What to Do When Your AC Drain Line Is Clogged

Couple in their bedroom with a dog whose fur clogged the air conditioning drain line

Your AC drain line is one of the most important parts of your HVAC unit. It’s main job is to drain excess moisture out of your indoor space. However, sometimes it does get clogged and many people who notice this wonder how to unclog it. So how can you tell if it’s clogged?  What should you immediately do? In this post you’ll learn everything  about what to do when your AC drain line is clogged.

2 major signs of a clogged AC drain line

Before things get worse, you may notice your Air Conditioner Running But Not Cooling but here are the two major signs of a clogged AC drain line:

  • Your air conditioner isn’t starting.
  • There’s water leakage around your unit (drain pan)

Your HVAC drain line and drain pan are located at the bottom of your unit. When your unit is running, condensation occurs in the indoor coil and this water runs into the drain pan and hence the leakage is caused. A blocked drain line is usually caused by sludge debris which accumulates in the drain line. These debris are normally a mixture of dirt, hair, dusts, algae etc.

When your unit doesn’t start, it’s usually as a result of the drain pan filling up with condensate water. The float, which is part of the drain pan is normally raised when the pan is filled up with water and hence shuts down your unit.

So what should you immediately do once you notice AC drain line clogged symptoms? The first action to take is to shut off the unit immediately.

The process of properly unclogging AC drain lines

There are two main proven ways to unclog blocked air conditioner drain line outside house:

  1. By hand (ideal for blocked drain pan)
  2. Using a shop vac and hose (ideal for blocked line)

Experts recommend you use both methods to completely solve the problem.

To clear a blocked drain pan by hand, first find where the pan is located (it’s under the coil). Once located, clean all the water and sludge you find using a towel. Another part to clean is the drain hole. Locate it and use a wire brush to clean it.

To clean air conditioning drain line using a shop vac and hose, first locate where the drain line ends outside. Then connect the end of the shop vacuum tightly with the condensate line using duct tape. Once done, switch on the vacuum for up to 3 minutes. You can watch the actual process in this video.

Don’t worry if you can’t unclog your drain lines yourself. HVAC repair Atlanta has been helping people like you around Atlanta with fixing their HVAC systems. Contact us today.