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Old 06-11-2020, 02:28 PM   #1
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My A/C condensate line keeps clogging


My A/C condensate line keeps getting clogged with algae and I use a Shop Vac to suck out the clogs whenever they occur. For whatever reason, it clogs very frequently. Sometimes every couple of weeks. So it's a real pain, especially when the float switch shuts the unit off in the middle of the night and the house gets hot. I was thinking about putting chlorine tablets in the drain pain but I'd rather not have to open up the unit periodically to deal with that if I don't have to. I was wondering if there was some sort of drain stick/chlorine stick I could use to just drop into the drain pipe. The pipe has a 90 degree turn so a stick would not go far down the line. Does such a stick exist? I want to do that and pour bleach or vinegar down the pipe every couple of weeks as well. Thanks!
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Old 06-11-2020, 02:42 PM   #2
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Re: My A/C condensate line keeps clogging


Try pour half a gallon of bleach slowly down it and then flush it with cold water.

Vinegar is good for scale and bleach is for algae.
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Old 06-12-2020, 09:27 AM   #3
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Re: My A/C condensate line keeps clogging


fwiw, i had the same problem (1949 single story house in Florida), except i was taking a shop vac to mine every other day and went through a gallon of bleach and a gallon of white vinegar. At one point, i put the shop vac on the outlet and went inside the house to make sure it was pulling a vacuum, which it was so i ruled out a pinched drain line. Turns out, whoever installed the unit ran the drain line under the house and laid it on the ground which wasnt level, therefore the drain line had high and low spots (2-6 inch differences in height at several spots) for water to accumulate, and of course stuff to grow. so i got under the house and hung the line with straps at a gradual angle down and out, i havent had a problem since then. Not saying this is your problem, just saying to look for what you might not expect to be a possibility
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Old 06-12-2020, 09:37 AM   #4
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Re: My A/C condensate line keeps clogging


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Originally Posted by natektzr View Post
fwiw, i had the same problem (1949 single story house in Florida), except i was taking a shop vac to mine every other day and went through a gallon of bleach and a gallon of white vinegar. At one point, i put the shop vac on the outlet and went inside the house to make sure it was pulling a vacuum, which it was so i ruled out a pinched drain line. Turns out, whoever installed the unit ran the drain line under the house and laid it on the ground which wasnt level, therefore the drain line had high and low spots (2-6 inch differences in height at several spots) for water to accumulate, and of course stuff to grow. so i got under the house and hung the line with straps at a gradual angle down and out, i havent had a problem since then. Not saying this is your problem, just saying to look for what you might not expect to be a possibility
Thanks for the info. The AC unit in question is in an upstairs closet and the drain line is apparently run under the floor/above the downstairs ceiling, so it's not really accessible without ripping the ceiling open. I'm wondering if there is a sharp turn in the pipe somewhere.
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Old 06-12-2020, 10:02 AM   #5
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Re: My A/C condensate line keeps clogging


Your drain line probably doesn't have the needed slope for better draining.
If that's the case, there are alternatives, so the question would be: would it be worth it to open walls or install a pump with a new drain tube to the outside...OR continue cleaning it every two weeks.
Your call.
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Old 06-12-2020, 10:05 AM   #6
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Re: My A/C condensate line keeps clogging


You can also change the 90 elbow with a long sweep 90. That would make it easier to insert a wire with a brush.
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Old 06-12-2020, 12:31 PM   #7
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Re: My A/C condensate line keeps clogging


Thank you for the suggestions. What about putting chlorine tablets in the drain pan? Wouldn't that prevent algae from forming? Would chlorine be damaging to the pan or to the PVC piping?
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