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That Condensate Drain on Your Air Conditioner Needs Cleaning

July 25, 2013 | Blog

Your air conditioner creates a lot of condensation. A three-ton unit can produce up to two gallons of water in a single hour on a humid day  That is as much as 48 gallons a day. The condensate drain takes this water out of your system and sends it outside. Unfortunately, algae can begin to grow in the drain and clog the line. This can compromise the entire system. In addition, insects and debris can collect while the system is not in use and create a blockage. Clogging can cause water to back up in your home, resulting in significant damage, mold and bacteria growth.

Generally speaking, it’s a fairly simple matter to unclog a condensate drain. It can be snaked, just as you would snake the drain under a sink, and a pump can vacuum out any clogs. There are plenty of how-to instructions online. But beware. There are some pretty good reasons to call in a specialist instead of doing it yourself.

  • High-pressure methods can damage weak pipes and connections and cause more problems than they fix. An inexpensive honey-do can suddenly become an expensive issue.
  • A sluggish drain may not respond to vacuuming. If some water can pass through the drain, the actual clog may not budge at all.

The best plan of action is making sure your air conditioner is serviced regularly. An annual tune-up will include a check of the condensate drain, and your technician will make sure it’s free of any obstructions. He will also make sure the refrigerant levels are correct, rinse the condenser coil, check capacitors, replace the filter, examine the ducts, measure volts and amps, monitor starting capabilities and check the contacts.

Mathews CCAC has been fulfilling the heating and cooling needs of customers in the Corpus Christi area for more than thirty years. Contact us to get that tune-up, if you’ve been putting it off. Better yet, ask us about our maintenance agreement, which can help you see to it that your home-comfort systems are in tip-top shape all year long.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about condensate drains and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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