HomeKnowledgeInstallations & materialsHow To Clean AC Drain Line Without Professional Help?

How To Clean AC Drain Line Without Professional Help?

Overlooking an AC drain line can cause a lot of problems which include musty/moldy smell near your indoor unit, standing water around your indoor unit,and more. As this small part of your AC plays an imperative role in removing excessive condensation from the system, it is essential that you take its proper care.

It is common for the drains to become clogged because of the growth of bacteria or debris, costing you thousands of dollars in repairs. Continue reading if you want to know how to clean the AC drain line.

How To Clean AC Drain Line?

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Cleaning your drain line is not as difficult as it sounds. To get started with the cleaning, you will need the following materials:

  • Rags
  • Distilled vinegar
  • Funnel
  • Stiff wire brush
  • Wet/dry vacuum
  • Duct tape
  • Clogged drain lanes

Step 1: Switch Off Your AC Unit

Turning off the AC unit while repairing or maintaining is recommended to ensure a safe working environment. Additionally, turn the system off at the thermostat and breaker.

Step 2: Locate Your AC Drain Line

The drain line is the PVC pipe close to your outdoor AC unit, which heads towards the drain pan. Before moving ahead, take the help of dry rags or vacuum cleaner to remove any excess water in your drain pan. If you notice bacteria or mold growing on the drain line, clean it with soap and water.

Step 3: Remove The Hose Connected To Your Drain Line

Once you find your drain line, separate the cap from the T-shaped head at the pipe’s top. This will help you to see further into the pipeline and inspect if there’s any blockage. If there’s a blockage near the opening, you can take the help of a wire brush to remove it.

Many times, you will need to vacuum to clear off the debris so that it doesn’t go further into the drain line. Attach the vacuum to the drain opening with the help of duct tape and let it run for a few minutes before you turn it off.

Step 4: Use Vinegar To Clean Your AC Drain

It is always a good idea to take the help of distilled vinegar to clean your AC drain after you have managed to get the debris off. It will aid in killing the buildup that has developed in the line. Pour 1/4th cup of vinegar with the help of a funnel, and slowly if you think more is required. Make sure to give some time to the vinegar to settle down for a few hours before you flush the pipe with water.

Step 5: Check If The Clog Is Fixed Or Not

After you have followed the above steps, make sure to check whether the clog is fixed or not. See whether the water is draining correctly through the drain lines or not. If it is correctly done, the clog is fixed, but if the problem persists, you will need a professional’s help.

Step 6: Never Miss The Routine Maintenance

Investing in routine maintenance is key to making your AC last long. It includes changing air filters and going for regular tune-ups to ensure that the system offers its best performance and has fewer breakdowns.

Choosing to go for regular tune-ups can get expensive. One of the things that you can do here is to take a home warranty plan from a well-reputed home warranty company.  There are different home warranty companies offering a home warranty, so ensure to get a clear picture by going through the company’s coverage details and dollar payout limits.

By purchasing an appropriate home warranty plan, you will be able to save money and remain tension-free in case of any breakdown due to regular wear and tear.


Now that you know how to clean the AC drain line without professional help, make sure to use the right tools. However, if you are still not confident enough to completely perform the steps mentioned above, it is recommended that you take the help of a professional. A professional technician has the right training to clean the AC drain pipes and take care of other problems with the AC (if any).



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