How to Handle a Clogged Air Conditioner Drain Line

How to Handle a Clogged Air Conditioner Drain Line

Your air conditioner has a tough job. It’s responsible for removing heat from your home, along with humidity. During the hot and sticky days of summer, it can take quite a bit of moisture out of the inside air, and when this happens, all the water has to go somewhere.

In a perfect world, the water will collect in the condensate drip pan on the air handler and then flow into a drain that leads to the exterior of your home. However, over time, this tube may become clogged, which can lead to water damage.

How Do Clogs Form?

The water that you see in your condensate pan is full of all types of microscopic bacteria, as well as a number of other small particles collected from the air. As the water drips through the drain, a residue is left behind. This can begin to build up in the pipe and form algae, mold, and even sticky, wet clumps of dirt or dust.

Because your drain line leads outside, it is also possible that clogs may form from that end, too. If your drain line exits in an area that is especially dusty, it may be clogged with a large dirt clod. Also, if you have not been using your air conditioner for a while, there’s the possibility that insects or small animals have started to build a nest inside the opening.

How to Know if You Have a Clog

If your drain line becomes clogs, what happens next is going to be dependent on the features of your air handler. There are quite a few modern air handlers that can detect when your drip pain is full and respond by turning off. The most sophisticated models available to install can even send out an email or a text message if this happens. While this may be an inconvenience, it’s much better than the drip pan overflowing.

If your air handler does not hve this feature, then you may not be aware of the issue until water has started to drip through your ceiling or out of your vents. This means that your drip pan has overflowed and that you need to shut down your AC right away.

How to Clear a Clog in a Drain Line

You need to have certain equipment to clear a drain line effectively. In most cases, you will need an air compressor and a wet/dry shop vac. If your air handler is located in the attic, it’s also going to require you getting up there. If you can’t do this on your own, then it is going to be best to hire a professional technician.

To make sure that the job is done properly, it may be a good idea to go ahead and hire the pros. They can ensure that your AC system is working properly and that no serious issues are going to arise due to an overflowing drip pan or clogged drain line. If you notice these problems, don’t wait to call for help or service, as the situation is only going to get worse.

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