The Best Way to Unclog Your A/C Drain Line

The Best Way to Unclog Your A/C Drain Line

Pro tips on how to unclog your A/C drain line

Little known fact: a clogged A/C drain line can wreak untold havoc on your home.  

We’re talking about ceilings so sneakily sodden with backed-up moisture that they’re likely to burst at any moment, showering down a storm of weird attic artifacts (see: spooky dolls) that somebody else left behind long ago. And the worst part? You might not even be home when it happens. One minute you’re coming home from happy hour, the next minute you’re in the thick of a storm you didn’t even know was brewing. 


If this seems dramatic, we promise you—it happens!


While that’s obviously a worst-case scenario, backed up A/C drain lines are responsible for mold, moisture and mildew. So, what’s the best way to unclog a stuffed-up line?


The Easy Way: Shop Vac

A shop vac. That’s it, that’s generally the most effective way to clear a common blockage from your A/C drain line. The powerful motor should be enough to clear any debris; if not, try running a stream of water from your garden hose through the line.


The Problem Solver: Plumber’s Snake

Okay, so whatever you’ve got in there is seriously stuck. Run a plumber’s snake through the line until you locate the source of the blockage. It’s slightly more work, but definitely effective. 

Keeping it Clean

Unclogging your line is only half the battle. 

We’ve got to keep it clean—and in this case, the simplest solution is often the most effective. You’re going to flush ¼ cup of distilled white vinegar though the drain line once a month. It will eliminate any mold, algae, bacteria or fungi from causing buildup in your lines. You will thank us later. 

(Pro tip: if you can’t stand the smell of vinegar, substitute for peroxide or hot water with a dash of dish soap!)


Here’s how it goes:

Step 1: Cut the power. 

Step 2: Locate the drain line, double check that it’s clear, follow it back to the access point. 

Step 3: Remove the access point lid (it should look like a T-shaped vent tee with a cap).

Step 4. Pour in your distilled white vinegar (or substitute solution)

Step 5. Let it sit for half an hour.

Step 6. Do this every month.


Stumped on how to unclog your AC drain? Call in Armstrong!

If you’re facing a leak—or a blockage—that you just can’t figure out, send us a message or give us a call anytime at 407-877-8090!