My AC’s Condensate Drain Line Is Clogged, What Should I Do?

Posted on: October 2, 2018

Summer’s almost gone and it’s time to turn your attention to top-notch AC and heating companies San Diego, whether to make sure your AC is still up to par, to find the most efficient heating system  and prepare for winter or just schedule some regular maintenance. A responsible owner will make maintenance the number one priority. Sometimes, however, you can tell something’s not right even if you’re no expert, and such is the case with a clogged AC drain line. Detecting and unclogging it doesn’t necessarily require an urgent “HVAC in my area” search – you can try using a little beginner HVAC know-how and a hands-on, DIY approach first.

Causes of a clogged drain line

If your AC is doing a good job, it will suck out excessive humidity from indoor air during the hot and sticky summer months. Although its final destination is away from your home, its first stop is the condensate drip pan and the next one the drain line or tube.

Over time, all that water leaves residue from bacteria and other particles, leading to the formation of algae, mold and other nasty stuff, and so takes its toll on the drain line. A drain clog can also come from the tube’s other end, in the form of dirt build-up or a nest of insects.

Recognizing an AC drain line clog

This depends on the features of your air handler. The newer ones detect when the drip pan is almost full and the system shuts down automatically. The most advanced models even inform you about it.

Things get a lot messier with older air handlers – they can neither detect nor respond to the problem. Also expect to learn about the situation in a much less sophisticated manner – once the pan has already overflowed. Chances are you won’t know it happened until you see water dripping from the ceiling or the vents. If that happens, shut the system down at once.

Unclogging the drain line

You can pause your “HVAC in my area” search for a second and try to remove the clog by yourself. You’ll need a wet/dry vacuum cleaner, a brush for cleaning the drains and hot water. Hook up the vacuum to the drain pipe, turn it on and leave it running for several minutes. In the meantime, pour hot water down the pipe, preferably starting at the drip pan, then use the brush to scrub off any debris. If that doesn’t do the trick and you can’t hear the sucking noise coming from the vacuum, you’ll need to call a HVAC pro.

Preventing drain line clogs

Clogging is more likely to take place with AC systems that work constantly and so run the risk of being overworked. Your best and safest bet against AC drain line clogging and related issues – regular maintenance by a reputable HVAC service.

No need to get your hands dirty – Action AC is “the best HVAC in my area” you’ve been looking for

No need to search for “the best HVAC in my area” any more – Action AC is your go-to HVAC service. Whether you’re on the market for a new HVAC system or want to make sure your existing one is up and running, we’re here for you. Get in touch with us today and let us bring you utter year-round indoor comfort!