How to prevent your ac drain line from getting clogged and what to do if it does?


The reason you have an overflow switch on your drain line is to prevent sudden water leakage in your home / business. An overflow switch is a smart device that shuts your ac unit immediately once it senses that the drain pipe is clogged. This device is very efficient, the only problem is that once it shuts off the unit, the temperature goes up and you start to suffer from our hot and humid weather. There are many reasons why an air conditioner drain pipe may become clogged. As the air conditioning unit cycles the air and bring the temperature down it removes the humidity from the air. This humidity is sent to your drain line that might end somewhere outside in your property. The drain pipes may get clogged with dust, sludge or biological growth. You can take care of it in 4 ways:

1. Have a service agreement with us, where we come out every few months and flush it to make sure the way is clear for the following weeks to come until our next visit. (Excellent choice by the way!)

2. Okay, you do not have a service agreement but want to take care of it yourself and prevent it from clogging. Here is a maintenance technique you can do once or twice a year: Access the drain, there may be a PVC cap on top of your drain pipe that you have to remove by hand to access the drain. Take a gallon of warm water and let it run through the drain to clean out any accumulated dirt. Do this slowly. Don’t do this if it’s already clogged. You can also add a bit of white vinegar into the pipe to remove lime scale or grime. This will prevent it from clogging. (NEVER PUT BLEACH – bleach will release fumes that can damage your coil and you are very welcome for the tip !). Make sure the drain pipe is good quality as that goes a long way in preventing clogging.


Pictures for illustration only, feel free to use whatever brand you choose.

3. Call us on a need basis, we come out and flush it for you. Meanwhile I’ll warn you that it can get hot and humid until we come.

4. You are a hustler and wants to get it done, so here it goes: Make sure that your air conditioner is switched off. Inside the air conditioner panel you will find a drain pan that will be filled with water if there is a blockage. Clean out this drain pan completely until dry. You can use a wet/dry vacuum to help you suck the water. Next, locate the drain pipe and unclog the bottom of the pipe. You can place the vacuum hose at the drain pipe and let it run for a few minutes to suck the water or you can also use the pressure of water to push through the restriction in the pipe. Make sure that the pipe is sticking out of the ground and not buried into the ground. Dig out the pipe if buried, this could also be the reason. The pipe should allow the water to run free at the bottom. You can reconnect the panel and start your air conditioner once again. Leave it on for some time to make sure that there is no more leakage. If you do all of the steps listed above and it does work tap yourself in the back, if it does not work at least you tried, no worries, just give us a call, that’s why were here for.

Keep in mind that if it is left clogged over a period of time then it may lead to irreversible damage leading to replacement of expensive parts.