Can I Pour Hot Water On Frozen Air Conditioner? (With Watch Outs!)

Is your air conditioner frozen? What could be the problem, and can you solve it? Usually, you rely on your air conditioner to make your home comfortable to stay in. However, you need to check for defaults and do the necessary maintenance regularly for it to work properly. Regardless of doing this, your air conditioner might still not work as you expect it, and it can freeze up. What happens in this case? Can I pour hot water on a frozen air conditioner to restore it to normal working condition?

The shortest answer is “Yes.” Pouring hot water on your frozen air conditioner will help it to melt. The ice will melt faster in the heated water. In fact, defrosting the ice does not require excessively hot water; Even warm or running water can work. Pouring hot water on a frozen air conditioner unit is generally safe to defrost frozen coils. Turning on the air conditioner’s “defrost” mode is another safe technique to defrost it.

Read on to learn more about the best way to use water to defrost a frozen air conditioning unit!

Why your air conditioner freezes

Before you get a solution to your frozen air conditioner, it’s wise to understand the root cause of this problem. Your air conditioner can freeze because of dirty filters, which prevents it from working normally. The dirt accumulation will interfere with airflow in the unit and result in freezing. 

It can also result from low refrigerant levels, which makes the air conditioner cooler than it should and, in the end, makes the evaporator coils freeze. Additionally, this problem can come if you use exterior air conditioner units like a window instead of central air. When the weather changes, especially in the fall, your air conditioner is likely to freeze.  Be careful not to run your AC while frozen.  This could overheat your unit.  

air conditioning units outside of building with landscaping

What does having frozen air conditioner imply?

If your air conditioner is frozen, its outdoor unit has ice accumulation that it can’t melt. In winter, this is a common problem where you use your air conditioner in heat mode, and the pump freezes. But ACs have the inbuilt defrost mode, which produces hot air outside while cooling the rooms

But when this happens in summer, it signifies that the evaporator coils are frozen, which can result from low refrigerant levels or low temperature of the coolant. 

How can I tell when my AC is frozen?

Even though you might see ice around the AC’s coils in obvious cases, it may not be the same in some situations. For example, sometimes, a frozen AC will produce a bubbling or hissing sound or water leakage. 

Be sure to check for ice around the evaporator coil and the refrigerant lines, which is at the part of the unit that is indoors.  The fan could be working, but air will not pass through the ice until it melts.  The coil would freeze if the fan isn’t working. 

In addition, there can be ice outside your AC unit, a shoot in your electricity bill, or the AC not reaching the desired thermostat setting.  In some cases, your AC is frozen over, and the fan won’t turn on.  Ice can build up if the air filter is clogged.

If ice is starting to appear at the evaporator coil, the fan could stop working, and this would cause the coil to freeze. Replacing the air filter can solve the problem, but if the coil is frozen, it’s recommended to call a professional.

Can I pour hot water on a frozen air conditioner?

After understanding the cause of the frozen air conditioner, it’s time to solve the problem.  Will frozen AC fix itself?  Not likely, but let’s look into this common way of defrosting it. 

First, however, you need to understand that AC is an electrical machine that can be dangerous when you pour water on it. 

So, yes, you can pour hot water on a frozen air conditioner but after taking the necessary precautionary measures. This will prevent you from experiencing short circuits or even fire outbreaks, which can be hazardous. 

Here are some tips and precautions:

Can I pour hot water on a frozen air conditioner

Note that using hot water may not be effective when the amount of ice on the air conditioner is high. This will make you tired and spend a lot of time achieving this. For this reason, you can look for an alternative way to solve the problem, such as defrosting the unit.   

After how long will the hot water defrost the air conditioner?

How long does it take to thaw a frozen air conditioner? 

The time you’ll need to see the desired results varies with the amount of ice on the AC. The higher the frost, the longer it will take to clear, and vice versa. Some ACs can take 1 hour to defrost, while others require up to 24 hours when the ice accumulation is high. 

You should factor in that you’ll need to rest between the bouts of pouring the hot water. And if you’ve got a big air conditioner, you will spend more time pouring hot water to defrost it because of its size. But if there’s no hope of the ice thawing after doing all this, call your HVAC technician to find out what could be the problem. 

You May Also Like: How to Seal a Window Air Conditioner for the Winter – 6 Easy Steps

What to do to prevent your air conditioner from freezing

If you don’t want to experience this problem again, ensure you replace or clean the AC’s dirty filters. You can do it immediately after pouring the hot water to reduce the chances of having ice on your unit after turning it on.  

You can also look for better ways to defrost the AC to prevent the new filter from having moisture buildup. 

Read Also: Can I Run AC Without Filter – Learn From Experts

How Do I Know When the Air Conditioner Has Defrosted?

If your AC unit had ice buildup or was producing ice outside the unit after pouring hot water, this should stop.

Also, if it was producing a hissing sound while operating, there should be a difference after putting it on. The water leaking from your system should also stop, and you should see a difference in your electric bills after some time. 

How Long Before I Should Use My AC After Pouring Hot Water on It to Defrost?

If you carefully pour the hot water on the AC without splashing on other parts, you can use it immediately after the ice melts. But ensure there’s no water around that place to avoid getting electrocuted when connecting the air conditioner to the main switch.

Also, giving the AC unit time to thaw all the ice is advisable before using it again. This is because ice takes time to melt, and the remaining pieces of ice can leak water into the unit, which is not safe.  You can, in fact, turn the fan ON, and this will speed up the defrosting process. 

In severe cases, the heat can be turned on to get things moving.

Bottom Line

Although using hot water to defrost a frozen air conditioner is possible, you need to take utmost caution. This is because water on electronic components is risky and can cause you harm. Also, this method can be tiresome if a big air conditioner has a high ice buildup. 

To prevent yourself from researching how to fix frozen AC again, regularly change or clean the filter and check the refrigerant levels. Note that a frozen air conditioner can result in the whole unit spoiling if the problem is not well taken care of.

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Can you spray water on a frozen AC unit?

Yes, after taking the necessary precautions

Can you pour hot water on the frozen heat pump?

Yes, you can pour hot water on a frozen heat pump and even cold water from the water hose if your region isn’t too cold.

What to do if ice freezes in AC?

Shut off the unit and disconnect the power. You can pour water on the ice to unthaw.

Does turning the heat on help to unfreeze AC?

In severe cases, the heat can be turned on to get things moving. You can, in fact, turn the fan ON, and this will speed up the defrosting process.  

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