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How to Clean Your Air Conditioner Drain

Your air conditioner has a specific drain installed that helps dirty water escape. Because these drains are dark and damp, they are perfect places for living organisms to inhabit, such as algae. These organisms can block your drain and overflow your drain pan, causing water to damage your home’s drywall and ceiling. This problem can worsen over time and create costly damages. Avoid this by cleaning your air conditioner drain on a monthly basis.

Have You Cleaned Your Air Conditioner Drain Recently?

Haven’t been thinking much about your a/c unit drain until it has overflowed, right?

First, you need to assess your drain to see if it even needs to be cleaned.

  • Locate your condensate drain, which is a thin PVC pipe that is usually next to the outdoor compressor, fixed on the wall of your home
  • This drain should drip water anytime you use your air conditioner
  • If the drain does not drip when your A/C is in use, then it is probably clogged

You’ve discovered your A/C Unit drain is clogged. Time to go to work!

Option 1: Use Vinegar

  • Located in the attic, there is a pipe that leads away from the drain pan
  • Find the threaded plug on this pipe, and pour 6 ounces of white vinegar into it
  • The vinegar will kill the algae, but may take a few hours to do so if the drain is severely clogged
  • To avoid the extreme Arizona heat, we suggest you do this step early in the morning, and repeat every couple of months
See also  Sewer Pipe & Drain Issues

close up of clogged condensate line

Option 2: Use a Wet Vacuum

  • If you prefer to work on the ground, and not in the attic, then all you need is a wet vacuum (a vacuum that can consume water)
  • For this step, you will need a firm and strong suction; use one of the vacuum’s attachments to fit the size of your drainpipe
  • If you do not have one, you can easily find the proper sized fitting that will connect the vacuum hose to the drainpipe
  • Vacuum out the clog and test the pipe to see if drain begins to drip again

Need A/C Unit Help in Phoenix?

For further assistance, contact the professionals at ACE Home Services today!

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