What Causes A Drain Line To Clog
The condensate drain line is responsible for eliminating the evaporator coils condensation inside the air conditioning unit. With the constant use of the air conditioning unit, mold and algae thrive in your drain line because they like moist surfaces. Aside from mold and algae, particles like mildew, bacteria, fungus, and even small plants can live as well. If these living organisms build up, they create a clog, making the water go back up into the drain line.It is a well-known fact that cleaning your AC can cost you a couple of bucks. However, you might not want to do it yourself because you can injure the unit, leading to further damage. Dont worry, follow the six listed steps to learn how to clean the AC drain line to ensure functionality of your HVAC system.
Step 1: Turn off your air conditioner.Step 2: Find the condensate drain line.Step 3: Locate the access point on the drain.Step 4: Flush with distilled vinegar.Step 5: Let it sit for about 30 minutes.Step 6: Repeat each month.
Can You Pour Drano Down The Ac Drain Line
Yes but not the option!
Drano is originally meant to break down food and greasy blockages and you can hardly find this in your drain line. Most blockages in the drain line are caused by Mildews and molds so using draino might not be effective. Draino is best as an alternative and not to be used as the core drain cleaner.
Use A Garden Hose To Flush The Drain Line
If you have a long enough garden hose to run from your garden facet to the beginning of your condensate drain line, you can try to force the blockage out with it.
After you run the garden hose through your house to the drain line, turn the water on all the way and let it run. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesnt overflow. Most of the time, the pressure from the extra water is enough to dislodge the clog.
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Use High Quality Air Filters
Invest in high quality air filters. Although you can save a lot with cheaper options, they do not necessarily do a thorough job filtering dust and other materials in your AC unit. With good filters, you can avoid dust from building up in the evaporator coils. This then helps prevent clogging in the drain line. Air filters should be changed regularly, every three months on average. If you have pets or smokers in the house, you should replace the filters more often.
How To Prevent Ac Drain Line Clogs
Now that you know more about what happens when an AC drain line is clogged, you might be wondering how you can prevent future clogs and blockages from occurring. One step you can take to prevent clogs is to pour a cup of bleach down your drain line at the start of every spring. Doing so will eliminate algae and mold before it becomes a problem.
Investing in high-quality HVAC filters can also help you avoid troublesome blockages. High-end filters work to trap debris and unwanted particles from forming a clog. Youll also want to change your filters once every three months.
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Maintain Your Air Conditioner
Unclog stubborn AC drain lines when annual cooling system maintenance is performed by your professional HVAC technician. This is just one of the many tasks included in AC maintenance tune ups. When clogs occur during cooling season, HVAC service ensures the proper repairs are made so condensate can drain away from your air conditioner, preventing water damage to your home. Call Thomas & Galbraith today to schedule air conditioner maintenance and cooling system repair as needed.
Ac Drain Line Location
Most homes have the inside portion of their air conditioning system installed in their attic, basement, or garage. The condensate drain line is a white PVC pipe that connects to the air handler.
If the air handler is installed in your basement or garage, the condensate drain line may feed directly into a floor drain or a sump pit.
Homeowners with an air handler and condenser unit installed in their attic will want to be especially mindful of keeping their AC drain line clear.
The drain line runs all the way from your attic and exits outside your house, usually a couple of feet above the ground.
If it gets clogged, the condensate pan can overflow water in your attic and cause water damage to your ceiling.
Preventing damage is the most crucial reason to do routine maintenance on your drain line. It prevents further damage to your air conditioning system.
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A Clean Ac Is A Healthy Ac
In between professional, expert maintenance visits, there are ways you can help keep your AC and HVAC systems in good shape. Its easier than youd think. Its also much less expensive and less of a headache to stay on schedule with routine maintenance and with scheduled pro maintenance. For example, just using vinegar to clean the drain line is one easy step you can handle.
The best way to keep your AC in peak performance all year round is with scheduled expert maintenance. Call South End Heating & Air today or browse the web to learn more and contact us.
