Here is why your Portable air conditioner fills with water quickly

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Why is my portable ac producing so much water?  Here’s the answer…read to the end if your portable air conditioner fills with water quickly

Does your portable friend accumulate plenty of water unusually quickly? Well, this article is all about the reasons why your portable air conditioner fills with water quickly and how to troubleshoot this issue.

First, is this a common problem? The quick answer is, in most cases, NO.

However, there’s no sense in pressing the panic button if your mobile air con fills with water every few hours and needs  constant emptying.

That’s because this can happen due to a variety of causes, some pretty simple in nature and easy to fix.

Below we bring you a checklist to help you determine why your portable AC is producing so much water and things to look for in trying to get rid of this annoying behavior.

Why is my portable AC filling up with water so fast

Why is my ac producing so much water and so quickly?

Well, it could be due:

  1. To high humidity conditions-nothing to do here but emptying it frequently

  2. Natural reasons-it could be dehumidifying the surroundings for the first time- this is for newly installed units (just give it time- it will stabilize)

  3. The weather- some areas tend to have extreme humidity throughout (for example, if you live near the sea)

  4. A fault- there’s a chance it could have a problem (I’ll tell you how to troubleshoot it below) 


Portable air conditioner fills with water quickly- troubleshooting guide including what to check if your small portable air conditioner fills with water quickly

For the benefit of starters, let’s get into the background of this first…

Now, most of the top-notch PACs are set to typically empty the water catching tray automatically thanks to the built-in self-evaporation technology.

This vital feature effectively helps the unit to vent any leftover moisture (after cooling) through the exhaust hose for evaporation eliminating the need for manual emptying of the product.

That said, this is not always the case and some standard and older models need emptying after a couple of hours, for example, 4-8 or so hours (this can vary depending on the size of the tank, the make you own, how high you’ve set it, etc.).

I should mention that this is a very essential task and prevents overflowing and possible mess.

Of course, many of these devices automatically shut off because of excessive water and won’t turn on again until you have manually dumped it.

This brings me to the juiciest part of our discussion: Why your portable air conditioner suddenly starts to fill with water much rapidly..


Why portable air conditioners fills with water quickly and what to do

If you’re wondering “why is my portable ac producing so much water”, you should know that a number of issues can cause this behavior:

Here is a lowdown of what could be causing this curious behavior

1.     High humidity level

Part of the air cooling process involves expelling humidity from the air and it’s normal for the pan to fill up fast since it’s working harder to cool the room.

In this case, even emptying once an hour is considered okay for some brands.

What to do

Nothing much is required of you here but patience.

Once the air indoors has been cooled enough, it ordinarily starts to collect less water because humidity has been regularized.

RELATED: How often do you have to drain a portable air conditioner [Frequency it needs to be done]


2.     It’s newly installed

There are models that collect more water if you’ve just installed it for the first time or after a while from last use and it might be the reason why your portable air conditioner fills with water quickly.

A perfect example is certain Haier portable air conditioners.

The reason is the unit has to dehumidify the entire surroundings initially – floor, ceiling, walls, and other materials indoors- even as it cools until the humidity in the environment comes down to regular levels.

What to do

Don’t fret- once it has finished dehumidifying all of this, there shall be a reduction of the number of times you have to empty it.

In fact, most of the concerned units will continuously evaporate the water from this point.

Meanwhile, closing the windows and doors in the space you’re running the unit brings down the square footage its covering and could be helpful.

In any case, your device will have more moisture to tackle if your living room is getting a continuous stream of humid air from outside.


3.     The weather of where you live could be to blame

Another common cause of having tons of water coming off your PAC is the weather.

Consequently, people who live in areas that suffer extreme humidity such as the Pacific Northwest get a lot of water collecting in the internal container too.

The reason?

It’s again overworking to keep your space habitable in warm and very humid conditions.

What to do

You need to keep emptying it regularly.

Question: What happens if you don’t drain your portable air conditioner? 

