How to Clean an HVAC Drain Line

Oct 15, 2021 | HVAC Maintenance

Summers can be harsh without a fully functional HVAC system. To ensure your AC works optimally whenever you need it, it’s crucial to invest in routine HVAC repair and maintenance. One way to keep your AC in top condition is by cleaning the unit’s condensate drain line.

Your HVAC drain line plays a critical role in the effective operation of your air conditioning unit. Over time, debris, mold, and mildew can build up in the line, compromising the air quality coming from your system. To keep it clean, it helps to understand how experts like Shriver Mechanical, Inc. clean an HVAC drain line.

Step-by-Step Process

Vinegar is one of the most effective items you need to clean your drain lines. Vinegar kills mold and other forms of bacteria and prevents the formation of a buildup that can lead to a clogged AC drain line. Clean your drain lines every month, and your AC unit will thank you with better performance.

The steps below are straightforward. You only need to pour about ¼ cup of vinegar into the drain line to get rid of the clogs inside.

Step 1:

Start by shutting down your AC. Turn off the thermostat and flip your breaker switch to the “off” position.

Step 2:

Locate the white, black, or gray PVC pipe, typically an inch long. Follow the pipe to its end, where it drains all the water from your AC unit. This should be the location of your drain line. The AC drain line outside your property should be near the condenser unit, attached to the wall.

Step 3:

Once you’ve located the drain line, try to find the access point. Your drain line will likely have a T-shaped tee with a cover or cap. Remove the cover and look for a blockage. If the blockage is visible, you can wear protective gloves and take it out manually.

Step 4:

Start pouring the vinegar inside the line. Consider using white vinegar, as it has increased acidity that’s more effective for cleaning buildups. Cleaning the drain line using vinegar should take about 30 minutes. For better results, you can let the vinegar sit for longer.

Step 5:

Flush out the pipe with clean water. After rinsing, check if the line is clog-free and everything is flowing freely. Ask someone to help you check if the water is draining out of the drain line outside the house. Do this monthly or quarterly to maintain proper flow on your drain line.

Alternatively, you can use a wet/dry vacuum to clear the drain. To avoid ruining the filter in the vacuum, first, remove the paper filter. Next, hold the hose to the end of the drain line and cover the gap with a rag or duct tape.

Then, turn on the vacuum for about three minutes before turning it off. The vacuum will suck out any buildup and unclog the drain line.

Looking for expert HVAC repair, installation, and service experts in Acworth and Metro Atlanta? Shriver Mechanical, Inc. has the custom, expert solutions you need. Call us at 770-975-1927 for a free estimate and schedule service today.