What to Do When Your AC Drain Line is Clogged

Please don’t ignore it when your AC drain line is clogged. Fixing the issue is easy and quick. Yet if you choose not to address it right away, the problem may worsen over time.

Drain lines must be checked regularly for any issues. You can check them with a flashlight or use your HVAC unit’s inspection setting to see any water accumulated around it. Once you see water, use a vacuum or cloth to absorb the water. If your HVAC system is too powerful for this, remove the drain line and clean it manually.

What Can Happen If Your AC Drain Line is Clogged?

A drain line in an AC system is helpful for condensate vapor to flow through to your main drainage system. When clogged, the condensate water can’t flow through. Instead, it would stay in the drain pan above the line. The clog will cause the pan to fill up with water and eventually overflow, causing extensive water damage.

There is a chance that it may eventually evaporate, which seems like not a big deal. However, it will likely increase the moisture level of your indoor air. Over time, a humid environment provides an ideal breeding situation for mold and mildew. As a result, your family might suffer from allergy or respiratory problems without realizing the cause.

Aside from making your home unpleasant and unhealthy, excess moisture can also damage it.

Wood and paper-based products will absorb the moisture over time, causing them to rot. This means that your furniture, walls, carpets, and other belongings are at risk of fading or getting moldy. To keep this from happening in your home, ensure you get a good dehumidifier.

A quality product is not too expensive, but it can make all the difference in your home by keeping it clean and dry.

If you have a clogged drain line, the first thing you should do is check the pan for any water. If there is water present, you will need to unclog the drain line as soon as possible. Chemical drain cleaners are the best and fastest way to unclog the drain line. These cleaners are safe and effective when used correctly but should be avoided if you have an older AC system.

If your system is old, call a professional to clean out the clogged drain line for you to prevent any risk of damage in the future.

Even worse, the water in the drain pan may not evaporate at all. Instead, it accumulates and will overflow eventually. Chances are it will wet your drywall. Not only that it may leave a stain, but it may also weaken the structure. The overflowing water may also get your furniture or electrical wiring.

What Should You Do?

Turn your system off once you notice that your AC drain line is clogged. First, unplug the wire from the socket to make sure it is safe to handle the unit for fixing it. And then call a professional HVAC technician to fix it. You can also try some home remedies to clear the line. But, if you’re not comfortable with that, it’s always better to call a professional.

HVAC technicians have the knowledge and experience to quickly and easily fix your clogged AC drain line. They will know exactly what tools and products to use to clear the line and get your AC up and running again. So, it’s always best to call a professional when you have a clogged AC drain line.

The first thing to do is clear out the water in the drain pan and the overflowed one on your wall, floor, or furniture. Then, you can either use a wet vacuum or get a cloth to soak up the water.

Once the water is settled, look into the drain line and remove the visible debris. And then, follow up with removing the finer clogs using a wet vacuum, a garden hose, or a plumber snake. Next, gently pour water to rinse off the remaining fine debris until the water flow is smooth. Your technician may continue the cleaning process by applying a cleaning agent manufactured explicitly for PVC pipes. This will help in preventing further build-up of clogs.

You should then follow the cleaning agent with hot water to rinse it off. If you have a grease clog, your technician may need to use a different method as most commercial cleaning agents do not work well on grease. In this case, the technician will likely resort to using a hydro-jetter.

A hydro-jetter is a high-pressure water hose that is inserted into the drain line. The high-pressure stream of water will break up the grease and push it through the system. Once the clog is removed, your technician will likely do a final flush of the system with hot water to remove any lingering debris.

After the cleaning is done, your technician will reassemble your AC drain line and pan. And then, it is time to turn the system back on to see how the condensate water may flow out.

How Do You Know If It’s Fixed?

Unfortunately, not many people may realize that their AC drain line is clogged. Because the issue is unnoticeable mainly until the drain pan overflows, which is already damaging the property. However, you can use these signs to indicate that there might be a clogged drain line problem within your AC unit:

  • A moldy smell inside the room, especially near the AC registers.
  • Water is dripping from the AC unit.
  • The AC system is not properly cooling the room
  • Water damages the AC, especially on the drywall and the floor beneath it.

The damages that come from ignoring a clogged drain line are not worth it. So you better spend a little to pay for a professional HVAC service when your AC drain line is clogged as soon as you realize the problem.



ECM Air Conditioning, with its headquarters located in Boynton Beach, FL, provides air conditioning services within Palm Beach County, Broward County, Martin County, and St. Lucie County. If you’re looking to have a new HVAC system installed, we’re on-call and ready to assist you. So if you’re in need of an HVAC installation, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule an inspection! Our HVAC installation experts will check your ductwork, measure, check wire sizes, and more before making recommendations to ensure maximum efficiency and comfort. Call us at 561-295-1763 or contact our HVAC installation team online by clicking here.


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