How To Clean An AC Drain Line

Learning how to clean an AC drain line is a pretty important skill to learn. This is because dust and even debris could have collected in that line and, if left for too long, could impede the functioning of the AC.

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You might begin to notice that your AC doesn’t supply as much air as it used to. Sometimes it would even begin to smell and this is probably because there is a build up of mold or algae.

At this point, you might begin to notice that your drainage plate fills up too fast.

That said, let’s find out what you can do.

If It Is Clogged

Well, if the AC drain line is clogged, you have to get it unclogged and that usually takes care of the issue. The drain line is usually located outside so that any moisture that escapes won’t be caught indoors. 

First off, look into the pipe and see if whatever has it clogged is easily accessible. If it is, wear protective gloves and carefully pull it out. Be careful not to push whatever it is further inside; if you can’t get it, move on.

Get you a long brush to work the inside of the pipe. This might be enough to dislodge whatever is inside, allowing it to fall out by itself when you upturn it.

However, if you still cannot get out everything that has the pipe clogged, you’ll have to bring in the big guns and that is a wet/dry vacuum cleaner.

Pick the tool that is narrow enough to enter into the drain pipe and insert said tool (connected to the vacuum cleaner of course) into the pipe. 

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You have to make sure that everything that comes out of the pipe enters into the vacuum cleaner, so you might need to tape the cleaner to the pipe.

Allow the vacuum cleaner to run for about a minute and check to see if you’ve gotten everything out. If you haven’t, repeat the vacuuming till you’ve got it all out.

Making Sure

To make sure that you’ve actually got everything out, locate the vent tee. Now this vent tee is the connection between the drain line and drainage plate and has a PVC cap.

Unscrew this cap and be sure that there are no clogs in there. Once you’ve made sure of that, mix some vinegar in water and pour it down the drain pipe from the vent tee.

This achieves two things. One, it disinfects the line and removes any foul smell. And two, it helps you ascertain whether or not you’ve got all the clogs out.

If, indeed, you’ve got all the clogs out, the mixture should go through smoothly.

This means that you’ll need to put a bucket on the other end to catch the spills.

And if the mixture doesn’t come out on the other end, you know to keep looking for the clogs.

Now check out this video for a visual representation of all we just mentioned:

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