If you find water on the floor next to your furnace, you’re probably confused about what it means and what to do. And rightly so.
Although a furnace leaking water is a definite sign of trouble, there are several possible sources, some more serious than others. You really need a professional to determine exactly why your furnace is leaking water. Don’t attempt a DIY furnace repair; a mistake could be dangerous.
Here’s what you should do if you find your furnace leaking water.
What To Do When Your Furnace Is Leaking Water?
Turn the furnace off immediately to prevent water damage or an electrical hazard:
- First, set the thermostat to “Off.”
- Then close your gas line shutoff valve.
- Finally, go to your electrical box and switch off the breakers for your furnace.
Now contact Husky for furnace repair. Get in touch online or for immediate service and after-hours emergencies, phone 905-761-9485.
Clean Up The Water
With your furnace’s electrical circuit safely shut off, you can wipe or mop up the leakage. This will prevent further damage to your furnace, as well as to your flooring. For a large amount of water, simplify your cleanup by using a wet-dry vac.
Understand The Causes Of Furnace Water Leaks
Are you curious about what might cause a leaking furnace? The reasons may differ for high-efficiency furnaces (which have AFUE ratings of 90 or higher) and conventional models. Check out some of the common problems that are associated with a furnace leak.
1. High-Efficiency – Condensate Line Is Clogged Or Leaking
If you have a water leak around your high-efficiency furnace, a condensation leak might be the cause. The heat exchange process in high-efficiency furnaces creates condensation, changing vapor to water.
Your furnace’s condensate line and drain trap normally channel this away into a floor drain. However if a clogged condensate trap develops, the water can end up on the floor around your furnace. You may also find your furnace blowing cold air.
2. High-Efficiency – Condensate Pump Not Functioning
Your condensate pump works to channel liquid through the condensate line and drain trap. If it malfunctions due to mechanical failure, furnace leaks may result.
Be sure to contact a professional if you notice your condensate pump leaking or malfunctioning, as furnace leaks can lead to costly water damage.
3. High-Efficiency – Clogged Furnace Filter
Your furnace filter is used to keep the air circulating through your home clean and free of debris. When it gets clogged or dirty, you’ll get restricted airflow through the furnace coil. This can cause the coils to actually freeze, which in turn can result in leaks.
4. High-Efficiency – Heat Exchanger Issues
Heat exchangers help to transfer heat throughout your home and heating system, and when this happens, condensation is produced. While this is a normal process, you might be seeing leaks if the unit requires repair, such as if you have a cracked heat exchanger.
You might also have a faulty secondary heat exchanger. This is a serious problem and will need to get replaced.
5. Conventional – Incorrectly Sized Vent Pipe
A conventional furnace (AFUE lower than 90) is equipped with an exhaust vent pipe made of metal (high-efficiency furnaces have PVC vent pipes). The combustion process produces hot gases, which are typically vented outdoors.
However, an incorrectly sized exhaust vent pipe may trap these gases. As they cool inside the pipe, they condense, forming the liquid that eventually leaks from your furnace.
6. All Furnaces – Humidifier Leakage
Many Toronto homeowners have a whole-house humidifier added to their HVAC system to remediate the dry air so common during our winters. Humidifiers obviously depend on water to function. Occasionally they might become blocked or leaky, resulting in a puddle on the floor that seems as if it came from your furnace.
When you schedule your annual furnace maintenance and tuneup, be sure to have your whole-house humidifier inspected also.
7. All Furnaces – Check The Air Conditioner
In spring and fall, the weather is so unpredictable you could find yourself alternating between using your furnace and your air conditioning. When you spot what seems like your furnace leaking water, your AC may actually be the culprit. (Don’t worry — we can take care of that, too!)
Risks of your Furnace Leaking Water
Rust and Mould
Water in places it shouldn’t be can result in rust and mould developing. Rust will compromise the structure of your furnace and can eventually lead to cracks and further water leaks. Mould can develop in your basement and on your appliances, and cause health concerns for your family.
Water pooling in your utility room can pose a risk of electrical shock. Basements have more exposed wiring and you should be extremely careful if you see leaking water from your furnace.
Get Ready To Turn Your Furnace Back On
Whatever furnace make or model you own, leave it to us. Our expert technicians will diagnose your leak and repair it fast and effectively.
You’ll be ready to have the heat back on ASAP.
But before you do, one last tip: Make sure that you change your furnace filter. Normally it needs replacement every 90 days. But if the filter gets wet from leakage, it will restrict the furnace airflow until you replace it with a new filter.