At South End Heating and Air we specialize in HVAC and furnace repair, call us for a free consult. Well evaluate your system and help make recommendations for optimum value. After all, we want to keep you cool all summer long and warm in the winter. Just schedule a visit with one of our technicians to talk about how we can help with your heating needs. Would you like to learn more options our techs can help you with? .
How Do You Clean Your Ac Drain Line
Are you wondering how to clean your AC drain line?
Youve come to the right place!
In this Blue National HVAC guide, youll learn:
- What AC drain lines do
- How and why they get clogged
- How to remove clogs from the drain line
And much more!
So, if youre looking for how to clean your drain line, keep reading our detailed guide below to get answers to all of your questions!
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How Do I Know If My Ac Drain Line Has Clogged
A clogged drain line is a major problemand a potential safety hazard. A rapidly filling drip pan can not only spill over and damage wood and drywall around it, but it can potentially submerge wires and other electrical components, damaging your air conditioner.
To prevent this from happening, most modern air conditioners feature an AC float switch. Located in the drain line near your air handler, this component senses when theres a clog in your drain line, as the rising water causes the switch to float upmuch like the float in your toilet stops water from filling the tank past a certain point. When the float switch triggers, it cuts power to the AC unit. This accomplishes two things: first, it prevents the AC unit from creating more moisture through the refrigeration cycle, so that the problem doesnt get worse. Second, it ensures that if the drip pan does overflow, there wont be live electrical components for the water to come into contact with.
Unsurprisingly, most homeowners arent keeping a regular eye on their drip pan in their attic. In most cases, youll know your AC condensate line is clogged when your AC stops running. If you have a smart thermostat, you will likely see it display a code indicating that the air handler has no power. While this error could be potentially caused by another problem with the system, its pretty likely that the condensate line is the issue.
Pour A Cleaning Agent Into The Cleanout
Once the cleanout is open, the next step is to flush it with an antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral cleaning solution. Ordinary, unscented laundry bleach meets these qualifications and is also inexpensive.
To add the cleaning solution, take a funnel and slip it into the cleanout opening. While holding the funnel steady, carefully pour two quarts of laundry bleach into the funnel and allow it to find its way into the drain line. If the bleach begins gurgling or doesnt drain quickly, then pause and wait for a few seconds. Continue pouring bleach into the funnel until the original two quarts is all but gone.
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Use The Secondary Ac Drain Port
As I mentioned earlier, an indoor AC unit has at least two drain ports, primary and secondary. A large AC unit may have more. While the primary drain port connects to the condensate line, the secondary outlet remains unused. You can use this secondary drain port in different ways.
Here are two ways to use the secondary AC drain port:
- Install a float switch to turn off the unit when the primary drain line is clogged.
- Use an overflow pan with a condensate pump and a second drain line as a contingency.
The secondary drain port on your AC unit is slightly higher than the primary connection. Or, the secondary connection has an internal dam so that the water flows out of the drain pan through the primary port before overflowing through the backup port.
A float switch on the secondary drain port is a safety measure. This switch can turn off the AC thermostat when the water level rises in the secondary port. Thus, you can prevent a crisis due to water flowing out of the drain pan and flooding the space.
An overflow pan connected to the secondary drain connection is a backup tactic. You can have a separate drain line for this port, either gravity-enabled or powered by a condensate pump. The contingency tactic allows you to continue using the AC even if the primary drain line is clogged.
How Can I Tell If My Ac Drain Line Is Clogged
Observation is key. Take a walk around the outside of your home and look for pipes coming through your roof soffit above, or coming through an exterior wall and pointing down to another pipe, with a gap between the two.
If you see the latter, a pipe angling down to another pipe, you likely have a vertical-closet-model AC unit, and this pipe-over-pipe setup is your main condensation-drainage line to the sewer. When your AC is running, you should be able to see a steady stream of water running, which indicates that all is well. However, if the AC is running and nothing is coming out, you likely have a clog.
If you see a pipe or two exiting the roof soffit above, your AC unit is commonly in the attic, and this pipe is your backup condensation drain. When you see water running out of this line, you likely have a clog in the main drain line and need to take action. If you look in the attic and see water standing in or worse, overflowing from the pan underneath the unit, you likely have a clog in the primary drain line and need to address the problem.