Well, a lot of bad things can happen: it is likely to stop functioning efficiently -mold will also grow due to the dampness not to forget water will start flooding everywhere.

In addition, a dehumidifier may be beneficial with such conditions particularly if the humidity is persistently real high.

Try to install one in the same room as the portable air con and see how things pan out.

At the same time, remove laundry if hanging everywhere as it may be making the house extra damp.

Any other standing water increases your home’s humidity, creating additional discomfort that makes the AC’s work even more difficult and it’s good to remove it.

Quick Tip: Make sure your all windows and the doors are closed properly and not leaking as well- one of the things that tend to cause a lot of water (excess moisture) are air leaks typically around your windows or doors.



4.     The AC is faulty (portable air conditioner not evaporating water)

The other possibility is your machine being faulty.

I know that this is not the news you wanted to hear but we all know that no man-made machine is flawless.

For instance, some makes are known to condense more water if the air filter gets dirty and grimy.

You see, due to the clogging, the airflow over your air con’s evaporator coil is blocked leading to the coil becoming super cold and to freeze.

The frozen coil starts to melt making water to drip into the evaporation container.

It will in the end cause it to fill up faster than you’re used to.

Additionally, the condensate water pump may not be working properly meaning that you have a non-stop draining chore in your hands.

What to do

Start be checking if there’s a clog somewhere in the hose (There even might be a mold build-up in the line)- you want to take that hose off and then run hot water (pour) through it.

Consider adding a solution of either bleach and water(or vinegar and water) to help the mess break down.

Also be sure to check the port for debris (the pipe where your house is connecting to the AC- clean any debris there too).

Moving on, the solution is easy if the cause of your woes is a problematic air filter: be sure to check and clean/replace it regularly (most manufacturers recommend cleaning/replacement after every 30-90 days).

We’re not sure that repairing the pump is DIY stuff and you may want to have a qualified technician look at your device.

Before that, consider calling the manufacturer/dealer directly if you’re still within the warranty period.


Why is my portable ac filling up with water so fast- Wrapping it up

Portable air cons perform an important function – they reduce warm muggy temperatures in your space and make blazing hot summer days a bit bearable.

You have just learned possible reasons why your portable air conditioner fills with water quickly and some workarounds.

Of course, you want to call in a professional for a better diagnosis if none of the suggested solutions work.

However, there’s no sense in incurring a huge repair bill – assuming you’re out of warranty- if replacing your machine costs less.


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7 thoughts on “Here is why your Portable air conditioner fills with water quickly”

  1. I think I know why I have to empty so much. I turn temp down to 68 degrees and it cools great but the coles freeze up then melt the manual said to start 75to 81 degrees

  2. I found that the drain holes (rows of little holes) between the chilled ‘radiator’ (?) and the warm ‘radiator’ (?) were blocked meaning the the condensation never really had a chance to evaporate into the airflow and filled up the water tray far quicker than it used to. My portable unit also has a pump system to cycle the water through this warm radiator from the drip tray below and due to the blockages it would just pump water up, suck it down, pump it up again, etc. Before I just saw a trickle of drips running down certain parts of the radiator, now it is a more even cascade of water over the warm piping. I am hoping that this will now evaporate more water in to the exhaust hose so that the unit can run for longer before filling up. Of course the 2 hot days a year we get in the UK have now passed so the aircon is no longer needed.

    • Hi,
      Did you find, what is the solution for this problem?
      My portable aircon all of a sudden started behaving the same and I have to empty the tray every 2 hours manually. It never required this manual water dumping for last 2 years. Would appreciate if you can please elaborate how to fix this issue. Thanks

  3. I end up with water streaming out the back vents all over my floor, what is going on should i return it it’s a Delonghi

  4. I have a delonghi model A 110 portable air conditioner . It says “No drip technology never empty a bucket . Excess condensation is efficiently re-used to cool the air”. But on the bottom back is a drain pipe. Why?????

  5. I have two Koolking ACs identical the portable tall unit. One I have never emptied the drip pan the other suddenly needs to be emptied every hour as the P1 alert comes on.


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