Make it a habit to check your drain pan whenever you change the filter, so you can catch any issue right away. The AC condensate drain line removes the water released when the evaporator in your AC unit converts refrigerant from a liquid to a gas. Learn more about your HVAC system here. Over time, algae and other muck can build up. Luckily, unclogging and cleaning the AC drain line is easy to do with tools you probably already have in your cleaning closet.
Contact us now to get your HVAC unit into tip-top shape. You should always turn off your HVAC before you clean it.
Find your AC drain line.
Most AC drain lines are located outside, near the condenser unit. Push the stiff, thin brush into the end of the drain line. This might clear any clogs located near the end of the drain line. Seal it securely using duct tape. Turn the vacuum on to suck out any debris and hopefully clear your clog. If the drain pan is full, vacuum it out and clean it with soap.
AC DRAIN LINE CLOGGED UP? HERE’S WHAT TO DO
Locate the vent tee. This is a pipe fitting that connects your AC drain line to the drainage tray. Remove the PVC cap from the top of the vent tee. Poke that stiff, thin wire brush through this end as well, so you can clean out any easily reachable AC drain line clogs. Put on your gloves and pour a mixture of one cup bleach and one cup water into the top of the drain pipe. Make sure you follow safety guidelines for working with bleach.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. 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.
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. 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.
When the friend indicates that the clog has come out, have him turn the water off. Remove the hose from the drain. 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. From the outside drain line, use the vacuum to suck out the clog. Use compressed air by blowing it into the outside drain line to bust the clog. This will cause a mess on the other end. Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience.
His work has appeared in both print and online publications, including "The American Chronicle. Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Things You'll Need Water hose Bleach. Step 1. Turn off the air conditioner unit at the circuit breaker box. Step 2. Step 3. Step 4. Step 5. Step 6. Pour the bleach and water mix down the drain line after using one of these methods as well.
Warning Always turn the power off before servicing the air conditioner. More about unclogging an AC drain Bleach solution information Shop-Vac info More about air conditioner leaks and clogs. Share this article. Kenneth Crawford. Show Comments.Modern AC systems are comprised of multiple individual components that convert warm air inside the cabin to cool and refreshing air. However, there are times when the air that blows into the cabin is not as refreshing or as cool as it should.
Although there are several reasons that lead to poor air conditioning performance, one of the most overlooked are problems with clogged or dirty evaporator coils or obstructions inside the evaporator drain tube. When water is contained within any item, the introduction of heat and oxygen allows microscopic organisms that live in our water a prime environment for growing into mold and harmful bacteria.
This bacteria attaches to the inner metallic parts inside the evaporator and can restrict the flow of refrigerant and liquids inside the device. When this happens, pieces of bacteria or debris break off the coils and can become trapped inside the evaporator drain tube, since in most cases it has a 90 degree bend. If this happens to you, the evaporator drain tube needs to be cleaned as well as the evaporator itself. The AC drain hose or evaporator drain hose, as it's often referred to, is located on the engine compartment side of the firewall.
On most domestic and foreign vehicles, the AC evaporator is inside the cabin, directly in between the firewall and the lower portion of the dashboard. Most car owners and DIY mechanics choose to clean the AC drain hose if symptoms show up which we will highlight in the next section below as opposed to removing the evaporator case and completing an intensive cleaning of the evaporator.
It is recommended by ASE certified mechanics as well as automotive manufacturers that you clean the evaporator case from the vehicle and clean that unit at the same time as you are cleaning the evaporator drain hose. The reason you want to complete this extra step is due to the fact that the debris causing the AC drain hose to not function correctly is inside the evaporator case. By simply cleaning the tube, the problem will come back sooner than you'd think and this process must be done over again.
We will show you the steps that you should follow for cleaning the evaporator case and cleaning the internal components of this critical AC system as well as removing debris from the evaporator drain hose. Dirty evaporators display multiple symptoms that indicate that it is dirty and needs to be cleaned. The evaporator is designed to convert warm and often humid air into dry and cooler air. This process removes the heat and humidity by using refrigerant circulating through a series of metallic coils.Repair Clogged A/C Condensation Drain - Lexus Rx350 Water In Floorboard
When this occurs, the humidity is converted to liquid H2O and needs to be removed from the evaporator in order to reduce the build-up of mildew and mold. Noted below are a few of the common warning signs that a problem with the AC evaporator exists and that it needs to be cleaned.