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How To Unclog Your Condensate Drain Line
Clogs occur within the drain pan that sits underneath the evaporator coil, or somewhere along the condensate drain pipe that extends out of the unit to a floor drain located near the HVAC system or to the exterior of the home. To unclog the drain line yourself, follow these instructions and you may be able to avoid waiting for a technician and paying to have your drain line cleared.
How To Clean Your Ac Drain Line
Your AC drain line might be easy to overlook, but this small component of your air conditioner plays a vital role in removing excess condensation from your system. Since your air conditioner is constantly handling the exchange of hot and cold air, the development of moisture throughout this process is inevitable. Without your drain line, all of this moisture would run rampant, causing problems like water damage, mold, system malfunction, and more.
Even if your HVAC system is healthy, however, it is common for algae and bacteria growth to occur from the dark and moist conditions in your ACs condensate drain line. Over time, your drain line can become clogged with growth or debris which can lead to costly repairs. Fortunately, there are ways to keep your drain line clean.
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Disconnect The Hose Attached To Your Drain Line
Once you have located your drain line, remove the cap from the T-shaped head at the top of the pipe. This will allow you to see further into the pipeline to check for blockage. If there is a blockage near the opening, you can use your wire brush to dislodge it. Most of the time a clogged drain line will also require the suction of a wet/dry vacuum to clear the debris from further down the drain line. Use duct tape to attach the vacuum to the drain opening and let it run for a minute or so before turning it off.
Locate The Condensate Drain Pipe Opening
Finding your condensate drain shouldnt be too difficult, especially if you live in a humid climate where air conditioners pull a lot of moisture from the air. During the summer, there are literally gallons of water that pour from the typical condensate drain, and this water makes finding the drain location easy.
Of course, if you are searching for the drain in the dead of winter and havent been around during the summer to see the drain produce water, it may take a little while to find the pipe opening. If you dont know where to look, search for a short section of ¾-inch PVC pipe exiting a wall or your homes eaves.
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Locate Where The Drain Pipe Leaves The Evaporator
After finding the drain opening, the next step is to head to the opposite end of the pipe and find where it attaches to the evaporator coil. As the water flows from the coil, it is collected in a pan and funneled into the drain pipe as the pipe exits the evaporator, it will curve downward to form a trap. The pipe will also contain a drain cleanout at the top of the section just before the trap.
Why The Acs Drain Line Needs To Be Clear
Your air conditioners drain line is a small but essential PVC pipe responsible for getting rid of condensation. It takes all the water created by the evaporator coil, and drains it away out of your HVAC system and your home.
However, if this line is not correctly maintained, germs and algae can start to grow inside as well as block the drain. This might lead your drain pan to overflow, creating water damage in your house.
Nobody wants to squander their time or energy cleaning up after their drain line or some larger problem. Thats why it is essential you regularly maintain your pipeline to keep it clean and clog free.
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Here’s How To Remove Air Conditioning Condenser Drain Clogs
The air handler or indoor air conditioning equipment holds the cooling system evaporator coil. As it removes heating from the air, condensate forms and calls into the drain pan below before exiting the HVAC system through the AC drain line. If condensate drain clogs exist within the condensate pan or drain line, this problem could cause poor AC unit performance and even water damage to your home and air conditioning system.
A clogged condensate drain line is an air conditioner problem that doesnt always require professional HVAC service to fix. If your drain line is clogged, use these instructions to remove clogs and protect your unit as well as your house.
Thomas & Galbraith explain why a clogged AC drain line might happen in your home and what you should do when it does. If you just cant unclog your condensate line after trying these steps, contact us for air conditioner maintenance and repair service.
Disconnect The Hose From The Ac Drain
Move indoors and prepare to clean the AC drain line from the opposite end. First, remove the standing water from the drip pan and wipe it clean with the rags.
Next, find the access point by removing the cover from the t-shaped vent tee. Most AC systems have a vent tee. Use the wire brush to dislodge anything from that end of the pipe.
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