How To Clear a Condensate or Drip Line

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How To Clear a Condensate or Drip Line

Couple breathing clean indoor air in Columbus

Have you ever noticed a leak or even a pool of water dripping from the base of your HVAC or furnace unit? You have probably worried about roof leaks or burst pipes. But this issue may not be as bad as you thought, your unit may simply just have a clogged drain line.

Taking the time to clean your air conditioner’s drain line (or the condensate line) can affect how efficiently your AC system runs. Here’s how to quickly and safely prevent problems with your unit.

Condensation can build up inside your air system, leading to a slow leak. Don’t worry though, this condensation is normal and all HVAC systems and furnaces have equipment to handle this condensation buildup.

Unfortunately, these drain lines can become clogged over time, leading to leakage.

Sometimes, this part of the system is overlooked, even by HVAC technicians during regular A/C maintenance; they may forget to clean the drain during a routine service call. It’s up to you to check and clean the condensate pan and drain line before a problem develops. Cleaning the line will remove clogs and blockages, prevent the line from cracking and decaying prematurely, and prevent algae and mold from growing.

Where to Look

Sometimes it’s difficult to find the source of a leak or a drip initially, but if you’re only noticing water coming from near your unit while it’s running or even when it isn’t raining, the AC unit is most likely the source. Most units will have a drain or drip pan underneath it to help deal with any overflow.

In a lot of cases, drips are so minor that the water evaporates faster than it pools, if the air in your home is dry enough to speed this process along.

Check this pan and if the water is pooling or even splashing out of the pan itself, then you know it’s time to clear out the condensate line.

A condensate line typically becomes clogged from dust buildup internally. To easily solve this problem, all you need is a shop vac.

  1. Connect the suction hose to the unit’s condensate line (found outside near the external unit). You can do this using a special attachment you will need to purchase, or seal off the end with tape.
  2. Run the shop-vac until water is flowing into the storage canister.
  3. Remove the connection.
  4. Add a small amount of boiling water to the drain line to kill off bacteria and cap the drain line once more.

If the clog is being stubborn and won’t clear, consult a professional and consider getting a slime-proof fitting that can help prevent future clogs.

Call Us for Superior AC Repair and Service

If an HVAC technicians misses cleaning the condensate drain line during a routine inspection, what else did he miss? That’s a troubling scenario. Rest assured we include checking the line during our AC Tune-Up and Checkout service. Contact us today at (614) 837-4026 to schedule your system’s routine maintenance before the hot weather arrives, or use our convenient online appointment request form.