How To Clear A Clogged Air Conditioner Drain Line? 6 Easy Steps!

To avoid serious damages to your Ac unit, you need to know how to clear a clogged air conditioner drain line. Or call a technician as soon as you see any signs that the condensate drain is clogged. 

That is because this is the common reason behind the malfunction of an AC system. Professionals can easily fix this issue, so don’t worry. Your part is to be aware of the signs so that you will know when it is time to call for their help. 

Some air conditioner models are designed with sensors that alert you if the drain line of the air conditioning unit is clogged. 

With that being said, you can immediately have it fixed before further damages. However, if the unit does not have this technology, you need to check the drain pan every time you change the filters.

This way, you can catch the issue immediately. 


Signs That Your AC Unit Is Clogged

As the air indoors is circulating through the coils, the moisture can trap some airborne particles, including dirt and dust. 

This debris can build up, and then it will be carried off when the coil drains the condensate droplets. 

As time passes, this debris can gather and in the drain line, which will cause a blockage. To prevent this, many technicians inspect the drain line and clean any debris build-up during the maintenance tune-up, which is done every year. 

So failure to have this regular maintenance servicing can lead to a clogging problem. 

Some symptoms of a clogged line to look out for includes the following:

  • Water close to your indoor unit
  • Shutting down of the air conditioning unit
  • The unit does not turn on
  • Water damage near the unit indoors
  • Moldy or must smell near the unit or at its vents

If you notice one or a combination of the aforementioned signs, you should call for a professional that has skills in cleaning a clogged drain line. 


Steps To Clear A Clogged Air Conditioner Drain Line

After you experience the signs above, you are now certain that the drain line of your air conditioner is clogged. 

Below are the steps that you can take to clear it. These are the same steps that you can expect from a technician if you call for one to do it for you. 

Here are the steps on how to clear a clogged air conditioner drain line:


Step #1. Gather the materials

You will need rubber gloves, bleach, duct tape, a vacuum, and a thin yet stiff wire brush to do this project. 

Make sure to gather all of these materials before you start. 


Step #2. Turning the air conditioner off

An HVAC professional will do the very first thing when he arrives in your house to power off your unit. 

This is to ensure his safety and to protect the air conditioning unit from more damages.


Step #3. Checking its drain pan

Among the common initial procedures is locating the unit’s drain pan and checking if there is standing water nearby. 

If so, you can soak this up using rags or remove them using your wet vacuum. 

After that, thoroughly clean the condensate pan so that you will prevent the mold from growing. 


Step #4. Unclogging the condensate drain line

After all the visible debris has been removed from the opening of the drainpipe, you should then clear the clogged by suctioning the drain using the wet vacuum. 

Pour a small volume of water through the condensate drain line to test if it is already clear. 

It would help if you were observant of how it flows out. 


Step #5. Cleaning the condensate drain line

If the clog is already cleared out, you have to clean the drain pipe thoroughly using a specially designed PVC piping cleaner. 

Pour some cleaning detergent or a distilled vinegar into the pipe occasionally to clean it. 


Step #6. Completing the process

If the drain is cleaned completely, you need to reinstall or reassemble all the unit components that you remove. 

Then, restore the power of the air conditioning system. Also, check whether or not everything works properly. 


It’s A Wrap!

The drain line is responsible for removing the water that is released as the evaporator of the unit is converting the refrigerant into a gas from liquid. 

Over time, different debris can build up in the drain line leading to clogging. In other words, it is possible that clogging will occur if you fail to maintain your air conditioning unit regularly. 

Fortunately, cleaning and unclogging the drain line is simple to do with just a few tools that may already be present from your cleaning cabinet. 

But after you performed all the steps on how to clear a clogged air conditioner drain line, and still the clogging persists, then it’s time to get help from professionals. 

They can do it better than you since they are equipped with knowledge and skills. 

Do not wait for the damages to become worse; call an HVAC technician now. 

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