AC Drain

Clogged Air Conditioner Drain, What to do?

All about Air Conditioning Drain Clogging, how it happened and what to do

Tom Powers
Denver, Colorado
Your air conditioning system not only eliminates heat from your home, but it also gets rid of humidity too.

During the sticky days of the summer season, it can take a lot of moisture from your indoor air– and all that water needs to go someplace. Preferably, it collects in your air handler’s condensate drip pan, where it flows into a drain tube that leads outside your home. But this tube can become obstructed in time, which can cause water damage.

How Do Clogs Form?

The water that collects in your air handler’s condensate pan includes microscopic bacteria and other tiny particles from the air. As it drips through the drain line, the water leaves a residue that can develop to form algae, mold as well as wet clumps of dust and dirt.

Considering that the drain line leads to the outdoors, it’s also possible that blockages can form from that end, too. If the drain line exits in an unusually dirty location, it could be obstructed with a dirt clod. And if you haven’t used your a/c unit in a while, it’s possible that pests have constructed a nest in the opening.

How Do I Know if I Have a Clog?

When your drain line clogs up, precisely what occurs next depends upon your air handler’s functions. Numerous modern-day air handlers can detect when the drip pan is too full and respond by shutting down. The most sophisticated designs can even send out a text message or email when this occurs. While this is a hassle, it’s much better than the drip pan overruning.

If your air handler does not have this function, you may not discover an issue until you see water leaking through your ceiling or out of your vents. This suggests that the drip pan has actually currently overflowed, and you must shut down your a/c unit immediately.

How Do I Clear a Drain Line Clog?

Cleaning a drain line needs specific equipment, especially a wet/dry shop vac and potentially an air compressor. If your air handler lies in your attic, it will likewise require developing there, perhaps in a tight space. If you’re unable to do this or do not have the equipment, you should leave this job approximately an HVAC specialist– it’s a quick emergency repair work.

If you want to try clearing it yourself, you have to start by locating your air handler’s condensate drip pan, which is typically at the bottom of the system. Thoroughly move the work out (it may be complete to the brim) and utilize a wet/dry vac to remove the water. Remove the pan entirely and clean it in hot, soapy water to eliminate any buildup.

Next, aim to clear the drain line with suction or favorable atmospheric pressure. You can try vacuuming the border from either end, but the obstacle will remain in creating a tight seal around the vacuum hose pipe. You might need to experiment with various attachments or improvise by wrapping a rag around an accessory. Vacuuming will be more efficient if you have a partner plug up the other end of the line.

Additionally, you can utilize an air compressor to blast air into the air handler’s end of the drain tube, in the hopes of blowing the clog out the other end.

Once the drain line is clear, utilize a funnel to pour a gallon of white vinegar through television gradually. This will assist kill any remaining mold and algae and can help reduce the danger of future clogging.

Clearing out a drain line isn’t a DIY job for each homeowner, however, when it needs to be done, it needs to be done immediately. If you require help, call your local One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning without delay.