All A/C systems are equipped with a drip pan and drain line to remove condensate and water residue created during the cooling cycle. As water vapor in the air comes into contact with a cold evaporator coil, the water vapor condenses on the coil and falls into the drip pan.
On a heavy A/C usage day, up to 10 gallons of water can condense on the coil per 1,000 square feet of living space. Learn how to check for and fix a clogged A/C drain, and you can save yourself an expensive headache some day.
Check and Fix a Clogged A/C Drain
Your A/C unit should be running for at least 30 minutes before you check the drain. First, you should locate the air handler in your home, which is typically in an HVAC closet or the attic. Many A/C units will have two drip pans — a primary and an overflow. The primary drip pan is concealed inside the air handler. Then, check the overflow drip pan, which should be visible beneath the air handler. If there’s water in the overflow drip pan, you may have a clog.
To check for a clog, unscrew the cap to the clean-out fitting, which is located in the PVC drain pipe. Then, visually inspect for debris. You should insert a funnel and pour a gallon of water into the pipe, which will detect if the primary drain pipe is clogged.
Next, open the access panel to the evaporator coil. If the drip pan is indeed full due to a clogged drain weep, use a metal wire, such as a coat hanger, to try and clear the line if accessible. Once the line is clear enough for water to drain, pour one cup of bleach into the pan. This will help kill and clear mold, algae, bacteria and other microorganisms that may be clogging the line. You may also need to clean the coil and fins.
Please contact Amarillo Air Conditioning at 376-4253 for your heating and cooling needs.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Amarillo, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about clogged A/C drains and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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