How to Unclog AC Drain Line in 7 Steps

An AC drain line’s job is to keep your home comfortable, and when it’s malfunctioning or clogged, it can lead to numerous issues.

It’s easier than you think to unclog your AC drain line. All you need is a couple of materials you likely have at home and a little patience.

Read on to find out the signs you most likely have a clogged condensate drain line, the causes of a clogged drain line, and how to unclog the drain condensate line.

Signs You Have a Clog in Your AC Condensate Drain Line

Air conditioning system shutting down

An air conditioning unit usually has a drip pain sensor, allowing it to shut the power off to the unit if there is an overflow in the drain pan.

If you happen to restart the AC, it will immediately shut off again. This is when you should have an HVAC technician check the problem out.

Water dripping into your home

When your AC drain lines get clogged, the water that is trapped can drip into your home and cause pooling water damage.

This can end up leading to warped floors and eventually causes issues with the foundation of your home.

Frozen cooling lines

If your AC drain line is clogged, it can cause your evaporator coils to freeze over. You can check if this is happening by inspecting your evaporator coils.

Wet walls

If you notice that your walls are wet or leaking, that’s a tell tale sign that your AC unit could have a clogged AC drain line.

Bacterial Growth

The condensate drain line drain pan is found under the coils and collects the moisture.

When the AC drain is clogged, it can create toxic bacterial growth, which leads to rot on the floor.

You may also notice a pungent stale odor, which is a clear indicator that your AC system needs to be looked over by a professional.

If you notice the smell before the physical damage, it’s one of the common signs you have a serious issue on your hands.

How to Unclog Your AC Drain Line

For a better explanation, you can check out the video below as well as our step by step instructions:

Step 1. Power off your AC system

For your safety, first power off your AC unit. Also, be sure to shut off your thermostat and your circuit breaker panel.

All power to the outlet and unit should be shut off when dealing with electricity.

Step 2. Find your AC unit’s drain pipe

Normally the drain pipe will be outside.

You can find it wherever the condenser unit is. However, if you’re in a building, you will find it in the same space the furnace is located in.

You can identify the drain pipe as it is a PVC pipe that has a plastic cap.

Step 3. Take off the cap from your pipe

Don’t worry, you don’t need a special tool. You just need to pull it off with your hands.

Step 4. See if there is debris in your drain

Check your drain line to see if there may be any debris that may have led to the blockage.

You may need a flashlight case it’s too dark to get a good look.

Step 5. Take out visible debris

Remove any debris you find. Very important though — try your best not to push the debris down any further. The debris could be anything causing sludge and build up like algae, small plants, fungus, mildew, and anything similar.

Step 6. Pour vinegar in the drain

After you remove the debris, pour one cup of distilled vinegar slowly down into the pipe.

Step 7. Put your drain cap back on

Wait about 30 minutes before you turn on your air conditioner.

Final Thoughts

Sure, the steps above sound simple enough to complete on your own. However, you still need to follow up with regular HVAC maintenance with a professional.

Having regular maintenance service on your air conditioner will improve the overall efficiency and dependability of your unit. Your energy bills will be a bit easier to handle with regular HVAC service, too.

About Heather Burdo

With almost a decade of experience with digital marketing, Heather Burdo has gained diverse experience across a multitude of industries. You can reach her at [email protected]

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