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McCutcheon Air Conditioning and Heating Blog

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Clogged Drain Lines - An Avoidable Problem.

A very common reason for calling an air conditioning technician is when an air conditioning drain line becomes clogged.

This is easily fixed and an avoidable problem, but a clogged drain line can potentially cost the homeowner much money and frustration.

When warm air from your home comes in contact with your air conditioning evaporator coil it creates a certain amount of condensation. This water has to go somewhere, and that is why air conditioning systems are equipped with a condensate pan and a small PVC pipe that leads to a drain system in or outside your home.

Unfortunately if the drain line becomes clogged it can back up into the pan and create a water leak. Depending on where your AC unit is located, a leak could cause some real damage, for example: if the system is located in an attic and the water leaks through the ceiling.

Drain lines clog up from dust and other matter that get into the AC System, as well as fungal and other buildup within the pipe.

When an Air conditioning technician services your A/C System they will make sure you have a clean condensate drain line. One of the methods is to attach a wet/dry vacuum to the end of the drain line and forcibly draw any buildup from the pipe while they pour a non-hazardous natural cleaning agent into the drain line. They will also place anti fungal condensate pan tablets to the condensate pan that will also help to prevent sludge and buildup.

When Sean McCutcheon's Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc. installs a new system they will take the extra time to create a cleanout in a section if the drain pipe that facilitates proper cleaning of the drain lines. Some systems do not have a cleanout and eventually the drain pipe needs to be cut in order to clean it.

In Florida, where we use our air conditioning for most of the year, drain lines should be cleaned twice a year to prevent water from leaking into the home.

You should also use a quality air filter and make sure to change it regularly since dust particles and other matter can accumulate on the evaporator coil and end up in the drain line which can contribute to a drain line clog.

If you are the kind of person who likes to change your own oil, you may decide to clean your own A/C drain line. However, your Air Conditioning technician is the best person to do this work, and if you have a maintenance service agreement with a company they will check the whole system while they are there

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