How to Find Out If Your AC Drain Line Is Clogged And What to Do About It

Every air conditioning system has a condensate drainpipe, which looks like a white PVC pipe. Condensate flows out of your house via the drain line during regular operation. When you observe a large amount of water gathering around your indoor AC unit, you may have a blocked drain line. Here are other symptoms of an AC drain line clog that you can watch for:

  • Your indoor unit emits a musty, moldy odor
  • Standing water surrounds the air conditioner
  • The areas near the interior AC have water damage
  • Your air conditioner is not cooling your home
  • The air conditioner won’t start or shut off

You can try unclogging the drain manually by starting at the outside drain line. If you decide to clear it yourself, you will need a wire brush, diluted bleach or vinegar solution, duct tape, and a wet/dry vacuum.

1. Remove the Drain Line Cap

The drain looks like a T-shape with a cover. Remove the cover and inspect the obstruction.

2. Look for Obvious Blockages

Dislodge the blockage with your wire brush carefully. If the obstruction is severe, pour diluted bleach or vinegar into it and leave it to sit for half an hour or more.

3. Use a Wet/Dry Vacuum If Necessary 

There may be an obstruction further up the line if there is no debris or water passing through. In this case, you can use the wet/dry vacuum to clear the obstruction:

  • Connect the vacuum hose to the drain line. 
  • Seal the connection between the vacuum hose and the drain line with duct tape. 
  • Run the vacuum for a few minutes. The vacuum should suck out any debris in the line.

4. Reach Out to an HVAC Technician

If you are unable to clear the obstruction in the drain, you will need to consult a trained HVAC technician. It is the technician’s job to inspect all the components of the unit, including the drain line, and clear the obstruction.

Keep Your Air Conditioner in Good Condition

It’s a good idea to check the drain line every time you change your AC filters. The best way to prevent a clogged AC drain line is to schedule a seasonal inspection of your HVAC system. Regular maintenance will prevent larger problems from occurring that can damage your drain line.  Contact us today.