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  • Removing a Blockage From a Clogged AC Condensate Drain Line


    One of the most common reasons for an AC to stop working is a clogged drain line. When the drain line backs up it can trigger a sensor that turns off the HVAC system until the line is cleared. The purpose of an air conditioner’s drain line is to remove condensation that develops with the use of the AC unit’s evaporator coils. This drain line carries moisture down and out of the house, and you may see it on the exterior of your home. It is the small, narrow pipe that typically has a slow drip of water trickling from it when the AC unit is on or has recently been on. This line typically works fine, but it can get clogged from time to time.

    There are two methods to clean out your air conditioning drain line. Regularly cleaning your drain line can help your equipment run more efficiently. If the clog is severe, start with Method 2.

    Method 1 – For Small Blockages in the AC Drain Line

    1. Turn HVAC system off.
    2. Locate cleaning port. If the unit has turned off due to a blockage, you may need a bucket to collect the condensation resting in the drain pan.
    3. Remove cleaning port cap.
    4. Assess clog. If you can see the blockage, attempt to remove the blockage. Do not push it further away. Instead, attempt to lift the blockage out of the drain pipe. If the blockage breaks, separates and falls down the pipe do not be alarmed. It can be rinsed out with water.
    5. Slowly pour cleaning solution down PVC drain line. If cleaning solution fills drain line, do not continue to pour solution. Follow steps in Method 2.
    6. After pouring is complete, assess the blockage. If the cleaning solution does not flow out of the drain line, the blockage is still intact. This may be a sign that there is a larger block in the drain line. Follow steps in Method 2. If the pipe fills and slowly drains then repeat step 5 until cleaning solution passes without difficulty.
    7. Replace cleaning port cap.
    8. Turn system back on.

    Need a professional AC company to unclog your AC Drain Line?
    Orlando: (407) 886-3729 | Tampa: (813) 922-3375

    Method 2 – For Large Clogs in the AC Drain Line

    1. For larger blockages, use a wet-vac or air compressor to remove the blockage. If using a wet-vac, suction can be applied to either end of the drain line to remove the clog. If using an air compressor, see step 3.
    2. If the cleaning solution or water fills up the drain, a wet-vac can be used to remove the fluid. Repeat pouring of cleaning solution down PVC drain line, if necessary.
    3. Apply thrusts of air from the air compressor from the cleaning port location at the air handler unit. *CAUTION: if air is thrust incorrectly, damage may occur.* Make sure to thrust air down the center of the pipe not towards one side or the other.
    For more detailed instructions on using an air compressor to remove a clog, check out our blog: How to Use Compressed Air to Unclog an AC Drain Line
    4. Once the line has been cleared, test with cleaning solution or water.
    5. Replace cleaning port cap.
    6. Turn system back on.

    Routine AC Cleaning Without Blockage

    1. Turn HVAC system off.
    2. Locate cleaning port. If the unit has turned off due to a blockage, you may need a bucket to collect the condensation resting in the drain pan.
    3. Remove cleaning port cap.
    4. Slowly pour cleaning solution down PVC drain line. Repeat three times.
    5. Replace cleaning port cap.
    6. Turn system back on.

    For more information about performing a routine AC cleaning, check out our blog: Cleaning Your AC Drain Line Regularly Can Prevent System Shutdown

    Contact Energy Air for HVAC Service

    If your efforts to clear away the clog are not effective and you’re still sweating without air conditioning, professional HVAC services are needed. A heating and cooling technician will have the tools and equipment necessary to provide you with the solution your situation needs. Regardless of how significant the clog is, an HVAC technician will be able to remove the clog for you without delay.

    Energy Air is a trusted and dependable heating and cooling company that has been working in the Central Florida community for many years, and our technicians are on standby waiting to help you with any type of heating and cooling system problem you are dealing with. Contact Energy Air today to get started.

    Schedule Service Online
    Orlando: (407) 886-3729 | Tampa: (813) 922-3375


    Information obtained from our website is not intended as a substitute for professional services. If you have or suspect you have a problem, you should consult an HVAC professional as soon as possible. Energy Air, Inc. assumes no responsibility for any loss or damages of any kind resulting from the use of the information provided on this website and so disclaims all liability accordingly.

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