Water Dripping From Ductwork In Basement: Reasons And Solutions

Healthy fresh air is always associated with a safe, clean home. And a dry clean air duct is the prerequisite for healthy fresh air throughout your home.

Water dripping from your ductwork in the basement may seem like a minor issue at the beginning. But this small issue leads to serious problems within a short period.

This can severely pollute the air in your home and be very hazardous for people with breathing issues.

Why Is Water Dripping From Your Ductwork?

water dripping from ductwork in basement

Water dripping from ductwork is more common than you think. It could happen for a lot of reasons.

  • It could be that a leak on your roof made its way to the ducts through cracks.
  • The cooling coils of air conditioners can sometimes build up moisture. But excess moisture build-up may lead to water dripping from the ductwork.
  • Natural disasters leading to floods in your basement can also cause water leakage from your duct.
  • If your home is not properly insulated, the extreme humidity can also lead to moisture build-up in the ducts and then turn into water dripping.
  • Blocked ducts and dirty air filters can also cause water to drip from your air ducts.

Keep in mind that water leakage doesn’t necessarily mean there is a fault in your upkeep.

What Happens When Water Gets into Vents?

Water leaks may look like a small issue at the beginning, but the long-term effects can be very severe.

So, these are a few adverse things that can happen due to water dripping from ductwork in the basement.

  • Water leakage in the ductwork can compromise the safety of your house. It will lead to mold growth inside the ductwork. This mold could spread throughout the house in no time.
  • Mold spores will deteriorate the air quality of your home. This is harmful to people with health issues and breathing problems.
  • This water leakage can also reduce the insulation of your home. Usually, the moisture compresses the insulation and reduces its efficiency.
  • It can also cause severe water damage to your property. The water buildup slowly starts to damage the roof and ceiling of your house. It can also reach the walls. So, decay or corrosion can lead to serious damage to your home’s internal structure.

How To Solve Water Leakage From Ducts?

ac duct leaking water

Well, now you know there can be many reasons for water leakage from your ducts.

Starting from excessive moisture buildup to bad insulation and broken pumps, there could be multiple reasons behind water dripping from ducts.

You must identify the problem as soon as possible to come up with the solution.

Keep reading on as we will talk about the possible solutions once you identify the problem.

  • Excessive Moisture Problems

If your home is situated in a humid area, there is a chance the excessive moisture will cause warm air to enter the ducts. So, what should you do under these circumstances?

Get a dehumidifier. This will neutralize the warm air and control the humidity as well. Since the root of the problem lies in the basement, you can install the dehumidifier there.

Some people install multiple dehumidifiers in different rooms. This removes the excess humidity and keeps the entire house dry.

  • Insulating Your House

If you have an attic, there is a good chance that warm air has entered through there. So, to solve this problem, you have to install proper ventilation.

Ventilation fans will dry out the place. On the other hand, you have to insulate the pipes connected to the ductwork to avoid any warm air from entering.

  • Condensate Drain Problems

The condensate drains from the air conditioner system overflows sometimes. This results in the water reaching the ductwork and water dripping.

To stop this from happening, always check the drip pan of your air conditioner. Always keep an eye out for any sort of dirt or leaks in the drip pan.

And keep cleaning the pan from time to time.

The condensate drain line may also get clogged due to dirt, mold, or sludge build-up.

To clean this clogged drain line, remove everything from the drain, its surrounding area, and the end of the pipe.

It is best to use a small wire brush to clean the dirt and sludge. Before you finish the job, give it one last rinse with a cup of bleach.

  • Evaporator Coil Melting Problems

If the evaporator coil of the air conditioner starts melting for any reason, water enters the ducts from there.

To fix this issue, the water needs to be drained from the duct at first. Then you have to clean the condensate drain. That should do the trick.

  • Cracked Seams

Warm air can enter ductwork through cracks in the seams. If you manage to find the cracks, call a professional to fix the cracks permanently.

  • Dirty Air Filters

Due to dirty air filters, air cannot move freely inside the vents. It ultimately results in freezing. But as soon as it melts, the water starts dripping from the ducts.

So, the best way to fix this is to clean the air filters from time to time. Make sure you change air filters when it’s time.

  • Refrigerant Leak

The water leakage due to refrigerant issues will seem similar to that of the dirty air filter.

Due to low refrigerant levels, the air conditioner is unable to remove the humidity for the air completely.

This leads to the freezing of the water on the evaporator coils. And so, when the water melts, it starts dripping from the ducts.

Now, this is something that you cannot fix by yourself. So, hire an HVAC professional once you identify the problem.

  • Broken Condensate Pump

If you have checked your house for all the above problems and still couldn’t locate the issue, then this is your last resort.

When you clean the drip pan in the condensate drain and notice that the water is still there, the problem could lie within the condensate pump.

Condensate pumps have a float switch that is used to turn it on when the water rises to a high level.

Float switches get stuck due to the buildup of dirt and limescale over time. If you manage to locate the switch, remove the buildup using bleach.

To find out whether the pump is broken, find the cable attached to the pump. Pull up the cable and check if it’s working.

If it isn’t, then it’s time you get a new pump. We recommend you hire an HVAC professional to swap the pump to avoid any mishaps.

How To Reduce Moisture In The Air Of Your Home?

water leaking from ductwork in attic

As you can see, the ultimate problem lies in the humidity and moisture in the air of your home.

So how do you reduce the moisture in the air? Instead of looking at short-term solutions, take the initiative to make permanent fixes. For example:

  • Use a hygrometer to understand the humidity level inside your house. The hygrometer compares two thermometers – one wet bulb and one dry bulb to find out the humidity. So, if you see that the level is higher than it should be, you know there is a problem.
  • Try to keep the humidifiers off during the day. Keep it on during the night so that it doesn’t put too much moisture in the air.
  • Install dehumidifiers where the condensation accumulates. This will result in less moisture buildup inside the ducts.
  • If there are any unused Air conditioner ducts, seal them off. You can either use plastic sheets or use foam board insulations to seal them off.
  • Fix any water leaks immediately, no matter how trivial it seems.
  • Always schedule maintenance checks to make sure up maintain the upkeep of your ventilation system. Maintenance checks will also ensure a professional clean-up of any dirt or clog build-up.

Final Words

Now that you know how you should deal with water dripping from your ductwork in the basement, it will be easier for you to deal with any upcoming problems.

You can take proper measures to prevent such issues.

You must keep up with the maintenance. This not only concerns the supply of fresh air in your home but may also cause severe damage to the internal structure of your home.

So, do not hesitate to call in a professional if you suspect any possible water damage.

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