In the pipeline - DIY Plumbing Tip #19 - Water Leaks -  Leaks from Air Conditioning Units

November 25 2014

​Heavy rain and storms moved four three Metropolitan Melbourne on Monday, 24 November and and resulted in water leaking into numerous properties. The common causes of leaks included blocked gutters, stormwater drain blockages, holes in roofs and poor quality/non-compliant workmanship. The following is a list of the most common non-compliant cause of water leaks into properties.

1. The overflow pipe from an air-conditioning unit is connected into a rainwater downpipe. The end result of this non-compliant work is that water backflows up the overflow pipe and leaks out of the air-conditioning terminal inside the property.

2. Bitumen paint used to seal up roof tiles and other metal types. This quick repair technique is at best poor and the leaking roof is rarely fixed and this technique usually accelerates rust.

3. Roof patches using plastic bags or sheet plastic. This commonly used quick repair process fails due to wind and UV exposure and result is property damage and further repair costs.

4. Stormwater drains connected into the sewer system. The end result of illegally connecting stormwater into the sewer it is that you get sewage overflows during heavy rain and the associated environmental problems.

Case study:

-Our emergency plumber attended a block of flats in Glenhuntly Road Elsternwick on Monday 24th  To investigate report of water leaking out of an air-conditioning unit. The plumber found the cause of the problem to be a blocked downpipe and a non-compliant overflow pipe connection from the air-conditioning unit. When the downpipe blocked the result was that the air-conditioning unit became the lowest overflow point. Unfortunately for the client we expect the extensive water damage will be not insurance claimable choose a non-compliant work.

-Our leak detection next that recently attended a unit in Oakleigh that had been flooded. The problem was found to be about burst pipe connection for the upstairs basin. This flexible connector/burst pipe was found to be non-compliant and did not meet Australian standards and we expect that the extensive water damage over two levels will not be claimable.

-We attended a medical centre in the Melbourne suburb of Armadale late on Monday afternoon to find and fix the cause of flooding into an upper story consulting suite. Our roof repairs specialist found that the problem was caused by a blocked box gutter, with a round takeaway container lodged in the gutter outlet providing a near-perfect plug.  He cleaned the blocked gutter and was surprised to see that the overflow lines from the air-conditioning units on the roof had been allowed to discharge directly onto the roof sheets. This had caused rusting of the roof sheets and we have provided a fixed price for a permanent repair solution to this non-compliant work.


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