Condensate drain line: snake or replace?


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Old 03-16-15, 08:04 PM
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Condensate drain line: snake or replace?

My AC condensate drain line is clogged. My system has that second opening where I can flush the drain line with vinegar or bleach periodically... This still works just fine (the vinegar water makes it easily all the way outside), so the plug is before that T junction in the PVC tubing.

I opened up the panels of the air handler, and it's obvious that some rust probably got into the drain line and clogged it. My problem is, there's 50 inches of pvc between the air handler and the t junction flush hole, with five 90 degree turns! I was able to stick a wire brush through the first turn, which is horizontal, and that didn't unplug anything. I assume that the clog is most likely at the bottom of the vertical drop in the tubing... I'm assuming that's a designed trap.

Anyways, my question was, should it be easy for me to buy a snake or auger to unplug it myself, all the way down at the trap, which is about 35 inches from the opening with three 90 degree turns to get there? I was thinking it would also be very easy for me to just cut and discard the entire u-shaped trap portion of the PVC, and replace it with rubber tubing. I would get 1" inner diameter tubing and stretch it to seal over the PVC. Rescue tape to finally seal it should be very water proof. Is there any problem in using a rubber tubing replacement? It would be clear too so I could easily see when I need to replace it next time!

Thanks!
 
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Old 03-17-15, 03:44 AM
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Plug the tube you use to pour vinegar down and blow compressed air into the pipe from the outside exit. It will clear any clog in the line back to the unit. Then you need to flush from the unit. Sounds like the clean out is too far from the unit.
 
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Old 03-17-15, 05:54 AM
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I have a small snake auger that works on condensate lines if they have the smooth, curvy trap. It usually doesn't work if the trap was made from PVC elbows as the snake has difficulty making it through the closely spaced 90 degree bends. Another tool that works well is the stiff wire used by electricians to pull and snake wires. Again, it requires the smooth curvy type trap to work. Sometimes I just replace the condensate drain line as it's quicker than messing around with it for too long.
 
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Old 03-23-15, 02:32 PM
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Install unions on each side of the trap. This makes it super easy to remove & flush out.
 
 

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