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How to Clean a Clogged Condensate Line

If your air conditioner condensate line is causing you trouble, it may lead to a puddle that could cost you hundreds. Cleaning up a flooded floor can be expensive. You not only have to fix whatever caused the mess, but you also have to do costly floor repairs if the damage to the flooring or surrounding furniture is extensive enough. Simply vacuuming it out only takes a few minutes, so it's worth adding to your annual maintenance list.

What you’ll need:

  • Wet-dry vac - You’ll be pulling out dirty liquid that will require a wet-dry vac’s flexibility.
  • Wet-dry vac adapter from hose to a 3/4-in. opening - Most condensate drains are 3/4 in. of PVC or copper pipe. However, there are variances, so make sure the adapter fits your pipe.

Step 1: Find Your Condensate Line

Check for a 3/4 inch PVC or copper pipe sticking out of the ground. This should be located on the side of your house near the outside condenser unit, and it may or may not be dripping water.

Step 2: Remove the Paper Filter from Your Wet-Dry Vac

Make sure to remove the filter. Keeping the filter in can catch the buildup and slow down the vacuum.

Step 3: Vacuum Your Clogged Condensate Line

Attach the adapter from your wet-dry vac to the condensate line. The adapter should fit snugly to maintain pressure. Run the vacuum for 3 minutes, so there is plenty of time to pull all the water and buildup from your lines and pan. This will clear the dirty water and obstruction at the same time.

Step 4: Empty and Clean the Wet-Dry Vac

All of the buildup from the condensate line should now be in your vacuum, which can lead to clogs and mold. Carefully empty and clean your wet-dry vac once the condensate line is cleared.

 

Step 3: Attach your adapter from your wet-dry vac to your condensate line.

The adapter should fit snugly to maintain pressure.

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Step 4: Run your wet-dry vac for 3 minutes.

 This will allow the vacuum plenty of time to pull all the water and buildup from your lines and pan, clearing the dirty water and the obstruction at the same time.