AC Drain Line Clogged Again? Learn How to Detect, Fix and Prevent It

AC Drain Line

Did you know your air conditioner also functions as a de-humidifier? 

It removes a lot of moisture from the air inside your home during the sultry summer days.

Ever wondered where the water from the humid air is accumulated?

Typically, it gets collected in your air handler's condensate drip unit where it goes into a drain tube that goes all the way outside your house.

This tube can become clogged over time, and that can lead to water pollution.

It can also restrict your air conditioner to pump cold air.

This can even damage your HVAC system.

If you don’t want to call an air conditioner repair company near you, then you’ll need to figure out how to detect a clogged AC drain line.

Finding the Clog in Your HVAC Unit

When your drain line clogs up, then further action depends on your air handler's features or capabilities. 

Many modern air handlers can detect when the drip pan is full and they respond by shutting them off. 

If you’re using a high-end sophisticated model, then they can even send a text message or email when such an incident happens. 

While this is an inconvenience, it's certainly better than the pan overflowing.

If your air handler doesn't have this feature, then you will not notice the problem until you see wastewater dripping through your ceiling or the vent. 

This surely means that the drip pan has overflowed, and shutting down the air conditioner immediately is necessary.

3 Ways to Detect Clogged Drains in Your AC

1. Standing Water

Standing water is a sign that indicates there is something wrong with your air conditioner.

Once you find the source of the water, it is time to call a professional to take care of the problem.

2. Foul Smell

A moldy smell can sometimes be the sign that your air conditioner needs a deep clean rather than just a simple repair.

That said, not every moldy smell is the reason behind it.

But if you smell a foul odour in your house, then something is definitely wrong with the central air system.

3. Water Spots

You may notice some water spots around the unit, near the fan or on the floor.

If you do, call a professional right away.

#ProTip
Maintaining your A/C unit is not a DIY task at all times.
Certain issues may need a professional’s help.

How do I Fix the Drain Clog?

Clearing a drain line clog requires equipment, notably a wet/dry vacuum and possibly an air compressor.

If your air handler is located in your attic, you’ll need to find your way there, possibly in a small tight space.

If you’re unable to fit through the space or find it difficult to follow, then you should definitely leave the job to an HVAC expert - it's a quick emergency repair.

7 Steps to Fix the AC Drain Clog

If you’re keen on doing it on your own, here’s what you need to do.

  1. Locate the air handler's condensate drip pan, which is usually at the bottom of the unit. 
  2. Carefully slide the pan out, which may be full at the brim, so be careful. 
  3. Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove the water.
  4. Remove the pan and wash it in hot, soapy solution to remove waste accumulation.
  5. Try to clean the drain line with suction pump or air pressure (positive). You can try vacuuming the line from both ends, but you might find it difficult with a vacuum hose.
  6. Alternatively, use an air compressor to blast air into the air handler's end of the drain tube, in the hopes of blowing the clog out the other end.
  7. Once the drain line is fully clear, use a funnel to pour white vinegar through it. A gallon of it would do the job. 

This will kill any remaining mold or algae and help in reducing the future probability of causing a clog.

3 Ways to Prevent Clogged AC Drains

1. Clean Regularly

One of the best things to prevent clogging is cleaning regularly.

You can keep a track once every year.

Regular cleaning can be performed by a local professional near you.

2. Use High-quality Air Filters

Although you may find cheap alternatives for the air filters, they may not be the best for your air conditioner.

High-quality air filters can surely help fight and prevent drain clogs and keep the dust particles away from the elevator coils.

3. Call a Pro

Same Day Pros lets you locate home service professionals, ac repair near you, in your neighborhood.

They will take care of everything including your weekly routine cleaning job or a yearly deep cleaning job.

Follow Same Day Pros on their social handles - Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for tips, tricks and hacks.