It can be alarming for a Calgary homeowner to wake up to a furnace that’s leaking water but the good news is that there is usually a simple explanation.
Most of the time, your furnace goes unnoticed, chugging happily along heating your home and all is good with the world. Then, bang! Puddles of water on the floor.
Top Article: What to do if your furnace stops working
Depending on the type of furnace you have, most problems stem from issues with the condensate line, condensate pump, vent/exhaust pipe or humidifier. You might also have a clogged floor drain or an issue with the heat exchanger.
Regular maintenance of your furnace will make this far less likely, but if you do have a leak problem, it needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
There are several troubleshooting steps you can take to identify the cause of the leak but firstly…
Turn off your furnace and call Alpha Plumbing
The first thing to do if you discover a leaking furnace is to turn it off. You need to stop the source of the water to prevent water damage in your home.
This generally involves three actions:
- Set the thermostat to OFF
- Turn off the shut-off valve on the gas line connected to your furnace
- Turn off the electrical breakers to your furnace
You should then take evasive action by mopping the floor. For more serious problems, you can rent a wet/dry vacuum from a major hardware store. Try to get all the water up to prevent damage to your home.
Different types of furnaces can leak water
Gas furnaces can be high-efficiency (condensing) or standard-efficiency (conventional). How do you know which type is installed in your home?
Most times, it’s a simple case of examining the vent or exhaust pipe of your furnace. If the pipe is white plastic (PVC), your furnace is a high-efficiency model. If it is metal, it is a standard-efficiency furnace.
High-efficiency furnaces have an AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating of 90 percent or higher. They also have a cool exhaust and produce condensation.
Why is my furnace leaking water in the first place?
If you have a high-efficiency furnace with leaking water, the first place that a technician will likely look is the condensation system. That is the most common cause of furnace leaks in Calgary homes.
Following is a little more detail about this and other causes of water leaks in furnaces…
The heat exchange process that produces warmth for your home in high-efficiency gas furnaces creates condensation.
This condensation normally drains out via the condensate line and drain trap but a clog or fault in either can produce a leak and pooling water around the base of the furnace.
What should you do if you notice a leak?
After turning your furnace off (see the steps above), you can try to troubleshoot a few water leakage issues yourself before calling a technician at Alpha Plumbing to properly diagnose and fix the problem.
After clearing up the water, check the air filter. If it has not been changed in a while (more than 90 days), it may be clogged and need changing. This is simple enough to buy and install.
If you can find out where the leak is coming from, you can tell the technician over the phone when you call and this will provide some clues to the source of the problem.
Hiring a professional for furnace repairs
Don’t try to repair a leak in your furnace if a simple fix like changing the air filters doesn’t help.
Furnace repairs are not a DIY job. Call the professionals at Alpha Plumbing, who are experienced at troubleshooting and fixing furnace problems.
A qualified technician will come out to diagnose the cause of the leak and, if repairs are required, let you know the costs and any new parts required.
Need help with maintaining or repairing your furnace?
Your furnace is central to your home and the comfort and health of your family.