Musty or dirty air coming from the AC vents: When the inside of the evaporator collects bacteria, mold and mildew, residue seeps into the air that it is trying to cool. Once that cool air is circulated through the vents, it is contaminated with bacteria that often cause a musty or dirty smell inside the cabin. For most, this musty and dirty air is more of an annoyance; however, for those people who live with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD — which includes 25 million people in the United States according the CDC - the bacteria in the air can trigger exasperations or COPD flare-ups, that often cause a hospital visit.
The air conditioning system is not blowing air consistently : Another common symptom that alerts a vehicle owner to a problem with their evaporator is when the air blowing into the cabin is choppy and not smooth.
The AC system has a system of controls that powers the fans to operate at a desired speed. When the inside of the evaporator is clogged with debris, it causes an inconsistent flow of the air into the vents. The inside of the vehicle is developing a bad smell : Since the evaporator is located between the dashboard and the firewall, it can develop a bad smell when it's clogged with excess bacteria and debris.
This find its way into the cabin of the vehicle eventually, creating a really bad musty smell. When the bacteria and debris form inside the evaporator, it breaks off and flows into the evaporator tube. Since the tube is commonly made from rubber, and typically has a 90 degree elbow, the debris blocks the inside of the tube, which reduces the flow of condensation from the evaporator.
If unrepaired, this causes the evaporator to break, potentially leading to expensive replacement or repair. In order to reduce this possibility, cleaning the evaporator and removing the blockage in the tube through the steps we'll outline below is typically the best course of action. On most domestic and import cars, trucks, and SUVs, the AC system follows a similar pattern to the diagram above.
The evaporator is typically located on the passenger side of the vehicle and is installed between the dashboard and the firewall. In order to clean it, you don't need to remove it. In fact, there are several OEM and aftermarket AC evaporator cleaner kits that include one or two different aerosol cleaners sprayed into the evaporator when attached to the evaporator tube. To complete this task, you'll need to make sure you have easy access to the evaporator drain tube.
On most cars, trucks and SUV's, this tube will be located in the center of the vehicle, and in many cases, next to the catalytic converter. Make sure you prepare your vehicle for service by raising it on a hydraulic lift, or raising the vehicle on jack stands as indicated in the sections above.
You won't have to remove the battery cables as you won't be working with anything electric during this cleaning service.I have a GS and I have no idea where this hose is located. Do I need to put the car up on ramps? Anyone have a photo of the hose and its location? I discovered that I cannot put my car on ramps unless I want to damage the front bumper; I jacked the driver's side front up and placed a stationary jack under to hold it up while I took a look - I have NO idea still, even after having this underside of the car almost mashing me in my near-sighted face, where this weep hole or drip hose is.
They want to uninstall the front carpet. Imagine the labor on that It just looks like a rubber hose about 4 inches long sticking out. They tend to get clogged over time. As a person who has someone else change my oil, i would defidently consider it a D.
No ramps or even tools were nessesary. I think it was just held in by a rubber grommet. It's been a year ago but i remember it was a piece of cake; Happy hunting!
I haven't even looked on the passenger side. I assumed it would be on the drivers, as that's where the water has been pooling up.
OK - I found it and I poked a stiff wire into it. I have now seen a puddle on the driveway after driving the car, where there was none before. How can you remove it from the firewall completely? Is this just deceptive, or is it really permanently attached? I would not remove it, the water will drain down the firewall, just unclog it. By the way the parts counter at most dealerships are more receptive to showing you pictures of the part and where they are located in their drawings.
Parts people are a whole lot more friendly and they dont charge you for the info.
Lexus RX 2010-15 :: Wet Carpet / Bad Smell - Clogged AC Drain Hose?
