Can I Pour Hot Water On Frozen Air Conditioner?

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 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. It is generally safe to pour hot water on a frozen air conditioner unit to defrost frozen coils. Turning on the air conditioner’s “defrost” mode is another safe technique to defrost it.

Why Your Air Conditioner Can Freeze

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 by if you’re using exterior air conditioner units like a window instead of a central air. When weather changes, especially in the fall, your air conditioner is likely to freeze. 

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 on 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 ACs 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. 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

Can I Pour Hot Water on Frozen Air Conditioner?

After understanding the cause of the frozen air conditioner, it’s time to solve the problem. 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. 

To this, you need to:

  • First, you need to disconnect or switch off the main electricity source in the house before pouring water. Also, remove the cords in the splash zones.
  • Then ensure you pour the hot water on the ACs coil only. When doing this, be careful not to splash water anyhow. Instead, pour it in steady streams to help restore your AC while not interfering with its sensitive parts. 
  • Also, ensure the water you pour drains outside and don’t leave your house wet. When pouring the hot water, do it in intervals of 30 seconds and avoid pouring water before the ones you previously poured drains. 

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.   

After How Long Will the Hot Water Defrost the 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 AC’S 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 the 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 what could be the problem. 

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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. 

After How Long Should I 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, it’s advisable to give the AC unit time to thaw all the ice before using it again. This is because ice takes time to melt, and the remaining pieces of ice can leak water on the unit, which is not safe. 

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 there’s a high ice buildup on a big air conditioner. 

To prevent such a problem from recurring, 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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