3 Unusual Water Leaks To Watch For…

pinhole leak in copper pipeUnexpected sources like an air conditioner water leak can cause substantial indoor water damage. Most people associate water damage with ruptured pipes or flooding that originates outdoors. However, some less-than-obvious sources also present a threat, including your air conditioner. Here are three unusual water leaks to watch out for.

Air Conditioner

A central air conditioner extracts both heat and humidity from indoor air. On a humid summer day, a residential A/C can condense over 20 gallons of water out of the air at the evaporator coil located inside the indoor air handler. As long as everything’s working right, that water is collected in a condensate drip pan and drained away through a line connected to the household sewer. If a clog occurs, however, the condensate drip pan will rapidly overflow, spilling multiple gallons of water every time the air conditioner cycles on. Because the indoor air handler is typically located in an unseen part of the house—inside a closet or even up in the attic—an air conditioner water leak may cause significant water damage before it’s noticed.


The water supply for a refrigerator ice-maker typically travels through a plastic supply tube that attaches to the back of the unit. Pulling the refrigerator slightly away from the wall—commonly done to clean behind it—may stress that connection. Similarly, pushing the refrigerator back too close the wall may compress it. Either scenario can cause hidden water leakage behind the refrigerator, which may soak into the subfloor, causing rot and triggering mold growth.

Copper Pipe Pinholes

Copper indoor water lines are far more resistant to catastrophic rupture than old-school galvanized steel. However, they may be vulnerable to pinhole leaks caused by the chemical reaction between chloramines in the water supply and the copper. Because these supply lines are typically routed through hidden locations including inside wall voids, the tiny spray from a pinhole can cause significant water damage to wooden structural components as well as creating an environment for toxic mold contamination.

For professional advice about an air conditioner water leak or other unusual sources of water damage, contact Rytech, Inc.


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