Need System Advice or a Free Quote?
We’ve Got HVAC Pros Ready to Help!
Quote Form - Top of Page

5 Tips for Cleaning Your Air Conditioner Drain Line

ac-drain-leakAir Conditioner Drains are the lifeline of your home cooling system! If your AC drain gets clogged you are very likely to end up with water damage somewhere, and depending on the length of time it has been plugged, it can be much worse!

Not much can ruin a day faster than coming home to find your Air Conditioner Leaking Water and causing damage to the ceiling, walls, carpets, and everything below the water line!

Tips for Cleaning Your Air Conditioner Condensate Drain and Keeping the AC Drain Clean!

The quick tips below will help you not only clean the drain today, but also make sure that you don't end up with a clogged AC drain going forward!

1 – Change Your HVAC Filters Monthly!

The first and most important thing you must do to keep your drain lines clean – Change your HVAC Filters every 30 days! While you may think this has nothing to do with the condensate drain system, the truth is just the opposite! When your filters get dirty and the small dust particles start to accumulate on the evaporator coil, they only have one place to go… into the AC Drain system!

2 – Flush the Air Conditioner Drain Twice a Year!

Using warm water or compressed air, open the drain line at the AC side of the drain system and either force the water through the system, or blow the compressed air through your lines. Many times, you can go to Home Depot or Lowes and get a smaller diameter tubing than the lines diameter, and attach it to the end of a pump sprayer that you use in your yard. Fill the sprayer with warm water and spray the stream into the drain line, forcing anything built up, out of the system.

3 – Use Nu-Calgon Condensate Tablets

AC Condensate Tablets are small tums-size tablets that you place into your evaporator coil drain pan each month. They contain non-hazardous chemicals that act as a natural cleaning agent, and remove the sludge and buildup inside your drain pan. They generally come in bottles of 200 or more, so one bottle can last several years! You can easily find Nu-Calgon Pan Pads on eBay for less than $25. Do yourself a favor and get a large bottle… you won't have to think about it for several years!

Another solution involves making a mixture of household bleach with a 50/50 warm water solution, and pouring into your drain pan every month. Works just as good, but the tabs are much easier and you don't risk a mess or ruining anything with bleach stains!

4 – Make Sure Your Drain Flows Away From the System

I realize this sounds like a given – but you would be surprised to know just how many service calls are handled for the drain being either knocked out of the hub, or the AC Drain system flowing in the reverse direction. In most cases, it was caused by someone working near the unit and inadvertently causing a misalignment of the air conditioning drain system.

5 – Have Your System Serviced Twice a Year!

While not talked about much – your AC Contractor is the best person to clean your drain lines! They will have all the tools and equipment to get the job done right the first time, and if you have a service agreement with them, you never need to worry about it leaking again!

Additional Reading at WebHVAC

Need System Advice or a Free Quote?
We’ve Got HVAC Pros Ready to Help!
Quote Form - Top of Page

4 thoughts on “5 Tips for Cleaning Your Air Conditioner Drain Line

  • July 13, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    I suffer from dust allergy in a mild form and I can still say that not after replacing completely the air conditioning filters did I sense a change in my condition. It really helped me and I would recommend it to anyone who even wants a clean home.

  • Pingback: Home Air Conditioning Filters | Honey Well Air Cleaners

  • June 1, 2010 at 2:02 am

    Uncleaned Air Conditioner can bring your health into risk, and so we really need to know such important things to do when cleaning our air conditioning especially to those sensitive parts. And so this post is a very big help…

  • August 25, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    We have 2 HVAC systems in our attic and the main drain line from each HVAC meets together and then runs to the outside. Each system then has a back-up drain that runs outside. I am getting condensate running out of the 2nd HVAC system back-up line. I tried to use a wetvac to suck the clog out, but with the two units tied together on the main drain, it won’t clear the clog. I have tried to put a plumber snake down the drain line but it is small PVC pipe with alot of 90 degree bends. Not sure how to clean it out? Any suggestions? Liquid plumber?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *