“What Do I Do if My Air Conditioner’s Drain Line is Clogged?”

2013 Aug 14
Posted in: Air Conditioning

Got a clogged condensate drain line eh? We understand. It’s a messy problem, which many Phoenix-area homeowners have.

You should get this fixed fast because a drain line clog can cause big problems like:

There are two things you can do to unclog it:

  1. Call on a professional air conditioning technician from George Brazil
  2. Do it yourself

If you want to do it yourself, this article will give you a simple method of unclogging the drain line. There may be more wrong with your a/c unit than just the drain line, so we highly recommend calling George Brazil to at least diagnose the problem.

Follow these instructions to unclog your air conditioner’s drain line

Step 1: Get out your wet/dry vacuum

You’ll be using a wet/dry vacuum to suck out whatever is obstructing the drain line.

Step 2: Find the main drain line outside of your home

Most homes have a main drain line and a secondary drain line. The secondary drain line is usually located higher and water drips out when the main drain line is clogged. The main drain line is located near the ground on the outside of your home.  It’ll be a 3/4-quarter inch PVC pipe that’s coming out of your home.

Step 3: Connect the wet/dry vacuum hose to the main drain line

Now we get to the fun part. Before you turn on the vacuum, make sure that the hose has a good seal on the PVC pipe or its suction power won’t be as effective. Let the vacuum run for 3 minutes or so.

Step 4: Check the vacuum for algae water and other debris

After 3 minutes has passed, turn off the vacuum and check it to see if you were able to get anything out. You’ll likely find algae, dirt, dust, and/or insects in the vacuum alongside all the water that had been backed up. Toss the junk, and you’re done!

If you don’t feel comfortable unclogging your own drain line, contact George Brazil for a repair visit. Scheduling online saves you 10%!

Bonus: How to avoid future drain line clogs

Avoiding clogged drain lines is easy if your air conditioner gets an annual tune-up. Our service technicians will check your drain line as a part of a typical maintenance visit.

But if your system does get clogged, you can easily prevent costly water damage if your system has a float switch. A float switch detects when water is backing up due to a clogged condensate line and shuts off your cooling system, preventing it from producing any more water and leaking everywhere.

On your next maintenance visit, we recommend asking your George Brazil technician to install the float switch for you and to double check the cleanliness of your air conditioner’s drain line.