Guide to Cleaning AC Drain Line

cleaning ac drain line

Did you know that cleaning your AC drain line is one of the most important things you can do to prevent clogs, backflow, and flooding? It’s a fact that you can save yourself a lot of hassle cleaning AC drain line deposits, and it’s quite a simple process.

In this article, we'll teach you how cleaning an AC drain line works using simple DIY methods. These methods work every time and will save lots of time and hassle throughout your air conditioner's lifetime, and in the worst-case scenario, you can always call on an expert like Hurliman Heating and Air Conditioning to do it for you.

What is an AC Drain Line?

An AC drain line is a pipe that runs from the condenser coil in the attic to the drain pan under the house. The purpose of the drain line is to remove water from the condenser coil after it has been cooled by the fan. This helps keep the system running smoothly and efficiently.

When the AC drain line gets blocked by debris, sediment, or other materials, the pressure inside the drain line builds up until it bursts. The burst causes the water to flow backward (backflow) and flood your basement.

Problems Of Having A Clogged AC Drain Line

If you have a clog in your AC drain line, you may notice some of these symptoms:

Water damage to your home - A clogged AC drain line causes water to overflow from your AC unit, which could enter your house and damages your floors, walls, ceilings, and furniture.

Flooding in your basement - A clogged AC drain line allows water to collect in your basement. Overflowing water can damage your basement floor, walls, and ceiling.

Damage to your air conditioners - The drain line is responsible for removing excess moisture from your air conditioner. If it gets too full, the drain line can burst to cause major damage to your air conditioner.

Reduced airflow - Reduced airflow means that there isn’t enough room for air to flow through your air conditioner. As a result, your cooling efficiency decreases, making you feel warmer than usual.

Increase energy bills - Having a clogged drain line increases your air conditioner’s load on the compressor. This makes your air conditioner run more often, which leads to higher electricity bills.

Step By Step Guide to Cleaning Your AC Drain Line With Vinegar

To keep the drain line clear and free-flowing, all you need is some basic tools and vinegar. You don’t have to go to the hardware store to buy these items – just use what you already have around the house.

Step 1: Turn Off Your AC

  • The first step is to turn off your air conditioner before doing anything else. Next, make sure both the breaker and power switch are both off. If you try to clean the AC while power is still present, you’re putting yourself at risk of electric shock.

Step 2: Remove the Drain Cap

  • You’ll want to locate the access point on your drain line. It's usually T-shaped with a PVC cover. Once you do, unscrew the drain cap to access the drain line.

Step 3: Use Vinegar to Unclog Your AC Drain Line

  • Once you’ve removed the drain cap, pour about half a cup of white vinegar down the drain line (Use a funnel to avoid spillage). Then, let it sit for at least 15 minutes.

Step 4: Rinse Out the Drain Line

  • After letting the distilled vinegar soak for 15 minutes, Use a garden hose to rinse the drain pipe by running water through it until no more debris comes out. Be careful not to let the water run too long, as this may damage the pipes.

Step 5: Repeat Steps 3 & 4 Until the Drain Line Is Clear

  • You may need to repeat steps three and four until you are satisfied that the drain line is clear of any blockage and ensure it no longer smells of vinegar.

Step 6: Dry the Drain Line

  • Once everything has been rinsed out, dry the air conditioner drain line with paper towels. Be careful not to touch the metal parts of the drain line, as they might rust.

Step 7: Replace the Drain Cap

  • When you’re done drying the drain line, replace the drain cap.

Step 8: Test Your Drain Line

  • Before turning on your air conditioning system again, test your drain line to ensure it works properly. If you see any signs of leakage, contact us immediately so we can fix the problem ASAP.

Step 9: Check For Any Other Problems

  • If, after following the steps above, you still have a problem with your drain line, such as signs of leakage, you should get help from a professional HVAC technician.

Step 10: Keep Up With Regular Maintenance

  • Cleaning your AC drain line is important once every six months to ensure that it’s still clear and flowing freely.

How to Prevent AC Drain Line Clogging

Regular maintenance is the best way to keep your AC condensate drain line clean. Here are some maintenance tips every air conditioner owner should adopt.

Flushing Solution

You should pour a flushing solution such as a mixture of vinegar, baking soda, and warm water to clean your drain line as often as once a month. The solution would make the AC drain lines inhabitable for most organisms.

Drain line Cleaner

Occasionally, you should hand clean the AC drain lines to remove Accumulated debris from them. You can also use an extended pole stick to swab away anything that clogs the drain.

Air Filters

If you have a central air conditioner, you should clean the filter every few weeks, even more frequently if you have pets or allergies. This prevents dirt from transferring to the drain line easily.

Hire An Air Conditioner Expert Today!

It’s true that cleaning your AC drain line can be challenging if you don't have prior experience. So, to avoid damaging your unit, we recommend hiring an expert who knows how to do it properly. Our team at Hurliman Heating And Air Conditioning is fully trained, licensed, and insured. In addition, we offer free estimates and emergency service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so give us a call and request a quote today!