issue to resolve. Doing a filter replacement is relatively easy, and cost-effective but you can easily forget to do it. We suggest that you set a reminder of 30-90 days in your calendar so that you’re alerted when it’s time to do a filter replacement.

Ensure the Furnace Filter is Replaced

Generally, you should alter your furnace filter after 30 days. However, if your furnace is experiencing a water leak, you should replace the filter after its repair and before switching on the furnace. You may subsequently see your furnace discharging cool air or shutting off and on.

A clogged, dirty, or wet filter will inhibit air circulation and exert additional strain on your furnace. It’s in your interest to begin afresh with a cleaned/new filter.

Ensure the Furnace is Well-Kept – Annual Maintenance is Key

When you spot a leak, this isn’t the time to start thinking about doing maintenance. Annual maintenance at the very least is enough to ensure that you don’t find yourself dealing with problems. Enlisting a qualified technician to inspect your furnace regularly will give you an insight into any components which may be required.

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