This blog article discusses when a furnace leaks water and how it can affect your home and family. Find out the signs to watch for, the types of damage caused by leaks, and what you can do to fix those leaks.

What is a Furnace Leak?

A furnace leak is when water seeps out of the furnace, often unnoticed, until it causes a problem. If you see water spewing from your furnace, turn off the power to the unit and call a professional. Leaks can cause severe damage to your home, including structural failure and fire.

What types of leaks, weep holes, shaft seal leaks, etc.?

There are many different types of leaks in furnaces, and each one can be dangerous to your home and family. Here are four types of leaks: weep holes, shaft seal leaks, condensation leaks, and water hammers. Weep holes occur when the furnace blower motor pulls cool air from the furnace into the furnace itself. This can freeze onto the heat exchanger fins and cause them to break, which then allows warm air to escape through the weep hole.

Shaft seal leaks occur when the furnace coolant tube around the blower motor slips off its pin, allowing coolant to leak out. Condensation leaks occur when moisture builds up on the heat exchanger fins due to cold air entering the furnace and then leaving again. This water can freeze and crack the fins, leading to water hammering (a sudden high-pressure stream of water that can damage walls, ceilings, and appliances). A water hammer occurs quickly when large amounts of water are forced through a small opening.

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How can I fix the leak?

If you are experiencing a water leak from your furnace, there are a few things that you can do to try and fix the issue. If the leak is small, you may be able to fix it without help. However, if the leak is more significant or if it is causing water damage to your home or family, you will need to call a professional. Here are some tips on how to fix a furnace leak: 

  • Check if the furnace’s hose connection is plugged or kinked.
  • Check for loose screws or bolts that may be causing the leak.
  • Pour a bucket of cold water onto the furnace blower wheel and turn it on. If the leak is located near the blower wheel, this should stop the leak.
  • If the leak is not located near the blower wheel, use a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to suck up any water around the leak. Make sure to clean out any debris sucked up in the process.
  • Call an experienced technician to come to inspect and repair your furnace if necessary.

Reasons Why My Home or Family May Be at Risk from a Leaking Furnace

Water leaking from a furnace can be dangerous to your home and family if not addressed quickly. Here are some reasons why your home may be at risk: 

  • If the water is hot, it can cause scalding injuries.
  • If the water is cold, it can freeze on contact and create dangerous ice dams.
  • If the water is acidic or contains chemicals, it can cause chemical burns or poisoning.
  • If the water comes in contact with electrical wires, it can create a dangerous electrical shock.