How to Unclog an AC Drain Line

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A clogged air conditioner drain line can cause serious problems if it is not fixed. The drain pan will fill up with water, which will cause damage to your home if there are leaks in the drain pan or the emergency overflow is clogged as well. It is smart to learn how to unclog an AC drain line before there is a serious problem.

How to Unclog an AC Drain Line
(Dana Dowling/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Water hose
  • Bleach
Step 1

Turn off the air conditioner unit at the circuit breaker box.

Dana Dowling/Demand Media
Step 2

Get a water hose and take it to where the drain line is on the inside unit. The line will be either a flexible tube or PVC pipe that is connected toward the drain pan underneath the AC unit.

Dana Dowling/Demand Media
Step 3

Have a friend go to the outside AC unit by the drain line. This way someone can relay to you when the water has broken through the clog.

Dana Dowling/Demand Media
Step 4

Know that when a drain clogs, algae builds up and cause a slimy buildup. Water running through should break this clog up. Have the friend turn on the water hose while you hold the end in the drain. The water coming out of the hose should move the algae.

Dana Dowling/Demand Media
Step 5

When the friend indicates that the clog has come out, have him turn the water off. Remove the hose from the drain.

Dana Dowling/Demand Media
Step 6

Make a bleach solution of one part bleach and 16 parts water. Pour the solution through the drain from the inside opening. This will kill any leftover algae and mold.

Dana Dowling/Demand Media
Step 1

Rent or purchase a wet/dry vacuum. From the outside drain line, use the vacuum to suck out the clog.

Dana Dowling/Demand Media
Step 2

Use compressed air by blowing it into the outside drain line to bust the clog. This will cause a mess on the other end.

Dana Dowling/Demand Media
Step 3

Pour the bleach and water mix down the drain line after using one of these methods as well.

Dana Dowling/Demand Media

Tips & Warnings

  • Always turn the power off before servicing the air conditioner.

References

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