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Air Conditioner Drain Line Clogged

Techcool | Last Updated: December 12, 2020

air conditioner drain line clogged

Comfort is what you seek every time you turn your air conditioner on. You always expect your unit to give you a satisfying rest time, and you would do anything to take care of it.

AC units require maintenance for some essential reasons. One reason why you should be checking your unit regularly is to make sure that it does not have a clogged drain line. Once it has its drain line clogged, it would not perform efficiently the way you expect it to be.

Read along to find out information regarding your air conditioner drain line clogged.

Sign the AC drain line is clogged

There are many variables that can obscure the drain line of your unit. Some of these are dirt, dust, mold and other possible traps that can go along with moisture or a damp line. Once these variables have accumulated, they will block the drain line causing malfunctions in your system, such as a blockage. 

One preventive measure that you need to have to clear the debris found on the AC condensate drain. This measure is commonly done during the annual maintenance tune-up. If you failed to tune-up your unit, you could possibly experience this clogging problem.

In case you are at a loss what a clogged drain can give you, take a look at the following signs.

  • Moldy smell on your unit or in the air register of your vent.
  • Water lingering near your indoor unit.
  • Water damage near your indoor unit.
  • AC unit is not cooling your room.
  • AC unit does turn on, or it automatically shuts down.

If you encounter any of the situations above, it is time to reach for an HVAC professional who can clear your clogged drain line.

What to expect from your HVAC technician

When your technician arrives, you can expect the following procedure.

Turn off the air conditioning unit

The first step your technician will do is turn off your system even if it is not turning on. This is to ensure that there is no power lingering on the unit and for the system's protection.

Examine the drain pan

The second step is locating the drain pan and checking it for any standing water. If there is water standing, it will be removed using rags or wet vac. The water should be removed, and both ways are effective.

Your condensate pan should be dried thoroughly to prevent the mold from growing. Molds love damp places, and your AC unit could be one of their potential habitats.

Unclog the drain line

This is the step where the blockage needs to be removed. The drain line itself and opening as well need to be checked and ensured that both are cleared.

Your technician will use suction or wet vac to vacuum the debris on your unit. Otherwise, a garden hose or a plumber snake is an alternative tool to clean the clogged line.

If the step is successful, they would see a dark mass suctioned from the drain line. Following this, they would also check the vacuum, and the line should be cleared using water.

The flow on the line should be normal unless there is still blockage on the line. If the flow is still slow, they will most likely repeat this step.

Clean the drain line

Once the line is cleared, the technician will still perform a thorough cleaning on the drain pipe using the appropriate cleaner designed for PVC piping.

If you would like to know the process, the technician would show you how to do it by pouring a cup of a mild cleansing agent such as distilled vinegar. This is for you to clean your drain line occasionally.

Finish up

Once the drain line has been cleared and it went well during testing, it is time to reassemble your unit or reinstall some parts they removed before cleaning it. The technician will also restore your system's power and check everything to make sure that your unit is functioning properly.

Find an air conditioner service professional near you!

If you worry too much about your unit and feel that it really needs a professional check, do not hesitate to call a technician. HVAC professionals offer the expertise of cleaning and properly diagnosing your air conditioning unit.


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