How to clean AC coils drain pipe?

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  #1  
Old 03-26-06, 06:49 AM
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How to clean AC coils drain pipe?

The drain pipe is fully clogged and condensation from the coils is overflowing into the air-return duct.

What is the best way to clean this pipe? I don't have access to compressed air, but I don't think blowing it out is the best way to fully clear it.

Any suggestions would be helpful.

Regards,

Eric
 
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Old 03-26-06, 02:02 PM
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can you cut it out and replace it?
 
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Old 03-27-06, 06:29 PM
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This definitely needs your soonest attention as what is happening is there is a pan under the A-coil that is about an inch deep, and if the drain line is plugged, it overflows the pan and runs down into the guts of the furnace and finally out the bottom.

I first try too back-blow *up* that line (if that is where the problem is) back into the pan. Sometimes you have to do more than one attempt at this over time. If that doesn't work to your satisfaction, then accessing the coils up top there may have to be what you have to do. I like to simply use my mouth because that way I can feel what the resistance was, before and after.

BUT...make sure you blow DOWN the line the VERY first thing, as if it is blocked anywhere from the coils above the furnace, to the drain, then naturally it could back up into the coil pan without there even being a problem up there!

But if you do detect that the coil pan is plugged up top, and blowing up the line did not work for you...often times there is at least one side of the plenum, often times the opposite side where the copper lines go into the coil, where you can take the plenum apart at the seam, to access the coils/pan, and to clean it out, and to get out the sludge that is clogging the pans drain hole. (But on the last one I took apart, which was only about a month ago, the seam was on the side of the copper lines going to the coil.)

*To my knowldedge* there is not a good way of preventing this sludge from forming, as bleach, which is good at killing off such slime, is very corrosive. So I wouldn't be using that. Often times, once you get it physically cleaned out, it will take years again before the problem may even surface again.
 
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Old 03-31-06, 07:25 PM
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use a wet vac and suck out the drain and the pan. They sell a product called Pan tabs that are slow release and help break up sludge. Compressed air will work yet sometimes it will just force the clog down the pipe. just get on the end of the pipe and suck the drain line out. Then open the vacuum and check to see what you pulled out of the drain like rust or just slime. then run warm water down the drain to verify proper operation.
 
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Old 04-04-06, 03:51 PM
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While this might (or might not) work for a clogged condensate drain, I installed a valve and a "T" in the line right at the condenser. Since the unit is in the attic right next to the hot water heater, one of my annual "cleanout" tasks was to run a short piece of hose from the water heater drain to this "T", close the valve (preventing backup into the condenser), and flush 5-10 gallons of hot water down the drain. Not only did this clean the drain, but it also emptied some of the sediment out of the water heater.

The risk of using this approach to unstop a clog is that I've seen some really cheap-charlie condensate drain installations with hose/tubing spliced in walls and ceilings on the way to the plumbing termination. If such a splice were to split under the increased pressure ... you get the picture.

But as a routine maintenance approach, I found it to work quite well, although I have since replaced the small hose/tubing drain with a 1" pvc connection directly to an active 2" stack which virtually eliminates the possibility of a clog.
 
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Old 04-04-06, 04:18 PM
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the condenser is outside.
 
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Old 04-05-06, 03:13 AM
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Sometimes you can cut the pipe by the pan and then unscrew the pipe from the pan.

You then have full access to the problem area.

That is the reason there is a threaded fitting going into the pan. For cleaning.

Put a coupling on the pipe you cut. I prefer one that can be removed in the fucture for cleaning.
 
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Old 04-05-06, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by tinner73
the condenser is outside.
Yep, that's what I said, but it's not what came out of my keyboard. Ah well.

The condensate drain is , of course, on the evaporator - both of which are inside. If you have liquid leakage out of the condenser, there's another problem entirely - depending on what liquid that might be.
 
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Old 07-28-12, 02:24 PM
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Trust

Most of these reply's are coming from experienced A/C people. Blowing the drain is the best way to clear a drain. You could also fasten a hose connection on the drain line and run water through the line. Then cut off the female hose connector and fix the drain.
 
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