How to Fix a Clogged Drain Line

Posted On: April 25, 2012

Spring is here, and it’s about time to turn on your air conditioner to get ready for the hot summer ahead. Hopefully by now you’ve already had (or are planning to have) your air conditioner inspected. But there’s one more quick and easy thing you can do on your own to keep your home comfortable all summer long – drain your condensate line.

What is an AC condensate line?

Central air conditioners dehumidify as they cool. The way they dehumidify is by passing humid air from inside your home over a condenser coil, which causes all the moisture in the air to condense over the coil. The water flows off the coil into the condensate drain and eventually out of your house.

Now as you probably know, any time you have moisture and warm temperatures there’s a chance you could get mold. If left unchecked, mold and mildew in the condensate pipe can lead to blockages in your drain pipe and eventually more serious mold and humidity problems inside your home – possibly enough to cause health problems! There’s also the possibility that the blockage can cause water to back up into your house, leading to things like stained ceilings, water damaged floors, etc.

To prevent this, find the drain line access hole inside your house and pour in a cup of bleach. This will knock out any mold or mildew that has already gotten into your system and should prevent it from coming back for the rest of the season.

What if my line is already blocked?

If your drain line is already blocked, pouring bleach into it isn’t going to do anything, in all likelihood. Fortunately, it’s still pretty easy to fix. All you’ll need is a wet dry vac. First, take out the paper filter so you don’t damage it. Next, secure the end of the shop vac to the drain line outside your house, using duct tape or a piece of cloth if necessary. Turn the shop vac on for about 5 seconds, then shut it off. This should be all the time it takes to pull out the clog. Test it by pouring a cup of water or bleach into the access hole and see if it comes out cleanly.

Once this is all taken care of, your air conditioner should run smoothly again. If it doesn’t, call Top Notch Heating, Cooling & Plumbing for air conditioner repair in Kansas City!

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