Jun 18, 2018

Your AC drain line, otherwise known as a condensate drain line, is responsible for draining moisture that collects near your air conditioner’s evaporator coil. When you experience a clogged condensate drain line, your air conditioner is more likely to freeze internally due to moisture build-up and will struggle to deliver cool air to your home. Since AC drain lines are essential to your AC’s health, it’s important you know how to tell if your line is clogged and the steps to fix it.

How Can I Tell If My AC Drain Line Is Clogged? 

Some newer HVAC units have sensors that will alert you if your AC drain line is clogged, ensuring you can fix the problem before there’s any water damage. When your unit isn’t equipped with this technology, you’ll know the AC drain line is clogged if you notice that your drain pan is full of water. Make it a habit to check your drain pan whenever you change the filter, so you can catch any issues right away.

Why Is My AC Drain Line Clogged?

The AC condensate drain line removes the water released when the evaporator in your AC unit converts refrigerant from a liquid to a gas. Over time, algae and other muck can build up. This build-up may lead to an AC drain line clog if you don’t maintain your AC unit regularly.

How Do I Fix a Clogged AC Drain Line?

Luckily, unclogging and cleaning the AC drain line is easy to do with tools you probably already have in your cleaning closet. Below you can find the main materials and steps required to unclog a condensate drain line:

The Materials You Need to Unclog an AC Drain Line

If you want to unclog an AC drain line, you’ll need the right materials. Before you try to fix a clogged AC drain line, make sure you have these materials:

  • A stiff, thin wire brush
  • A wet/dry vacuum
  • Duct tape
  • Bleach
  • Rubber gloves

10 Easy Steps to Follow When Unclogging Your AC Drain Line

With your materials ready, you can begin the unclogging process. Check out the ten steps for fixing a clogged condensate drain line below:

  1. Turn off the power to your HVAC unit. You should always turn off your HVAC before you clean it.
  2. Find your AC drain line. Most AC drain lines are located outside, near the condenser unit.
  3. Push the stiff, thin brush into the end of the drain line. This brush can help you clear any clogs located near the end of the drain line. In most cases, the AC drain line clog will occur farther down, and you’ll need to do a little more work.
  4. Attach the end of your wet/dry vacuum to the end of the AC drain line. Seal it securely using duct tape. Turn the vacuum on to suck out any debris and hopefully clear your clog.
  5. After you’ve run the vacuum for about a minute, remove the wet/dry vac and head indoors. If the drain pan is full, vacuum it out and clean it with soap.
  6. Locate the vent tee. Your vent tee is a pipe fitting that connects your AC drain line to the drainage tray. Remove the PVC cap from the top of the vent tee.
  7. Poke that stiff, thin wire brush through the vent tee to clean out any easily reachable AC drain line clogs.
  8. Put on your gloves, and pour a mixture of one cup bleach and one cup water into the top of the drain pipe. (Make sure you follow safety guidelines for working with bleach.) Wait thirty minutes.
  9. Have a helper stand outside and watch to see if water drains out of the AC drain line. Working alone? Place a bucket at the end of the drain line to see if you’ve cleared the AC drain line clog.
  10. Pour water into the vent tee, and head outside to see if it made it all the way through the AC drain line. If it has, great! You’re done cleaning the AC drain line, and you’ve cleared up the clog!

Turn to Newcomb and Company for Clogged AC Drain Line Service in Raleigh

If the steps above don’t help when your AC drain line is clogged, then it’s time to call in the big guns. The technicians at Newcomb and Company can clear your clogged AC drain line and make sure you don’t have any other issues causing your AC unit to malfunction. You can also sign up for a comfort contract to have an HVAC professional regularly inspect your HVAC unit and catch issues early, lowering the risk you have to deal with a clogged AC drain ever again.

Find out more about our HVAC repair services today. If you have any questions or are ready to schedule service, please contact us.

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