I bought this 6,000 BTU TCL AC unit last year out of the box. I noticed it leaking last year and didn't think anything of it. Now it is leaking again this year and I see a small hole in the bottom of the AC unit.

TCL says online that they shouldn't have a drain hole: https://support.tcl.com/ca-appliances-common-questions/my-window-air-conditioner-not-draining but it seems to be excessively leaking and dripping rust-colored water down the siding of my house.

Does this seem incorrect? Should I replace it?

Figure provided.

  • why would there be a hole, if it does not drain
    – Traveler
    Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 18:17
  • 1
    Because that's where baby air conditioners come from... Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 18:18
  • is there a rubber plug somewhere at the bottom of the unit
    – Traveler
    Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 18:18
  • Not to my knowledge. It just seemed strange that a brand new unit would have a perfectly circular hole in the bottom. Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 18:20
  • 2
    I'd get a pipe flange and a pipe to drain it past your siding. You don't want a male adapter screwed into the hole bc that could cause condensate to pool in the unit, which is why a pipe flange is better and more easily sealed. Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 18:27

1 Answer 1


Condensate is a reality of running an air conditioner. It will be created, and it has to go somewhere.

Air contains water. How much water it is possible to contain very sharply depends on its temperature. When you take hot air and cool it, it's common that the colder air simply cannot hold the moisture, and the condensate must fall out.

If it's humid enough to put condensate on the side of a glass of an iced drink, then it's happening inside the A/C too.

Portable A/C's have a bucket you must empty by hand every 2 hours.

So if yours doesn't have a bucket to empty, then - well, the only other option is to splash it onto the (hot) condenser and try to get it to evaporate. This unit appears to use that method.

But still, that method is not reliable under all conditions, so it still needs a condensate drain. It's not leaking, because this is an intended product.

  • Their website states, "There are no drain holes or plugs used to remove the water as was the case with older style window AC units." Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 18:23
  • 3
    @geo OK then, the bottle is full and overflowing. It has to go somewhere. I've heard of refrigerators splashing their condensate on their hot-side coils to evaporate it, but that has limits... it would be very easy for a window A/C to exceed those limits, at which point, again, the condensate has to go somewhere. Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 18:25
  • Okay that makes sense. Thank you! Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 18:28
  • 1
    @geo LOL I just read the link you provided. Yeah that's what they're doing, it has limits and hastens the demise of the condenser. "Make sure the unit is install properly, with a slight angle" lol language... yeah, that matters because the water pan has to be just right for the fan blades to hit it to splash water on the condenser. And the reason it's rusty is because water sits in the water pan 24x7. Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 18:34
  • So presumably it is angled too much and is running straight to the hole instead of sitting where the fan blades can hit it? Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 18:36

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