Clogged A/C Drain

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Old 06-23-07, 10:28 PM
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Clogged A/C Drain

Hi all,

I've searched this forum on advice for unclogging the A/C drain and it seemed like most recommended a wet/dry vac to blow out whatever is blocking the drain.

So I bought a 6 gallon Ridgid wet/dry vac from Home Depot. The problem is that I'm unable to get a very good seal around the drain pipe. Unfortunately the model I bought has a 1 7/8" hose which does not have very many accessories available to it. So what I did was used a wet towel to reduce the size of the 1 7/8" hose. With the towel alone there's still air leakage but if I wrap my hand around it feels as if there is a good seal now. I've left it on there for a good minute (it gets old when you have to hold onto the house in a weird contorted position and you seem to think a minute will be long enough to blow out the gunk ) but the clog is STILL there.

I've tried dumping some bleach down there, and let it work its way through overnight, STILL backs up.

So I went back to Home Depot and bought a snake. About 6' down the snake won't go any further so I'm guessing there's probably some 90 degree elbow that it's not making its way around due to the way it feels.

Would appreciate any advice on unclogging this drain pipe. At least the Ridgid wet vac has come in handy to suck the water out of the drain pan (there is no drain on the pan either, just a cut-off switch that shuts off the A/C when the pan gets full).
 
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Old 06-23-07, 10:31 PM
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Oh, I forgot to mention. This is on a house my wife and I just purchased. The previous owners moved out a few months ago so the A/C must not have been used at all once they vacated the home. They said it worked fine while they were living there and I imagine it was since it's so darn hot in FL!

Also there is no drain pipe outside of the house. I asked a coworker of mine about this, who is also a contractor, and he says that some are like this and that it could just go directly into the sewer or something like that.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 06-23-07, 11:20 PM
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Yup some do so you might not want to "suck" but "blow" instead. I had this happen with a clogged a/c line and i couldn't find the drain outside anywhere. So i took my water hose with a proper connector [found something at the Home Depot in the plumbing area- be creative!] and flushed out the line. Been working great ever since.

Also my a/c friend told me I should flush it out at least 2 times a year. I hope that helps a little.
 
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Old 06-23-07, 11:26 PM
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Thanks for the response mpower. I did in fact have the wet vac blowing into the drain valve (from the inside of the house), not sucking.

Perhaps I can try to find something to rig up from the plumbing section. It really sucks the hose wasn't 2.5" that has all the accessories available for it.

Either of these below would've been perfect. But alas NOTHING of worth for the 1 7/8" hose

http://www.ridgidparts.com/images/products/VT2506.gif
http://www.ridgidparts.com/images/products/VT1407.gif (why isn't BB code allowed?)

Though maybe the 2.5HP motor on the 6-gallon vac isn't strong enough. As I had mentioned, I was able to get a pretty good seal when I wrapped my hand around the towel as well and let it blow out the drain for a good 60 seconds. Shouldn't this have been long enough to have unclogged whatever was blocking it???? I mean it should just be algae since the A/C stopped being used all of a suddenly right?
 
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Old 06-24-07, 06:33 AM
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BAck to home depot

Since you a/c probably drains into a plumbing vent you may need to cut into the drain.

I'd puck up pvc fittings to reduce the 1 7/8" vac hose down to 3/4" to get a good seal on the hose and fit directly onto the drain. Seal the hose to pvc with electric tape.

Then suck on both sides of the drain. Once you get it clear, glue a 3/4 coupling onto the previously cut drain line and you in business.
 
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Old 06-24-07, 05:09 PM
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CiiTech,

I can access the drain from inside (to blow out the clog), there is just no drain accessible from the outside. So I'm not sure what exacty would be needed to be cut, or even where. Complete novice here!

Ok, so I exchanged the 6 gallon Ridgid for a 12 gallon and got the attachment that would fit into the drain PVC.

Had it blowing into there for a good few minutes (4-5 mins) and thought that should've done it. NOPE, lo and behold the drain pain starts to fill up again. The A/C drain is still CLOGGED.

Would an air compressor, as my friend recommended, be much stronger than that of the Ridgid wet/dry vac on blow mode? He was going to help me with this but hasn't gotten his air tank. I sure hope THIS would clear it out, I don't want to cut into anything as we haven't even moved into the house yet.

What about dumping draino down the pipe, would that be safe? Any other options????
 
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Old 06-24-07, 07:14 PM
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Cut the PVC drain line

Attach the vacuum hose and suck the clog out.

Since you'v eblow into the pipe a long time it's probably prety well packed in there. Your going the wrong way.

Use the wet dry in vac mode.
 
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Old 06-24-07, 07:28 PM
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CiiTech,

1.) I understand what your saying, though I've mostly seen the recommendation in here to blow from the inside access port to the drain valve, and to suck from the outside. Since I only have one access port (from the inside) I thought I was supposed to have the vac on blow mode?

2.) Another thing I just considered, do I need to cap off the end of the drain pipe that goes to the pan when I blow or suck on the A/C drain? If these two pipes are Y'd (main A/C drain and the overflow pan pipe) than my airflow is simply taking the path of least resistance and might be why it's not doing anything?

I'd appreciate yours, or anyone elses', thoughts on these two issues.
 
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Old 06-25-07, 04:27 AM
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What I would do is cut the pvc just past the trap and suck/blow from there. That way you are not suckin/blowing back through the overflow.
 
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Old 06-25-07, 11:07 AM
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In addition, suck through the trap and when repairing the piping use a union so that you won't need to cut the piping next time.
 
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Old 06-25-07, 12:34 PM
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Wink

2.) Another thing I just considered, do I need to cap off the end of the drain pipe that goes to the pan when I blow or suck on the A/C drain? If these two pipes are Y'd (main A/C drain and the overflow pan pipe) than my airflow is simply taking the path of least resistance and might be why it's not doing anything?

(there is no drain on the pan either, just a cut-off switch that shuts off the A/C when the pan gets full).

They said it worked fine while they were living there and I imagine it was since it's so darn hot in FL!

Lost here. Florida code calls for the over flow Pan to run a pipe out side. over a door, window or sidewalk. So if water comes out of it. You will see it. Also with a overflow switch in it or in the drain trap off the coil.
The drain line itself . Cant be fixed or attached to a sewer line. It has to go into a open trap like you would run a washmachine drain line.
For the cost and trouble id say just run a new pvc drain pipe to the out side
 
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Old 06-25-07, 03:10 PM
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I agree with Ed

Just run new drain lines through the soffet, make one longer than the other so you know what is Primary and what is Secondary.
 
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