Overflow switches—also called float switches and ceiling savers—measure when too much water from condensation has accumulated in air conditioner drip trays or overflow pans, and shuts off the unit. If there is no switch, water can eventually leak into a ceiling or down the side of the building. We carry switches that fit any air conditioner brand.

Water and Condensation Accumulation are Normal

It can be a little tricky for those of us who live in humid places to judge when there’s too much moisture coming from our air conditioners. It is normal to observe more steady dripping from the units when the humidity goes up.

Installing an overflow switch will take out a lot of the guesswork of knowing when there’s too much water coming from your unit. The switch trips the power off when the water level in the drip pan gets too high. You won’t be able to turn it back on until you reset the switch, which means viewing the drip pan to see if there’s a clog or some other problem that’s preventing normal drainage. It gives you an early warning that your air conditioner needs attention before there’s a flood.

Overflow switches free you from wondering if you should call for service each time the unit goes out. We think that’s an expensive way to live. A switch costs about the same amount as a normal service call.

We also think it’s a good idea for homeowners to understand how their air conditioner works. When we install an overflow switch, we will show you how it works, how to reset it, and explain how to know when it’s telling you that there is a problem that needs to be serviced by a professional.

Overflow Switches Can Prevent Indoor Flooding

We sometimes call overflow switches “ceiling savers” because in homes that have air conditioning evaporator coils and fans in an attic or upper floor, they do just that.

In these instances, the drip tray and a secondary drain are located there as well. If the tray overflows, the water has only one place to go: into your ceiling below. An overflow switch can be a huge, and inexpensive, way to prevent this from happening.

Luckily, overflow switches don’t care where your unit is located or how many drains it has. They will work regardless. At Mr. Duct Cleaner, we install switches on a daily basis, saving many homeowners the headache of dealing with water dripping through the ceiling sheetrock.

What Would Cause an Air Conditioner to Leak?

Problems in the drain line are often responsible for air conditioner leaks. Buildup of dirt, rust, mold, or algae in condensate lines aren’t too unusual. But humidity is particularly friendly to mold and algae, which can eventually block condensation from freely flowing through these narrow pipes.

Periodic, professional air conditioner cleaning for air conditioner parts removes these potentially destructive elements and will help extend the life of your unit.

Drains can suffer from wear and tear and develop holes or cracks over time, or become loose, allowing water to accumulate into the overflow pan.

If it has been installed incorrectly (we’ve seen this plenty of times) and isn’t draining properly, condensate will build up inside it and spill over. Pans can also become clogged with sludge that builds up over time. We’ve also seen backups caused by falling debris left over from roof repairs and insulation jobs.

If you have central air conditioning, you will find the filters on return registers located on walls or ceilings. They are usually in central common areas and not inside rooms with doors.

Changing filters is easy. Many people also find that clean filters lower their electric bills. Everyone likes to see that!

Substantial leaks from an air conditioner unit should always be checked out by a professional service. But why let it even progress this far? Let Mr. Duct Cleaner install an overflow switch to prevent any leak from entering your home at all.