Clogged AC condensate line

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Old 07-09-20, 06:30 PM
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Clogged AC condensate line

I have a clogged condensate line that I've poured bleach down a couple

times with no effect. I bought a mighty pump but have no way to use it because the air pumped into the line is just going to take the path of least resistance which is back to the unit. What else can I use?
 
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Old 07-09-20, 07:24 PM
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You could connect a wet/dry vac to the end of the pipe to try to suck out the clog. Otherwise, you might have to cut the pipe and blow it out with an air compressor. Then when you get it clear just glue it back together with a coupling.
 
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Old 07-09-20, 08:05 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I guess I should have mentioned a couple of things. I have no access to any usable discharge to suck from that end as the line drains into the main system near a tub I also already tried a wet vac but had the same problem due to the setup. The suction just pulled from the unit.
How about a snake?
 

Last edited by alisonmadrey; 07-09-20 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 07-09-20, 11:11 PM
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The easiest is to just cut it apart in strategic locations, take it outside and clean out then reassemble with unions, not couplings, so that if it needs to be cleaned out again your all set!
 
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Old 07-10-20, 10:09 AM
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It's hard to offer detailed help without seeing the drain lines and their connection to the air handler.
Not sure why it's so well insulated..... it's not needed.
 
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Old 07-10-20, 10:30 AM
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Yeah, the two pipes go into the unit housing, so I'd have to take the unit housing off in order to even get my eyes on the connections. That's not something I'm inclined to do. I was just hoping there was a tool designed to do this with this type of T connection or that some sort of snake would work. Looks like I'll be cutting pipe this weekend.
 
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Old 07-10-20, 12:42 PM
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I'd try using (well, I have used) Liquid Plumber or something like that (label says it's safe for all kinds of pipes), that is designed to dissolve clogs. Pour in at least 16 oz., let it sit at least 15 min., then flush with a lot of hot water. Once you have the clog gone, you can get on a maintenance schedule with the bleach, maybe two or three times a year.
 
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Old 07-10-20, 08:16 PM
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Sorry...... I would highly recommend NOT using Liquid Plumber or any type of drain cleaner.
You aren't dealing with heavy, greasy or hair type clogs.

Look at the drain lines and come up with a way of taking it apart for cleaning. It's only PVC. Easy to cut and reconnect. If you can't see that I'd recommend hiring a plumber or HVAC company to install future cleaning points.
 
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Old 07-20-20, 10:44 AM
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Just an update. Still clogged. I cut a point where I could in the pipe with the intention of just using it as a place where I could connect a wet vac. It didn't work. So I've ordered one of those CO2 cartridge devices and will try that late this week. But here's what I really came to say:
I know why and where it's clogged but can't get to it easily. The pipe comes over maybe 10 feet or so from the unit and then takes a 90 degree turn down and goes about 6 more feet. But instead of connecting by way of one more 90 degree elbow straight to the tub drain assembly, it takes three more 90 degree turns one right after the other. First laterally, then down again, then laterally again. Now, I could assume this configuration was intentional for some reason - say, maybe to control the drip in some way? But it also could be because some idiot cut the first pipe a couple of inches too short and didn't want to have to redo it.
The worst part is that the assembly behind the tub is in an attic space - but totally boxed in for some reason by wood from the attic side.. . maybe to stabilize it or something? Or maybe it's supposed to be that way?
I'm just thinking through the future, knowing that it's those extra 90 degree elbows that are probably responsible for the clogs. This is the second clog we've had in as many years, I think. I'm trying to figure out if any reconstruction of that assembly would be advisable or worth it. Thoughts? Should I cut away the wood and just rework it? And does the wood need to be there?
I'm attaching a picture - the tub is on the second floor. I had to open up the downstairs ceiling to find the cause of an unrelated tub leak (bad overflow drain gasket), so I had a way to look up into the space to see the condensate line connection. You can just barely make out where it turns up and goes up the wall higher into the attic. More clear are the lower turns.


 

Last edited by alisonmadrey; 07-20-20 at 11:35 AM. Reason: Adding descriptions to photo
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Old 07-20-20, 11:38 AM
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When you cut the pipe was it full of water ?

Three 90's can be used as a trap to hold water and block cold air from escaping.
Typically you'd want the trap right at the unit.

It's still hard to see how that unit is plumbed at the top.
 
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Old 07-20-20, 01:02 PM
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There was water when I cut it. I cut the long straight, horizontal section that is closer to the unit.

These pics show the opposite end where the line connects to the bathtub drain.

The way the elbows are put together, I don't think they'd be an effective trap, because of the way they flow down, then over, then down, then over. There isn't a trap at the end closer to the unit, either.
 
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