Pouring bleach or white vinegar down AC condensation drain

Reply

  #1  
Old 05-16-13, 11:31 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 30
Pouring bleach or white vinegar down AC condensation drain

I got my AC maintenance done yesterday and the guy that did it told me to pour bleach down the condensation drain and showed me where. However, when I went to look it up online all the videos or images show people pouring it down a pipe. I do not have a pipe visible to me. All I see are the coils and then a narrow pan at the bottom of the coils with a stopper. the pan has a small hole in the middle, which is where i was told to pour it. I have attached a pic...the best I could do....unfortunately it is upside down. You can't see the pan but it is at the bottom.

My question is, can I pour the bleach/white vinegar down that drain like my HVAC guy told me to do? I don't want to do anything that could cause a problem, so I thought I would check here.

Also I am going to do white vinegar vs bleach bc I have read that bleach can cause issues and bad to breath in.

Please let me know where to pour the vinegar. Thanks in advance.
 
Attached Images  
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 05-16-13, 07:54 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 46
Better to use hydrogen peroxide. after its done, nothing is left but water.
Use a bottle or two of 3% and just let it sit.
 
  #3  
Old 05-16-13, 08:15 PM
Houston204's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 7,350
Likes Received: 6
It is usually a simple job to add a 3/4" pvc Tee to the drainline.
If you install a ball valve between the Tee and the coil, blowing out the drainline becomes much easier.

I have been using pan tablets for over 20 years. I have seen bleach dissolve slime but have never tried other chemicals.
 
  #4  
Old 05-17-13, 04:22 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 30
Thanks for the responses. Unfortunately I am not handy at all and have no idea how to install anything in this AC unit and caution against doing anything myself.

I just want to make sure it is OK to pour the bleach, vinegar, or Hydrogen Peroxide in the drain pan and down the drain since there is no visible pipe to me.

My HVAC guy told me to pour 1 Cup Bleach, but I have read that bleach is very harmful. Then I saw that white vinegar was good, but then also read it was bad too . Sounds like Hydrogen Peroxide is another option. I don't know which one to use! I am not having any issues, this is just a precaution. I would have thought that my HVAC guy would have flushed the lines, but he didn't.
 
  #5  
Old 05-17-13, 04:37 AM
GregH's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 9,917
Likes Received: 3
You are right in being concerned with bleach for this.
It is corrosive in it's concentrated form and will not make up for a lack of proper maintenance.

A bigger question is that if you paid a tradesman to perform maintenance on your a/c why did he/she not do the most basic of tasks like clean the drain line???
Cleaning the drain and ensuring it is free flowing could prevent water damage in the near future and is something you paid them to do.

If the drain line is currently partially blocked you will not really clear it by pouring anything into it.
It would need to be mechanically cleaned., either with a snake or pressure and maintained by pouring something in it.

Trades people use different methods and chemicals but I prefer hot mildly soapy water to flush a drain line.
 
  #6  
Old 05-17-13, 06:28 AM
airman.1994's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: VA
Posts: 5,729
Likes Received: 3
Im with Greg why didn't your HVAC company not do this?
 
  #7  
Old 05-17-13, 06:33 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 94
I have found it is easy to take a shop vac outside and suction the plugged drain line. If you have a t and vent at the coil plug the vent and vac out the sludge
 
  #8  
Old 05-18-13, 11:54 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 30
should I get a second opinion?

I appreciate the responses. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with what exactly needs to be done to maintain the AC unit. i have it checked once a year but to be honest I don't know what should be done exactly. Can anyone tell me if clearing the drain pipes is something that needs to be done every year? What about cleaning the coils? How often? My HVAC guy tested the temperature and made sure it was running correctly, and did other things that I don't know exactly. Unfortunately, my AC is losing refrigerant, at a rate we don't know yet. In 2011 we added 1 lb and not we had to add another. Not sure where the leak is, he charge for the leak search and we all just agreed to monitor it. He seems like a nice, hardworking, honest person. I have had other HVAC companies out and they never cleared the drain pipes either, so I just assumed it wasn't something they did every time.

Second opinion?
 
  #9  
Old 05-18-13, 12:03 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 30
Thanks for the comment. I have no clue why my HVAC guy didn't clear it. I guess I should contact him and ask him why he didn't handle. It is irritating. I guess I will hold off on pouring anything down the drain/hole. I do not think there is anything blocking it or anything in the drains, although I can't say for certain. Pouring the bleach down is just a precautionary for me.
 
  #10  
Old 05-18-13, 12:06 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 30
Thanks, bperry. I wish I could do that but I live in a second floor apartment, so I have no clue what would need to be done outside. I am not having a clog issue, just thought I would do the bleach as a precaution.
 
  #11  
Old 05-18-13, 01:36 PM
GregH's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 9,917
Likes Received: 3
If you want to use something use hot slightly soapy water.
 
  #12  
Old 05-18-13, 03:06 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 30
GregH, Thanks for your feedback. I will do that. How much hot/soapy water do you pour down?

I am considering getting the tabs that you can put in the tray that are supposed to help break things up. Of course, with all my online research, I have come across sites saying that these are bad to use. Any experience using them? And if so, which ones in particular?

Also, I saw on amazon that you can buy something called a "Mighty Pump" and do it yourself. I would love to be able to do that as a piece of mind, however, I live in a condo and all the DIY videos I have seen (using a wetvac) show people clearing it out outdoors at the other end of the pipe. This is not an option for me as I do not know where the drain ends. Can I still use this pump to blow compressed air DOWN the pipe?

Again, many thanks for the responses for questions that I have which probably seem very simple to many of you!!
 
  #13  
Old 05-18-13, 04:28 PM
GregH's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 9,917
Likes Received: 3
About a gallon but not all at once should be more than enough.
If you run a quart or so of hot water every month you should not have any problems.

The reason a/c drains can be a nuisance is that the water flow is not that great which causes dirt to build up.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes