AC Drain Line

Guide to Cleaning the AC Drain Line

Most homeowners do not understand that cleaning an AC drain line is as important as cleaning your doors, windows, and furniture. The system plays a significant role in making the home comfortable, and that’s why you should not let it clog.

Besides heating and cooling the home, the system controls moisture levels by removing water from the air. Unfortunately, with time, the drain line clogs. Now, most people may not know how to deal with that mess. Luckily, this article will provide you with some tips. 

Why the AC Drain Line Clogs

Before cleaning the AC drain line, knowing why and how it clogs is essential. The leading cause of AC drain line clogs is algae. Algae grows because of the high humidity in the pipe.

Also, mold, mildew, and bacteria cause clogging of the AC drainage pipes. The clogging will happen more often if your HVAC is always on.

Signs of a Clogged AC Drain Line

Most homeowners will not schedule a cleaning session for their system until it shows signs of clogging. The most common sign is that the air-conditioning system has stopped working.

The primary function of the AC drain line is to remove moisture from the air conditioner. You will know that the drain line is working optimally if you see water at the PVC pipe. When the drain line blocks, there is less to no moisture at the end of the PVC.

Other signs of a clogged AC drain pipe include the following:

  • You will see moisture around the air handler unit, which includes the blower. The moisture can damage the blower, and there will be less or no heating and cooling of the air.
  • Your house will have a moldy smell. This happens due to mold and algae growth inside the drainpipe or other parts of the system. Your AC could still be running but not emitting clean and fresh air. Breathing the moldy air can lead to respiratory problems like asthma or other health complications. 
  • A full condensate pan is another sign of a clog. The condensate pan collects all the condensation and excess water the HVAC system collects. If you notice that it is filling up more frequently, check your AC drainage pipe.
  • You spot water droplets on other appliances in your home, like the fans and cabinets. Also, drain line damages cause dripping of bigger drops that damage the carpet and furniture.

How to Clean AC Drain Line

The HVAC system is an expensive, delicate machine that needs to be handled with care. Therefore, once you notice these signs, it is advisable to call a qualified HVAC technician to inspect and clean.

Professionals, like those at Anderson Air, have better knowledge of the system, and they can handle it with better care than you can.

Steps to a Clean AC Drain Line

Here are the steps to follow when cleaning your AC drain line.

Step 1: Switch Off the Power Supply Unit

Begin by powering off the system. Leaving it on can cause accidents like fatal electric shocks. It can also cause the system to blow a fuse. So switch the system off even if it is not running.

Step 2: Inspect the Drain Pan

The technician then locates and inspects the drain pan to see if it is the cause of the problem. First, they look for stagnant water in the pan, which by then has an unpleasant odor.

They subsequently remove the water by soaking it with a rag until the condensate pan is dry. The cleaner then washes and dries the condensate pan to prevent mold growth.

Step 3: Unclog the Drain

Your cleaning does not end at draining and cleaning the condensation pan. The drain line is the main problem, and you should look at it keenly. Once you remove the debris from the pipe, use suction from a shop vacuum to clean the drain line.

Other cleaners use a wet vac, hose pipe, or plumber’s snake. Most times, you will remove a dark mass from the line, which was causing the clog. Once everything is complete, the cleaners pour clean water through the drain to see if it flows.

Step 4: Thoroughly Clean the Drain Line

The following step is to clean the drain line using cleaning detergents designed for PVC piping. Most technicians use distilled vinegar for the final process. You can also learn how to clean the drain to prevent it from clogging.

Step 5: Reassemble the System

The last step is to reassemble the system. The technician will return all the parts and connect the system back to the primary power source. They then test if the HVAC is functioning well.

How to Prevent Condensation Clogs

If you don’t want to keep cleaning the AC drain every time, you can prevent clogging. The good news is, you will not spend money on these preventative measures because you can DIY.

Look for the extension or the access point for flushing the line. Make it a routine to pour a cup of a flushing solution like distilled vinegar or hot water. You can also buy a drain line cleaner from the shop and use it.

Regularly flushing the AC drain will reduce your cost of repairs. Furthermore, it will reduce the stress of dealing with problems like water damages caused by leaking drainages.

Another way to cut the cost of calling professionals to clean the AC drainage pipe is by regularly inspecting the system. This way, you will spot any problem and deal with it before things escalate. 

Final Words

Maintaining clean AC drain lines is very important for your family and the system. These clogs cause the HVAC system to stop working and can cause severe damages if you don’t treat them. Cleaning an AC drain line is a straightforward process worth learning. 

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