how to unclog your AC drain line Finding a puddle near your air conditioner may be a little surprising until you learn that your air conditioner does collect water from the air and needs to drain that water to work properly. When you get a clog in the drain line, then that water may overflow, and you end up with a puddle on the floor. So, how do you unclog your air conditioner drain line?

How to Unclog the AC Drain Line

First, you need to gather a few supplies to clear the line. The tools and materials you’ll need include:

  • A plumbers snake or a small, thin wire brush
  • A shop vacuum for wet materials (do not use your regular home vacuum cleaner)
  • Gloves
  • White vinegar

Now that you’ve gathered your supplies, you can get down to work. First, put on your gloves and then turn off the air conditioner. Find its drain line and remove the plug from the top so that you have access to the line. Now, depending on the kind of clog you have, you can try three methods to remove the clog.

  1. Wire brush or plumber’s snake: You can try to remove the clog. Ideally, you’d try a plumber’s snake first, as it can pull the clog up. If you don’t have one, you can use the wire brush to push the clog through, but the clog needs to end up in a larger tube or container. This is ideal if your drain line drains into a utility sink or a much wider drain line.
  2. Shop vacuum: Use a vacuum that is meant to suck up wet materials on the drain line to try to pull the clog up. Test the line after you use the vacuum to ensure that it drains properly.
  3. White vinegar: If your air conditioner drain line is clogging because of sediment build-up, then vinegar can help. Pour vinegar in to allow it to dissolve the sediment. You may still need to flush out the line with one of the other methods.

Is My AC Drain Line Clogged?

How can you tell if your air conditioner’s condensation line is clogged in the first place? There are a few signs that might give it away, including:

  • The air conditioner keeps turning off for no apparent reason.
  • The air conditioner isn’t producing cold air when it’s running.
  • There are unexplained puddles of water near the air conditioner.
  • There is water damage on things near the air conditioner.
  • The area near the air conditioner smells like mold or mildew.

If you’re not sure whether the drain line is actually the cause of these problems, you can get an HVAC professional to help you.

Why Does My Drain Line Keep Clogging?

If you’ve cleared out your drain line but it developed a clog again quickly, there are a few things that could have caused the problem. Other problems with the unit, like debris on the outdoor portion, could end up causing a clog in the drain line. Or, hard water could be causing build-up in your line. An HVAC professional can help you determine what is going on. If you’re looking for a dependable HVAC contractor in Turlock, Modesto, Tracy, or anywhere in between, we’ll be happy to help.