How do you know if your AC drain line is clogged? Simple: you see water where it shouldn’t be. One of the most obvious signs is a puddle of water in your AC’s drain pan, which proves the water isn’t draining as it should. Other signs include standing water near your air conditioner, a moldy smell, or water damage around the unit or on the floor.
A clogged AC drain line is no joke because it can cause extensive water damage to your home, including mold and weakening your structural foundation. Therefore, if you think your AC drain line is clogged, follow the tips below to see if you can fix it yourself. If you can’t fix it, or if you’re too nervous to try, no problem! Give our team at Ambient Edge a call at (888) 240-8283, and we’ll be glad to take a look.
What Does an AC Drain Line Do?
When your air conditioner is on, it reduces the humidity in the room by pulling the moisture out of the indoor air. As it collects this moisture, the water drips into the condensate pan. From there, the water is supposed to travel down the drain line, or condensate drain. If a clog occurs, the water will back up and potentially cause damage to your air conditioner.
Causes of Clogs in AC Drain Lines
How does an AC drain line get clogged anyway? Especially when all it does is pump out cold air all day?
Essentially, when moisture drips off of the AC’s evaporator coil, it can bring along with it any dirt or debris it picks up on its way down the drain. If enough dirt and debris pass through, over time the air conditioner’s drain line can develop a clog.
Unclogging the AC Drain Line
The good news is that you should be able to unclog your AC’s drain line in as little as five minutes – as long as you have a wet/dry vac. All you need to do is turn off your air conditioner (if it didn’t already turn off as a safety measure), find the drain line’s access and runoff, and remove the clog.
Your air conditioner’s access looks like a vertical PVC pipe with a cap on it and should be near the indoor air handler. The runoff, on the other hand, is another PVC unit, but this one is located near the AC’s outdoor unit.
To remove the clog, wrap a towel or duct tape around the mouth of your wet/dry vac to create a seal. Then, attach the vacuum’s hose to the end of the drain line. Run the vacuum for one to two minutes, and the clog should come right out. (You’ll know you were successful if you start to see a steady stream of brown water pouring out.)
If You Don’t Have a Wet/Dry Vac
If you don’t have a wet/dry vac, another method you can try to unclog your AC’s drain line involves substituting your garden hose for a wet/dry vac’s hose.
Simply attach the garden hose to the AC’s condensate drain, then turn the hose up high for five seconds. Do this a few times, and the clog should eventually loosen. If not, then you’ll need a professional to come and take a look.
How to Prevent Future Clogs
Preventing future clogs in your AC’s drain line is even simpler than clearing the line yourself. To prevent future clogs, all you need to do is pour a cup of bleach down the condensate drain from the inside each spring. That way, mildew and algae won’t be able to grow at all, and when you need your air conditioner to work at full capacity in the coming months, it will be able to do just that without issue.
Also, be sure to use, clean, and replace when necessary high-quality air filters. Air filters trap dirt and debris and prevent it from forming a clog. When air filters are dirty, they cannot do their jobs as effectively, or at all. Change your filters more often if you have pets, allergies, or if someone in the home is a smoker.
If Your AC Drain Line Won’t Unclog, Ambient Edge Can Help!
Sometimes an AC drain’s clog is just too big to get out by yourself. If you’re going through a similar situation, give Ambient Edge a call. We have decades of experience working with every make and model of HVAC system, and clogs are one of our specialties!
No job is too small for Ambient Edge, and we offer all our customers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all our parts and labor. So, if your AC drain line is acting stubborn, just drop us a line on our website or give us a call at (888) 240-8283, and we’ll be glad to take a look!