One cannot think of a home without an Air conditioning. We are so used to living in a temperature-controlled environment that it has now become our second nature. Any interference in this regard is entirely unacceptable. Therefore, it has become essential to understand your AC. If there are any changes from normal in its functioning, they need to be taken care of immediately so that the problem does not escalate. One prevalent problem which most AC users face is clogging of the AC drain line.
How would you, as a homeowner, know that your AC’s drain line is clogged? So, today, we shall dedicate this post to learning all about AC drain line clogged symptoms, its causes, and what to do in order to fix the problem. But, before we proceed with that, it would be handy to learn a little bit about the drain line.
Where Is The Drain Line?
Every air conditioner has a drain line or a condensate drain line. It is usually connected to the drain pan located below the air handler. If you are still not sure what you are looking for, it is a white PVC pipe whose end is always on the outside.
What Is The Work Of Drain Line?
The moisture produced due to condensation inside the AC gets stored in the drain pan. The drain line helps remove this collected water so that the unit can operate to the best of its capability.
Top 5 AC Drain Line Clogged Symptoms
You know where the drain line of your AC is and how it looks. But how would you know that the problem lies in the condensate drain line? Well, if you see any of these symptoms or signs, you need to check the drain line for any blockages.
1. Standing Water – Your air conditioner has an evaporator unit which draws out moisture or humidity from the air inside the home. Issues with the condensate drain line of the unit can cause water to accumulate around the furnace or the evaporator unit. It would be good to check this area of your HVAC unit every month for signs of standing water. If you find any water puddles check the unit daily to identify its cause.
The water puddle could be from a leak not related to the HVAC. Usually, these units are located in areas where there is other plumbing as well. So, identifying the cause is important. Depending on the cause, remedial action can be taken to contain the problem.
2. Leaking Water – If you see any water leaking from you split AC indoor unit, it could be an indication of a clogged drain line. At the same time, it could also be an indicator of the fact that either the drain line is damaged or disconnected. Again, don’t jump to conclusions until you are sure.
When the drain line has a blockage, the water is unable to pass through the pipe. In such a case, the drip pan does not empty but overflows, and water leaks or drips from the indoor unit.
3. Wet Walls – If the wall close to the AC indoor unit is wet, it may hint towards a clogged drain line. The moisture which does not drain seeps into the walls, making them damp and discolored.
4. Mold In Drip Pan – Mold grows in places which are dark and humid. If there is mold in the drip pan, it is a sign of blocked drain line. Drip pan should ideally be dry because any water that accumulates in it gets emptied outside through the drain line. The fact that mold is growing indicates water is not draining effectively. The reason behind this water accumulation could also be a faulty condensation pump in addition to a clogged drain pipe.
5. Musty Smell Inside The House – If the house smells musty, it means there is mold growing. If there are no other leaks inside the home, the most probable cause of it could be your AC. Although, the mold could be growing due to dampness caused by unclean gutters as well. So, take a peak before taking a screwdriver to your AC.
What Causes AC Drain Lines To Clog
There are many reasons behind the clogging of AC drain lines. The most prominent of these are:
- Mold growing inside the drain line.
- Rodent or insect infestation inside the drain line.
- Dust, dirt, dander, and debris flying in the air often find their way into the drain line. Over a period of time, they accumulate enough to cause a blockage.
- Corrosion or rusting can cause a build-up of particle matter inside the drain line.
How To Clean AC Drain Line
If you are up to the task, you can handle the cleaning of the clogged drain line on your own. If not, you can always call an HVAC expert.
1. Things Needed – A wet/dry vacuum with a hose attachment, a bucket, and vinegar.
2. Cleaning The Blockage – First, switch off your HVAC unit and disconnect it from the power source. Next, open the AC unit to reach the drain pipe. Disconnect the pipe from the drain pan and collect any accumulated water in a bucket. Using the vacuum cleaner suction out the blockage. Once the pipe is clear, pour some vinegar into it. Vinegar acts as a disinfectant and prevents the growth of mould and bacteria. It also gets rid of any foul smells.
Now that you know what causes the clogging of drain line and the symptoms associated with it, it’s time to take a call – whether you can handle the job of unclogging it on your own or not. If not, GIVE US A CALL TODAY. We are here to make your life easy and stress-free. Sit back and relax and let us handle all your HVAC problems, big or small.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
To unclog the AC drain line:
1. Unplug the AC from the power source.
2. Locate the drain pipe and disconnect it from the drip tray by gently pulling it off with your hands.
3. Check the disconnected pipe for debris or accumulations.
4. Remove the debris using your hands or a vacuum cleaner.
5. Pour a cup of vinegar into the pipe.
6. Reconnect the pipe to the drip tray and plug in the AC.
As indoor air moves through the evaporator coils, dirt, dust, and other aerial particles get trapped by moisture. The build-up of the debris is sometimes carried off as the collected moisture drains from the coil. Over a period of time, it becomes trapped in the condensate drain line and results in a blockage.
Unclogging a clogged condensate drain line is a simple matter of disconnecting the drain pipe from the AC, sucking out the blockage using a wet and dry vacuum cleaner, and reconnecting the pipe back to the AC.
When the AC drain line is clogged, the moisture or condensate has nowhere to go. It backs up into the drip tray and causes it to overflow. Due to this, water will start dripping down the AC, resulting in water puddles and wet patches on the floor and walls. Sometimes it may trip the safety switch of the AC, leading to its shut down. So the AC will no longer work until the blockage is removed, and the condensate can once more pass outdoors.
A clogged condensate drain will dampen the floor or walls, but it does not affect cooling. However, there is a catch. Some models of AC have a safety switch that trips when the condensate cannot pass outdoors. When that happens, the AC stops working. In that case, cooling will get affected.