Your air conditioner works hard, pumping cool air in and keeping humid air out. Still, the moisture from the indoor air doesn’t just disappear. Your air conditioning system actually collects the moisture in the condensate pan. The pan drains to your condensate line which drains to the outside of the house. At times, the condensate drain gets clogged and needs cleaning. Thankfully, cleaning the condensate line is simple enough to do-it-yourself and you probably already have a key ingredient: vinegar. Read more below.
How to Tell If Your Drain Line Is Blocked
If your air conditioner is running, water should drip from the condensate drain outside. In order to check for any issues with your condensate drain, you need to find it. Go outside. The condensate drain is a white, plastic PVC pipe or black plastic pipe usually near the condenser. When you find the condensate drain, check for dripping water. Unfortunately, if the drain runs dry, it might have a clog.
If you see that your condensate line is clogged, you must immediately clear the blockage by flushing the line with something that will kill the bacteria and algae causing the clog. The dark, damp condensate drain line is an excellent spot for algae and bacteria to grow in, eventually building up and stopping any water from escaping. This might result in the drain pan spilling over and creating water damage inside your home. Regularly checking and cleaning your condensate drain line can help to prevent a small inconvenience from becoming a major problem.
How to Clean a Blocked Drain Line
Even if your condensate line is blocked, fixing the problem is easy. All you need is patience and some distilled vinegar.
1. Find the drain line.
2. Remove the drain line, flush out the plug (if accessible) and pour in ¼ cup of distilled vinegar. The acidity in vinegar destroys the algae and bacteria. Just know that with severe clogs this step could take a few hours.
3. Repeat the process until the drain runs clean.
4. Check and clean your drain lines once a month to keep your condensate line free and clear.
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