While it’s a simple problem to fix, a clogged condensate drain line can lead to a variety of serious problems if not taken care of properly. When the water that collects in your drain pan cannot flow outside your home through the drain pipe, it can compromise the overall efficiency of your AC and may even cause water damage in your home. Here’s more about diagnosing an AC drain line clog and how you can unclog it.
Signs Your AC Condensate Drain Line Is Clogged
Your drain line is responsible for collecting excess condensation that builds up on your evaporator coil. To remove heat from your home, your AC passes a hot vapor across a cool evaporator coil, which results in condensation. As moisture builds up on your evaporator coil, it drips down into the drain pipe.
Typically, there may be an inch or so of water in your drain pan that is constantly flowing outside your home through the drain pipe. If you look at your drain pan and notice that water is not flowing out of it, or that it is overflowing, you likely have a clog. Algae and bacteria can build up in your drain pipe when not properly maintained causing these common types of clogs.
How to Unclog an AC Drain Line in 6 Steps
Unclogging a drain line is a relatively simple task that many homeowners decide to handle without consulting a professional. However, if you aren’t comfortable taking on the challenge, a professional AC technician from Colman Air is happy to help!
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Here’s how you can unclog your AC drain pipe in six simple steps.
Step 1. Turn off the AC unit. Be sure to do this from the power source, not just from the thermostat.
Step 2. Remove the water. Empty the drain pan and the drain pipe using a wet/dry shop vacuum, or a method of your choice.
Step 3. Clear the debris. Remove any debris that is built up around the drain, where the pan feeds water into the drain pipe. Go outside to see if anything is blocking the end of drainpipe and make sure it’s all clear.
Step 4. Clear internal clogs. There may be debris built up inside the drainpipe, which you might not be able to reach with your hand. Twist off the cap from the top of the drainpipe and use a wire brush to clear the blockage.
Step 5. Sterilize the pipe. Once the drain pipe is clear, pour a cup of bleach or vinegar into the drain pan and another down the top of the pipe. This will help get rid of any debris you couldn’t get to and will prevent algae and bacteria growth in the future.
Step 6. Turn the Power Back on. Secure the cap back on the drain pipe and turn your AC back on. If this doesn’t get rid of the problem, contact a professional HVAC company.
For less serious clogs, you may want to begin by running a garden hose through the top of the drain pipe, or by using a long plumbing snake to see if either of these methods take care of the issue first.
Algae and bacteria can build up in your drainpipe when not properly maintained, learn how to check for a clogged drain and how to unclog it in this infographic below.
Prevent AC Drain Line Clogs With Preventive Maintenance
Any time your drain line becomes clogged, the problem could likely have been avoided with regular maintenance. To keep your AC running its best and avoiding costly damage that can result from common issues, clogged drain line included, regular preventative maintenance is a must! At Colman Heating & Air, our team of professionals provides quality maintenance service to keep your AC running smoothly all year long. Become a Planned Maintenance Customer today!