How Can I Tell If My Heat Pump Is Leaking?

If your heat pump is running and you’re noticing water at the bottom of the unit or around the unit that you haven’t noticed previously, it is easy to think the worst and assume that your heat pump has sprung a mechanical leak. Before calling your heat pump manufacturer for a warranty claim or a service agent if outside of warranty, the first thing to check is whether your heat pump is leaking pool water or is it condensation?

All heat pumps create condensation when water in the air condenses on the fins of the evaporator (technical definition for the technical folk) For the rest of us, water from the air builds up on the strip metal bits which then runs down the back of the heat pump onto a condensation tray. The tray will normally have an opening to fit a factory supplied drain barb or hose to direct the water away from the heater. As warmer weather approaches, if you are in a humid climate, your heat pump can produce several litres of condensate (water) per hour. More than enough to hit the panic button when you see a pool of water around your heater.

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The next step is to figure out if it is condensation or if your heater is indeed donating pool water from a mechanical leak. The easiest way is to grab a 4 in 1 test kit from your pool shop ($10) and put a chlorine test strip into the water pooling around your heat pump. If it tests positive for chlorine, it is a surefire indication your heat pump has a mechanical leak. If the water tests negative for chlorine, pull out the party poppers and put away your wallet - it is condensation which is perfectly normal. 

If there’s more condensation than usual, check the condensation tray at the bottom of the unit to make sure the drain hose hasn’t dislodged or the drain barb hasn’t blocked. Aside from an increase in humidity, they are the two most common culprits.

Rohan Taylor
About The Author

Rohan Taylor

My wife and I grew up playing in swimming pools. Our daughters learnt to swim in our backyard fibreglass swimming pool. There is nothing quite like hearing kids splashing about and giggling. As pools do, our pool became a social magnet for friends, family and neighbours which we loved. Helping customers to have their own pool and saving customers thousands on their pool and equipment is the best job in the world.

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