All About The AC Drain Line Under Your Sink – Wait, What?

A fun part of using central air conditioning in humid regions is learning just how much water the system can produce. When you run an air conditioner, you're effectively running both a cooling and a dehumidifying system at the same time. As the warm air runs over a condenser, the condenser draws out moisture. That means that if you're running your air conditioner for hours each day in a very humid area such as the Gulf Coast, the system is drawing out gallons upon gallons of water.

While some AC systems let the water drip outside, many central systems send the water through a drain pipe to one of your sinks. The connections are often made with an extra hose sticking through the wall underneath the sink, with the pipe connecting to the main sink drain pipe. You need to know what to do with this pipe to keep it working because a clogged AC drain line can do a lot of damage to your home.

The Moisture Has to Go Somewhere

When your AC removes all that water from the warm air, the water has to go somewhere. It doesn't simply sit and evaporate. In a central system, that water drains out, as mentioned. The system has a backup drain pan that is supposed to catch overflowing water if that pipe, or the sink drain pipe, clog up. Now, systems are actually supposed to have two drain pans, one main pan and a second backup to catch excessive amounts of water if you haven't caught the clog and removed it.

Keeping the Sink Unclogged Isn't Enough

You would think that keeping the sink drain pipe unclogged would be critical, and yes, it is. But it's not the only thing you have to do. Remember that the AC drain pipe can clog up as well (due to scale, muck, and anything else that can build up in a pipe). And these clogs are harder to find because they don't really give you any indication that they're there, until your AC drain pans both overflow, and you have water falling out of your ceiling.

The Pans and Lines Need to Be in Good Shape to Begin With

You can take steps to prevent clogs in that drain line by using tablets made specifically to clean out the line. However, the line and both pans need to be in good shape to begin with. This means you need an AC repair technician to inspect the drainage system and fix the equipment as needed. If the line appears partially clogged (again, the AC drain line, not your home's plumbing), the repair tech can clean it out. If the pans are rusted or damaged, the repair tech can replace or fix those. This is a crucial first step toward keeping that drain line flowing well.

AC repair often focuses on cooling, but you also have to take drainage into account. Call a repair tech now, like those from Orlando Air Conditioning Experts and other locations, to arrange for an inspection and repairs as needed.