What Should You Do When Your AC Drain Line Is Clogged

What Should You Do When Your AC Drain Line Is Clogged?

A clogged aircon drain line can spell plenty of problems for you and your aircon, as it is responsible for preventing water leaks at the condensate pipe end. Therefore, it is imperative to act quickly at the slightest hint of blockage to prevent further damage and maintain optimal performance.

Fortunately, addressing a clogged aircon drain line is relatively straightforward. Even a novice with rudimentary knowledge and expertise can perform the job. Let us explore the various signs indicating a clogged aircon drain line and what you can do to unclog it.

The signs that indicate your aircon drain line is clogged

So how do you know when your aircon drain line is clogged? The most obvious sign is when your aircon stops functioning altogether. But a faulty AC unit could also be caused by numerous other issues. So let us share how to spot a clogged drain line. Just pay attention to the following tell-tale signs.

Sign #1: Water damage around the unit

Water damage around the unit-water leaking from the aircon

The most obvious sign indicating a clogged drain line is water damage. When something is stuck, there will be water leaking from the aircon. So if you notice standing water close to the indoor or outdoor unit, too much debris has crept into the drain lines. The moisture may even stain the walls or ceilings near the aircon.

Sign #2: Aircon is not functioning normally

Aircon is not functioning normally

Are you having trouble turning on your aircon? In that case, you should check your drain line. A clogged drain line can cause the water safety switch in your air conditioning system to be switched on, preventing the AC unit from operating normally. Occasionally, liquid may also find its way around the safety switch, causing your aircon to malfunction.

Sign #3: Unpleasant odour emanating from the aircon

Unpleasant odour emanating from the aircon


The presence of stagnant water due to a clogged drain line can lead to the growth of mould and mildew. So if you notice a musty or foul smell circulating in your room whenever you turn on the aircon, there is likely a buildup of these organisms inside your drain system.

A step-by-step guide to unclogging your drain line

Fortunately, removing a blockage in the drain line is not challenging. But before you get started, you should have the following items ready:

  • A thin and stiff wire brush
  • A vacuum
  • Bleach
  • Duct tape
  • Rubber gloves

Once you have gathered the necessary cleaning materials, it is time to begin. Follow the instructions below to unclog your aircon drain line effectively:

Step 1: Turn off the AC unit

Before attempting maintenance, switch off your air conditioner to ensure safety and prevent electrical accidents. Confirm the aircon is shut off before proceeding.

Step 2: Locate the drain line

The drain line is usually a PVC pipe located near the condenser unit. You may have to check the instruction manual that comes with the aircon if you are struggling to identify the access point.

Step 3: Clean the drain line

Once you have located the drain line, clean it with the wire brush. Doing so should take care of any clog located at the end of the drain line and resolve the issue.

Step 4: Use the vacuum

However, you will require your vacuum cleaner if the problem persists. First, secure the end of the vacuum to the end of the drain line. We recommend using duct tape to ensure everything is firmly in place. Afterwards, start the vacuum and let it run for at least a minute. Doing so should be sufficient to take care of any remaining clogs.

Step 5: Clean the drain pan

After shutting off the vacuum, proceed to inspect and clean the drain pan. You can also use the vacuum for this job. After that is done, give the drain pan a good scrub using soap and water.

Step 6: Locate the vent tee

Your previous efforts would likely address most of the problem. Nevertheless, there might be some residue left behind. To resolve this issue, you must locate the vent tee. The vent tee is situated where the drain line connects to the drainage tray. You will notice a cap over the vent tee, which you must remove beforehand.

Step 7: Clean the other side of the drain line

Now, it is time to tackle the other side of the drain line. Again, place the wire brush into the drain line and proceed to clean it to eliminate any reachable debris.

Step 8: Clean out the drain line with bleach

Mix one cup of water with one cup of bleach and pour the mixture down the drain line to remove any mess left behind. Afterwards, wait at least half an hour before proceeding to the next step.

Step 9: Inspect the drain line

After you are done cleaning, you should examine your drain line to ensure it is unclogged. Pour water into the vent tee and see if any liquid emerges from the other side. If it does, you have successfully resolved the clog.

Step 10: Contact a professional

However, if you notice only a tiny amount of water appearing on the other side, or none at all, it could indicate a severe clog. This issue might not be something you can resolve on your own. In such instances, you should contact a professional to perform AC servicing to eliminate the clog for good.

A clogged drain line can lead to several issues with your aircon. Thankfully, it is not an expensive or challenging problem to fix. All you have to do is recognise the signs and follow our step-by-step guide. With a clear and functioning drain line, you can ensure optimal performance and longevity of your AC unit, keeping your space cool and comfortable.

However, you should consider seeking a professional aircon servicing company if you face difficulties inspecting and fixing a clogged drain line. For quality and cheap aircon servicing, look no further than Jetstyle Aircon! Our technicians possess years of experience in the field and can assist you with all your aircon needs. Do not hesitate to contact us today to enquire about our prices and services.

Learn More: 7 Signs That Indicate Your Aircon Needs Cleaning

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