clogged a/c drain pipeYou may not immediately realize it when you have a clogged A/C drain pipe. Soon enough, however, the fact will be impossible to ignore.

A central air conditioner condenses lots of water from the air inside your house. On a humid Indiana summer day, the evaporator coil in an A/C can produce over 25 gallons of condensate. This water is initially collected in the drip pan underneath the unit located in the indoor air handler, then drains into the house plumbing system.

If you have a clogged A/C drain pipe, however, three other signs may indicate that there’s a problem:

  • Drip pan overflow. If the drip pan overflows because the drain is totally clogged, pooling water will rapidly spread around the air handler. Because the air handler is typically enclosed in a closet or other enclosed space that isn’t regularly visited, spillage may not be immediately apparent. By the time you notice the overflow, water damage may be extensive.
  • Mold growth. If partial clogs in the drain line slow proper drainage, intermittent overflows may occur without obvious external signs. However, the sporadic spillage may trigger toxic mold growth underneath or immediately around the air handler. You may note the musty smell associated with active mold or you may begin to experience allergic reactions or other symptoms due to exposure to hidden mold growth.
  • Unexplained system shutdown. Because overflows are potentially very damaging, many air conditioners incorporate a drip pan sensor that automatically turns off the A/C if the pan is about to overflow. If your unit repeatedly shuts down for no apparent reason, an overflowing pan may be the cause.

Clearing the Clog

A qualified HVAC service technician can resolve a clogged A/C drain pipe. After clearing the drain line, the drip pan will be cleaned and checked for damage like cracks. To prevent algae growth in the pan—a common cause of drain line clogs—he can install time-release biocide tablets that inhibit algae for the entire cooling season.

For service to repair a clogged A/C drain pipe, contact the HVAC professionals at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.