Having your AC unit pumping cold air during the hot summer months is a welcome relief. To ensure that your air conditioner functions at optimum capacity during these sweltering months, keep your unit in perfect condition through regular maintenance. One of the ways to ensure that your unit remains in good condition is to unclog your AC drain line regularly.
Your AC drain line plays a critical role in the operation of your air conditioner. Without the drain line, your AC unit would not be able to expel any excess water that may build up due to condensation. A clogged AC drain line will result in an overflow of water in the drain pan, which may damage your air conditioner or start leaking.
Wet clumps of dust or dirt can form in the outdoor end of your unit’s drain line. Your AC unit’s drain line is also an excellent breeding ground for mold and mildew to thrive. Without routine maintenance, algae, bacteria, and sludge will build up within the drain line, which will eventually clog the line, making your AC system less efficient.
Some indicators that a drain might be clogged include:
- Constantly full condensate pan
- Moldy and musty smell
- AC unit dripping water
- AC system doesn’t turn on or shut down
- Desired temperature isn’t achieved
Keeping the drain line clean ensures that your air conditioner doesn’t suffer from any undue strain and maintains its performance at optimal. Fortunately, the process of unclogging an AC drain line is not overly complicated to accomplish. It is very simple and fast.
Follow these 7 steps listed below to unclog your AC drain line:
1. Power Off the AC Unit
When unclogging the AC drain line, it is essential to ensure that the AC is off. This is to protect you and your unit from additional further damage.
2. Check the Drain Pan
Before you start unclogging the drain line, check the drain pan to ensure it is empty. If the pan is not empty, you can use a wet vacuum to clean it or a rag to wipe out any excess water buildup. It’s important to thoroughly clean the drain pan to prevent mold, mildew, and bacteria from forming within the pan. Please do not remove the drain pan from its place.
3. Locate the Drain Line
The drain line is usually an inch-long PVC pipe. Follow this pipe to the end, which drains water from the AC unit. The PVC pipe path should be your AC unit’s drain line. The section of your AC unit’s drain line outside the house should be merged with the wall adjacent to the condenser unit.
4. Locate the Access Point and Remove the Cap
Outside the house, where your AC unit’s drain line is located, you will find an access point with a cap over it. The access point can be opened and closed via the screw-on cap. The cap is usually made of plastic or metal with a rubber lining.
Manually remove the cap using your hands and inspect the interior of the AC drain line. If needed, you can use a flashlight to look into the AC drain line. Examine the interior for any clogs that may be causing the blockage.
5. Remove Any Visible Debris
If you happen to see any pieces of debris, use a long, thin wire to dislodge the debris carefully. Be careful to slowly and gently loosen any obstruction, so you don’t further push it down the AC drain line.
After manually removing any visible debris from the AC drain line, you can use a wet or dry vacuum to suck out any remaining debris. Alternatively, you can use a plumber’s snake or garden hose to remove the clog. If successful, you should find a wet, dark clog suctioned out of the drain line when you check the vacuum.
6. Clean the Drain Line
After removing the clog from your AC drain line, follow up with a clean-out. You can use a commercial cleaner designed for use on PVC piping to remove any remaining residue or grime. You can pour a cup of a mild cleaning agent like distilled vinegar down the AC drain line. Let it sit for several minutes, then flush it out with water.
7. Finish Up
After the AC drain line is cleaned, put the cap back onto your AC unit’s drain line. Turn on your AC and check to ensure that the drain line is working normally.
Professional Air Conditioning Services
Clearing your clogged AC drain line is one way to ensure that your AC unit operates at optimum performance. Suppose you need assistance in clearing your clogged drain line, contact Medcalf Heating & Cooling. We provide residential and commercial heating and cooling services in Terre Haute and the surrounding areas.
We are an EPA-certified company, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and a House Call Pro Super Pro. We also provide 24/7 emergency AC services and financing upon approval. Contact us today if you have any questions regarding clearing your AC drain line or any other heating and cooling-related problems that you may be experiencing.