How to Clean the Condensate Line for an Air Conditioner

June 28, 2018

Another use for your Shop-Vac

The birds are singing, the sun is shining, but the water is not dripping. Hi, this is Allison Bailes and I am going to talk to you about air conditioning condensate lines today. 

What you're looking at (00:18) is the end of a condensate line for the air conditioner in our condo — and it was not draining. 

So, I hooked up the Shop-Vac to the end of the line to suck the gunk out of it and get it draining again. 

I put the hose on the pipe and taped it up (00:35), hoping that that would be good enough and keep me from having to go to the big box store and get some other stuff to make an airtight connection, but it wasn't.

So I had to go to the big box store. A little while later, I came back, hooked it all up, got a nice airtight connection this time (00:51) and it worked.

We sucked a lot of gunk out of that pipe.

You can see it right there, in the bucket (1:34). Here it is pouring out into the drain.

All of that stuff was in the condensate line, and our line was just barely draining, we could run the air conditioner a few minutes at a time before I had to turn it off.

I sucked it out and now it drains freely. 

This actually is not draining condensate right here (1:19), we flushed it out with a few pitchers full of water to get the remainder of the gunk out of there. You can see now that it is flowing through.

So, use your Shop-Vac to suck it out and see our blog for more information.


—Allison Bailes is a physicist, HVAC expert, blogger, and owner of Energy Vanguard in Decatur, GA