Just a tip I have learned. I had only a temporary victory with this repair. I poked a wire into the hose and the condensate resumed falling on the driveway for a short time. Then it stopped again.One of the most obvious signs of a clogged AC pipe is that your air-conditioning system has stopped working. Your AC drain line ensures that excess condensation is removed from your air-conditioner.
Other signs of a clogged AC drain pipe include:. An AC pipe usually develops a clog due to algae. Because of warm air that blows over the cold evaporator coil of the HVAC, the drain pipe can get pretty humid; and along with the condensate traveling through the pipe, these conditions are perfect for algae to thrive. Regular, smaller clogs will be relatively easy for you to fix. We suggest steering clear of using bleach to unblock your drain as the chemicals may cause more damage to the essential elements of your AC system.
This is a PVC pipe that is usually situated outside, near your condenser unit. You might require a bucket at this point should your drain line be full.
This will most likely be a T-shaped vent with a cap covering the top of the drain. You can inspect for a blockage by removing this cap. Have a look at the AC drain pipe and see if the blockage is visible. If you can see what is blocking the pipe and can remove it manually, do so by wearing protective gloves. If the clog is too far down, move on to step 5, below.
Vinegar has cleaning properties due to its acidity. If the smell of vinegar is too strong, you can mix it with some soap and warm water. Throw a quarter cup of regular, white, distilled vinegar into your drain line through the opening where you have removed the cap.
Once it is full, you can stop. After 30 minutes, flush the pipe out with water and ensure that the water is flowing as it should do. If it does not flow normally, the clog is too big for a DIY remedy and will need to be addressed by a professional, offering air-conditioning services. Repeat steps every month to ensure that you stay on top of any build-up and prevent running into issues with the usage of your AC.
When everything is working properly, condensation runs down the drain line and exits outside your house. Sediment, algae, mold and insects can all clog it up. When that happens, water backs up into the drain pan under your air handler. If you have a newer unit, a sensor will shut your unit off, alerting you to a problem. If you have an older unit, you may not know you have a problem, until the pan overflows and causes water damage to your home.
So how do you fix the problem? You could call an HVAC company to come clear the clog, but if you want to save money, this is definitely a problem that you can handle yourself. The exit point is usually but not always near the condenser unit. Our upstairs HVAC unit runs to our bathroom drain. Remove the plug. Then, attach the suction hose of a wet vac to the line, and try to suck the clog out. For this to work well, you need to make a tight connection between the hose and the line.
We started by putting the vacuum hose over the drain line. So, we tried a Lint Lizard hose attachment that we had on hand. A Vaccuflex vacuum attachment would serve the same purpose, and is easier to find. If the drain line is still clogged, trying sucking the clog out from the exit point.July 8, References. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
How to Clean Evaporator Drain Tubes
There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 5, times. Learn more Every home AC system has a drain line that runs from the condenser coils inside the home to the exterior of the home or another drainage point.
Over time, mold and mildew can grow inside the drain line and cause problematic clogs. Clean out your drain line with bleach in early springtime each year to kill mold and mildew and prevent future clogs. Tip: In some cases, the drain line may not be located outside by the condenser unit. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker.
Turn off the AC unit at the thermostat first. Turn off the electrical breaker that powers the unit next. The breaker box is usually located on the ground floor of your home, or the basement if you have one, and sometimes in a storage room or the garage if you have one of those. Check these spots for the breaker box. If the switches aren't labeled, then you will have to try turning several off, and seeing if the AC is turned off, in order to find the corresponding breaker.
Locate the end of the drain line outside your home. The exit point of the drain line is usually located outside your home near the condenser unit of the AC system. Look for a PVC pipe coming out of the wall of your home and draining into the ground. Remove anything obviously clogging the drain with gloved hands or a pair of pliers if it is hard to reach.
Open up the vacuum and remove the filter. This will keep it from getting damaged by the water you are going to suck out and keep it clean of any mold or mildew. Just keep in mind that you need to remove it, rinse it thoroughly with clean water, and let it dry completely after vacuuming any water and clogs to prevent mold and mildew from growing on it.
If you don't have one, you can often rent one from a hardware store. Connect the vacuum hose to the end of the drain line with a tightly-wrapped cloth.