TIP: How To Clean or Un-Clog Your AC Condensate Drain.

TIP: How To Clean or Un-Clog Your AC Condensate Drain.


girl breathing clean air This article is brought to you courtesy of Oxyclean Air Filters. Below I give you three ways to maintain your air conditioner's condensate drain to save money and prevent headaches.

With really hot weather coming, I recommend you make sure you replace your air filter each time it is needed. If you need to order some filters right now go to
Whole House Filters and use DISCOUNT CODE "clean".

I used to own an air conditioning contracting firm and let me tell you, overwhelmingly, the number one call for service was clogged condensate drains. A clogged drain can cause problems. For instance, it can cause extremely high humidity, damage to ceilings and other property, damage to ductwork, just to mention a couple things. Also, your system could stop working which would mean a call to an air conditioning service company.

But, don't worry, I am here to help. This is a DIY project. It's easy. Anyone can do it in a few minutes and save money this air conditioning season.


1. Here is what you can do to prevent problems....Mix one part bleach with one part water, 50-50. A cup or a pint of the mixture should be sufficient. Now, slowly pour the mixture down the condensate drain beginning at the air handler or furnace. This will kill toxic mold and algae which forms a gooey slime that clogs your condensate drain.

man cleaning condensate drain

If you do not have a readily available opening to the condensate drain line, then remove the panel to get directly to the condensate pan. This is the preferred method anyway because this way you can also clean the condensate pan. However, first be sure to turn off the electricity to the unit.


I developed this method in the early 1990's. I then published it on my website, "Ask The AC Man" in answer to a question. I no longer have the website but I continue to see this method all over the internet.

2. If your condensate drain is already clogged go outside and find the drain pipe, usually right next to the outside unit. You will need your shop-vac. Now, put the drain pipe inside the shop-vac hose, as shown in the picture below. The shop-vac hose is bigger than the drain pipe so use duct tape or a rag to cover the extra space. If you use a rag, you will have to stay there and hold the rag. If you use duct tape, turn on the shop-vac and go have some coffee or a health drink while you wait about 3-5 minutes.

cleaning condensate with vacuum-1

With Rag
cleaning condensate with vacuum-2

With Duct Tape

When you come back and turn off the shop-vac your condensate drain should be clear of any debris, algae and toxic mold. Now, apply method #1 for maintenance.


3. There is an invention for practically everything, isn't there? Well now we have the
CO2 (carbon dioxide) condensate drain cleaner tool. We call it The Swoosh. The Swoosh (pictured below) blows high pressure CO
through the drain pipe blowing out debris, algae, mold, and anything else in the line. It is a quick and easy way to clean the drain. If you like this, you can order both from our website by clicking

Condensate drain cleaning tool

Please, the article above to help your friends find out how to clean their AC drain and save money.